Regional
3:58 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Citizens' Efficiency Commission Report Released

Karen Hasara
Karen Hasara
Credit news.uis.edu

A Sangamon County panel has unveiled its recommendations for streamlining local government and saving money.

The Citizens Efficiency Commission offered 23 specific proposals... ranging from joint purchasing among agencies to public safety changes.

That includes recommending fire protection and emergency services be consolidated while law enforcement could combine efforts.  For example, a shared regional task force for specialized functions like crime scene investigation, major cases and training.   

Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara, a panel member, says the departments are struggling.

"They're having a lot of trouble monetarily.  Some are already eliminating their own departments and contracting with sheriffs deputies and other communities out in the county to provide police protection," Hasara said.

The commission also recommends Auburn and Chatham disband their emergency dispatch centers and use the county's centralized dispatch.  

Other proposals urge colleges and universities to collaborate on their curriculum and to get rid of most township tax collectors, instead transferring the duty to the county treasurer and Capitol Township.  Hasara says often local governments fail to communicate and work across jurisdictions to reduce costs.