The time is long overdue for considering consolidation or elimination of many of St. Clair County’s 22 townships because in most cases they are no longer needed to meet the mandates they were originally given.
The townships were created to provide public service, including allocating general assistance to qualifying poor/elderly residents.
Millstadt Township is nearly three-fourths of the way through its 2017 fiscal year; the Township General Fund has a balance of $207,747. Its General Assistance Fund has a balance of $18,684. It holds an additional $50,213in a certificate of deposit.
Typically, only one person meets the qualifications for general assistance at any one time. About 12 percent of the funds collected annually are provided to the Millstadt Senior Center to support the cost of meals, a senior transportation program and salaries for its staff. Some General Fund dollars are donated to charities and help support local events.
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A significant outlay goes to the township’s six elected board members in the form of salaries. The board approved in its November meeting payment of $1,273 for members’ monthly salaries, plus $207.23 to cover the month’s utility costs. Members voted to give the newly appointed township supervisor and clerk raises.
Elected officials should act as the public servants they are and expend tax dollars appropriately and frugally. They’re expected to utilize tax dollars in a way to make lives better for those who need and qualify for assistance.
Spending nearly $1,300 of taxpayers’ money to issue paychecks for board members to attend a one-hour monthly meeting hardly satisfies those expectations.
Marlou Eckert, Millstadt