Task Force on Government Efficiency Hears Carbondale Suggestions, Opinions
A statewide task force looking at ways to improve local government efficiency through consolidation and reducing unfunded mandates held its latest meeting in Carbondale.
Carbondale City Councilman Lee Fronabarger spoke before the panel regarding government consolidation.
Fronabarger - who stressed he was speaking strictly as a taxpayer - suggested Illinois do what 48 other states have already done and place their Parks and Recreation Departments under the control of local municipal governments. He says it could really help in Carbondale.
"We have a lot of duplication of costs, services, staff that I think could be eliminated, which would help the cost to the taxpayer. So many times it's become us versus them instead of focusing as a community as a whole."
Fronabarger says he believes the majority of Carbondale residents believe the Park District Board is already part of city government.
He says California is the only other state that operates the way Illinois does on this matter.
Meanwhile school consolidation remains a large and contentious issue.
One of the issues that drew a lot of attention and confusion is a part of the school code that says school districts with less than 750 students shall be dissolved.
Brent Clark is executive director of the Association of School Administrators. The Williamson County native says he was on the Classrooms First Commission and the way the code reads is misleading. He says school districts that size have the option of being dissolved, but the commission actually recommended against it.
Clark says he believes the issue of school consolidation should be decided at the local level and not mandated by the state.