Monday, March 14, 2011

Efficiency commission accused of being inefficient

Sangamon County’s planned Citizen’s Efficiency Commission probably will have to break up into smaller groups if it wants to operate efficiently, a University of Illinois Springfield business professor said.

The goal of the 23-member panel, which is to be created after the April 5 election, is to find ways for local governments in Sangamon County to work together and save tax money.

But it’s probably too big to live up to its name, said Dyanne Ferk, associate dean of the business college at UIS. That means subcommittees might have to do much of the spadework, she said.

“The literature on the performance of groups is that if you get over 12 people, they aren’t very productive in reaching a decision,” Ferk said. “With 23 people, it will take a while to get a consensus.”

Voters approved creation of the Citizens Efficiency Commission in November. It will be made up of representatives from all of the taxing districts in Sangamon County, and members will look for more efficient ways to deliver government services. Suggestions could include joint purchasing or even governmental mergers.

Ferk's comments were featured in a March 14, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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