To the editor:
It's "Local Government Week" in Illinois, a time to applaud the work of our public servants, those who perform tireless work to provide essential services for their communities.
We often think of the outstanding service of first responders and the like, but we also depend on those who do more mundane tasks -- sometimes totally under the radar -- such as maintain roads, clear the snow, and operate food pantries.
It was this recognition of public service that prompted the Illinois General Assembly 10 years ago to designate the first full week in March each year as "Local Government Week" to help Illinois residents understand the role that local government fills.
As executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, I can tell you that townships are an extremely efficient and cost effective unit of government, costing taxpayers less per capita than larger units to accomplish many of the essential tasks we often take for granted.
This efficiency needs to be taken into account as Illinois wrestles with significant financial complexities. Taxpayers will make their voices heard as municipal and township elections will occur statewide next month on April 4.
I encourage voters to study the candidates and cast their votes for the ones they feel are best to make local government work.
Bryan E. Smith,
Township Officials of Illinois