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Government consolidation must be a top priority in 2022

Shrinking the number of units of government is about saving Illinois through property tax relief.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks about the increase in COVID-19 cases during a press conference at the Thompson Center on Monday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks about the increase in COVID-19 cases during a press conference at the Thompson Center on Monday.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

There are over 90,056 units of government in the United States, according to the U. S. Census of Governments. Illinois taxpayers fund 8,925 units of local government.

If all states had the same number of governments as Illinois, there would be an increase of over 258,000 governments, bringing the U. S. total from 90,056 to 348,150.

Illinois news media, civic groups and activists have long called for local government consolidation or elimination. I suggest that the media include in their legislative questionnaires for the 2022 elections this question for those seeking office for governor, senator and representative: What is your plan to reduce the size and cost of government?

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 350 words.

The governor and all members of the General Assembly are up for election in 2022. If you are asked to sign a petition, ask that same question: What is your plan to reduce the size and cost of local government? If they do not have a plan, don’t sign the petition.

In 2022, government consolidation must be a top priority. It’s all about saving Illinois through property tax relief. Homeowners in Illinois pay more than the national average. Over 10 years, they will pay thousands more than those living in states that are taxed at the medium level and have fewer governments.

Bob Anderson, Wonder Lake

New year predictions

This writer predicts that in the not too distant future, the citizens of Illinois are going to rue the day recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois. One would hope that when laws are passed, they would uplift and benefit citizens in a positive and healthy way. The consequences of the new law will lead to the following predictions:

  1. The result of ingesting marijuana smoke into lungs will cause health issues and burden the health industry just like cigarettes. The young are especially vulnerable. 2. The enforcement of laws dealing with marijuana will be an added burden on law enforcement that already has its hands full with gang violence. 3. Traffic accidents and fatalities will increase due to driving under the influence.

Those thinking of the profits to be made from this harmful substance should have considered the long-range cost and harm inflicted on society.

Ned L. McCray, Tinley Park

Rest in peace to a real hero

The horrible, tragic shooting death of Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic of the Bradley Police Department once again magnifies what every police officer in America faces: That there is no such thing as a routine call.

In what other profession does one ever give a thought that a dog-barking call will be the horrendous ‘end of watch’ that all cops have in the back of their mind while going through their daily assignments? This past year, 61 police officers were killed by gunfire in the U.S., and many more were wounded by gunfire.

Serving and protecting is a 24-hour job. The dangers sometimes gets lost when it comes to the way we look at those who are dedicated to keeping us safe. There are no shortcuts to courage and Sgt. Rittmanic certainly proved that.

Bob Angone, retired Chicago police lieutenant, Austin, Texas