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Local Leaders React to Cronin's Mission to Consolidate Municipalities

Here's what Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Pfefferman and Wheaton Mayor Michael Gresk had to say about the DuPage County board chairman's comments on consolidation.

In an interview with Chicago Crain's, Dupage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin shares his desire to consolidate, or even eliminate some of DuPage County's 400 local government bodies to cut costs. 

As one of those 400 separate units of local government, Glen Ellyn Village Manager Mark Franz said the village is already working with other municipalties to realize savings.

As part of his plan, Cronin says he would like to see a consolidation of fire districts to save costs on expensive equipment but Franz points out that the volunteer services of Glen Ellyn's Volunteer Fire Department save taxpayers nearly $3 million every year.

"I think conceptually consolidation makes some sense but it's not a cure-all," said Franz. 

For example, the vililage right now is in a pool with other municipalties for employee health insurance and liability insure, which helps cut down costs, said Franz. Franz also said Glen Ellyn officials are closely watching other nearby municipalities who have formed an "alliance" as a means to cut costs, while still providing the same quality services.

Wheaton Mayor Michael Gresk explained the municipalties of Carol Stream, Winfield, Wheaton and West Chicago have formed an alliance among the fire protection districts to save money on man power and some expensive equipment. With numerous bodies of government in DuPage County, Gresk did say there are some redundancies and just like any business those should be eliminated to realize savings. 

"Government should be run like a business and you should be able to deliver a good quality product," said Gresk.   

Maintaining quality services is what Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Pfefferman thinks is most important, too, although he does side with Cronin and applauds the chairman's efforts to consolidate local governments.

"The current model is not sustainable over the long run. Any consolidation must be carefully planned to ensure that economies of scale and cost reductions are achieved yet service quality does not suffer," said Pfefferman. 

What do you think? Is consolidating government a good idea? Tell us in the comment section below. 

Gregg Slapak June 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM
"Government should be run like a business and you should be able to deliver a good quality product," said Gresk. Absolutely Mike/Mister Mayor!
Samantha Liss June 18, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I think that's the exact opposite of what Mayor Gresk and Village President Mark Pfefferman were saying. They both noted the need to eliminate redundancies by consolidating where possible.
Anthony Trendl June 18, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Who is protecting their fiefdom? Who is freeloading? Not Carol Stream, Winfield, Wheaton and West Chicago, which are working together. Not Glen Ellyn, whose leadership likes the idea. Cronin is largely articulating what is going on, giving his support ideologically to what's already in motion. He's just taking a good idea and formalizing it to be less ad hoc.
Walter Nesteruk June 18, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Which do you prefer Wheallyn or Gleaton.
Steve Novy June 19, 2012 at 03:48 AM
As a Winfield resident, I'd prefer to live in either a Wheatfield, or a Winton!

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