Among Illinois' 6,994 or so units of government, townships perhaps are the most pointless. If we had our way, they would be eliminated. Sadly, townships have strong lobbyists and aren't going away anytime soon.
At least some people are working to control costs. The St. Clair Township Board took baby steps forward this week when it rolled back salaries for the officials who will be elected in April. The trustees', clerk's and assessor's pay were cut 10 percent.
The supervisor's pay was cut 5 percent, and the road commissioner's salary was kept the same. Currently those two officeholders each make $63,000 a year.
Trustee Greg Bridgman, who makes $7,500 a year, commented, "We are a little bit overpaid for what we do." Make that a lot. Elected school board members are unpaid positions, and they have much greater responsibilities than township trustees.
As we said, baby steps. Let's hope St. Clair Township's actions will inspire other townships to make similar or even deeper cuts in salaries.
For instance, Stookey Township's meeting is set for Nov. 5. What will its trustees do about future salaries?