Horse-and-buggy government needs greater public scrutiny
Townships have been around since Illinois’ horse-and-buggy days, when transportation was difficult and hyper-local government was a necessity. Transportation has long since improved. It’s time to scrutinize townships to consider whether counties could take over their duties.
The first township governments in Illinois appeared in 1850. For vast rural stretches, some barely settled, townships aided pioneers in the process of transforming prairies and woodlands into farms.
Townships created an organizational system; most were 6 miles wide by 6 miles deep, divided into 1-square-mile sections. Township roads built along section lines helped farmers journey to market.
Townships served other local needs during those horse-and-buggy days, when travel was slow or sometimes impossible because of mud, snow or ice.
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