Citizens for Clarendon Hills (C4CH) recently invited DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin to speak at its November 13th meeting at Walker School where more than 30 elected officials from 8 local jurisdictions listened and shared ideas. The event drew over 120 residents and participants from the DuPage County Board, College of DuPage, School District 181, Hinsdale High School District 86, Clarendon Hills Park District, Gower School District, and Villages of Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook, Westmont and Downers Grove.
C4CH and Chairman Cronin agree that local government should examine ways to control costs and improve efficiencies. During his remarks, Cronin emphasized the need to determine the most optimal and cost effective ways to provide services, while eliminating overlap and duplication. This fiscally responsible approach has saved taxpayers millions of dollars during his term through shared services, holding the line on property taxes and eliminating pension sweeteners associated with employee benefit packages.
C4CH member Andy Schmidt added that a flat property tax (or a zero increase) is possible without cutting service levels. Flattening the revenue stream to curtail “a tax and spend mentality” has to start with recognition that there is limited tolerance for further increases and without the fear of draconian service cuts. He noted that Chairman Cronin achieved a zero property tax increase 4 years in a row and that other jurisdictions have done so without impacting service levels. Schmidt said that “fear should not be a weapon against the challenge and success of efficiency improvements. We can maintain services and improve quality in Government in the exact same manner as the private sector – via hard work.”
Ed Corcoran, Vice President of High School District 86 and chairman of the finance committee there added this after the seminar, “we should not take one penny more from taxpayers than we need, and the padding or gaming of the levy process can be stopped locally and instantly with good leadership”.