Eliminate UIRVDA

Published January 9, 2011

Want to start bringing Illinois back into some semblance of respect? Start by abolishing ludicrous little political fiefdoms. Top of the list should be this outrageous Upper Illinois River Valley Development Authority, which is trying to pour money into the Lakewood sportsplex while apparently operating with the impunity of an empire.

A Lakewood village official sits on the UIRVDA board. And the executive director gets paid based on how much debt he issues. So he has an incentive to disregard financial risks and public opposition while issuing as much debt as possible.

In addition to giving us another example of government’s open contempt for the people it supposedly serves, this entity also provides another example of government using its power to manipulate investments to overcome caution in the private sector. As usual, we will end up with millions of dollars wasted (Motorola, McHenry Riverwalk, Woodstock Die Cast development are a few other local examples of failed or failing government-backed developments).

Go to the UIRVDA  Web site (www.uirvda.com). You will see just nine press releases in its entire 20-year history – and one of those was the announcement 10 years ago that McHenry County was being added to its territory. Most of the press releases boast of helping companies including Exelon and General Electric. That seems to be government these days, doesn’t it? The biggest and most powerful get even bigger and more powerful with the help of government.

Illinois is notorious for many things, including having more units of government than any other state. We should eliminate obscure little political fiefdoms that apparently do almost nothing until people with the right political connections ask them to act.

Steve Stanek