COURTESY OF MATT BARON
The River Forest Township Board of Trustees on Monday, Feb. 24 invited the River Forest Village Board to a joint public meeting in the near future.
The Township Board’s motivation is threefold: to express the township’s opposition to any village attempt to eliminate the township; to educate village officials about the services that the township provides; and to explore ways in which the two units of government can improve collaboration.
“We are firmly opposed to actions taken by village leadership in support of eliminating the township,” said River Forest Township Supervisor Carla Sloan. “At the same time, we want the entire Village Board to understand what we do, so that they can make informed decisions.”
In January, Adduci said that she supports elimination of the township, claiming it would streamline services and save money for taxpayers.
Elimination of the township would not result in improved efficiency, largely because there is currently no duplication of services between the two units of government, Sloan said. In fact, she added, eliminating the township may result in higher costs for taxpayers.
The township’s budget of about $550,000, or roughly $140 per household, is 1 percent of a River Forest resident’s tax bill. In addition to its assessor’s office, the township’s focus is working with agencies that serve youths, seniors and those seeking mental health services in a variety of programs.
State Rep. Chris Welch (D-7th), whose district includes River Forest, recently introduced HB 4425 in the Illinois General Assembly, which calls for elimination of the township.
With numerous other issues that the Village Board is trying to address throughout the community, such as infrastructure improvements and economic redevelopment, township officials question why the village would devote any energy toward an elimination attempt.
“We look forward to village trustees, as well as all residents, receiving the facts about the scope, and quality, of services that we provide, particularly in view of the dollars that we receive,” Sloan said. “Holding a joint public meeting would be part of bringing those facts to light.”
The River Forest Township Board consists of Trustees Anna Marie Romeo, Mary O’Brien, Veronica Belmonte and Mark Kelty. Sloan casts votes in the event of ties on the board. At its meeting last week, the Township Board voiced unanimous support for inviting the Village Board to a joint meeting.
On Feb. 24, Sloan communicated the invitation to Village Administrator Eric Palm, asking him to share it with Adduci and the entire Village Board.