Thursday, November 1, 2018

Capital Township's Inconvenient Financial Numbers


This post contains information (administrative expenditures to actual services ratio) I was not allowed to include in a Springfield Journal-Register (SJ-R) letter to the Editor published (after 26 days of publication delay because someone did not like the publicly documented information on file at the Illinois Comptroller’s Office, particularly the administrative costs to services ratio of which I was only allowed to include a conservative calculation which did not include the 20% Township error omitting $374,925 in General Assistance administrative cost despite my documenting the error amount as an administrative expense from FY 2016 and FY2017 reports on file) on September 1, 2018, and two letters submitted on October 16, 2018, which where rejected for publication within two minutes of sending. A requested hyperlink documenting the information source (see the link below) to be published with the letter, which I immediately sent when the published letter was first submitted in early August, was never used on the SJ-R website. 

Two letters, containing much of the information below, submitted on October 16, 2018, were rejected for publication within two minutes of sending.

It is as if someone high up (not the Letters editor) does not want the public information on file at the Illinois Comptroller’s Office discussed publicly in the media.
Whatever the motives and reasons, the bottom line is the public discussion of this proposed merger of Capital Township with Sangamon County has been inadequate, truncated, and seemingly suppressed.

I have since learned that the Con op-ed was written as an unpublished letter to the editor a month prior as a protest of the City Council vote to table a City petition to merge Capital Township with the City and later pushed by the SJ-R as the op-ed piece with imposed significant data changes and denied the author a review of the Pro op-ed and the ability to respond to the actual Pro op-ed. This speaks directly to the intentional informational manipulation and suppression of informed public discussion on this issue by the SJ-R.


The Pro and Con Op-Ed articles on the proposed absorption of Capital Township, which is entirely within the City of Springfield, by the Sangamon County Board were very disappointing with the “pro’s” self-serving twists and blarney and the “con’s” overly conservative and way too politely constrained attempt. The people of Capital Township (the City of Springfield) deserve a more rigorous discussion than has appeared in local media.

While townships can provide a variety of services, such as roads, cemetery, parks, and general assistance, Capital Township provides only one service (General Assistance) in the FY2017 amount of $755,533 at a direct program administrative cost of $374,925 (just salaries?) while the total Township salaries are $906,779, central Township administrative costs are $851,449 for total Township FY2017 expenditure of $1,981,907.

It is misleadingly convenient to characterize Capital Township efficiency as a single service program (General Assistance) within Capital Township rather than the operation of the whole Township. Because a government exists solely to serve the needs of the people, the ratio of total administrative expenditures to total actual services is how a governmental unit is efficiency evaluated and Capital Township at $162.32 for each $100 of services is excessively higher and more grossly inefficient than any other Sangamon County Township government. Chatham Township, which provides road, cemetery, recreation/parks, General Assistance, and community building services has an expenditure to services ratio of $44.49 for every $100 of services. It is purposefully misleading to try to pose Capital Township solely on its welfare expenses to welfare services ratio. Capital