Nov. 30, 2017
Editorial Board, Dispatch-Argus
The recent Henry County experiment with government right-sizing went as we feared it would, but fervently hoped it wouldn’t.
If there was a surprise in its quick demise, it was how swiftly and easily elected officials whose jobs would be examined were able to kill, at least for now, the effort to take a closer look at more collaborative ways of doing things with taxpayer dollars…
But reform advocates have been shouting to an empty room for years as evidenced by the minuscule progress which has been made in efforts to right-size Illinois government.
There has been one major exception: DuPage County leaders have managed to find the secret sauce necessary to make significant good-government reforms a reality.
We don’t pretend to know all that went into the successful and ongoing changes in this large suburban Chicago county, but it’s clear who led the charge: DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin spearheaded the DuPage ACT Initiative. That county-board-created program began looking for ways to improve efficiency, reduce duplication and encourage resource sharing across the county in 2012 in response to a 2011 board examination of government services.
Clearly there are lessons here for the reform-minded Henry County board members who last week tried unsuccessfully to keep the government review effort alive in their county.