Letters and Opinion

Time for townships has passed

October 30, 2010

For a while, I bought the argument that township government, the closest to the people, should not be abolished and, instead, counties should be. I believed that county government should have migrated to a regional governmental structure.

Now, I am in agreement with the IBJ position [stated in the Oct. 25 editorial]. It is time to abolish townships and shift their revenue and responsibilities to their respective counties. At some time in the future, I believe that what the counties now do should be shifted to a new regional governmental structure that helps govern in the areas that are truly regional in nature such as transportation, economic development, crime and the environment.

I have two suggestions with regard to the implementation of such a plan:

• Make certain that the county government is comprised of at least four representatives from each current township,

• Make these changes effective five years from their acceptance by the Legislature and the governor so as to minimize opposition from current employees of the townships.

The need for change is urgent. Had we made these changes five years ago, we would now be reaping the rewards. The time for the Legislature and the governor to act is now, but we should also defer implementation to minimize the political opposition from people who will ultimately lose their jobs.

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John L. Sorg
 

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