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Webinar to look at complex system of local governments in Illinois

Published April 25, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – The University of Illinois Extension Local Government  Education (LGE) will host a free webinar titled, Illinois Local Government: How do you make essential services more effective and efficient?, on Thurs., May 19 from noon to 1 p.m.

During the webinar, Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), will describe how the complex system of local government in Illinois came to be, the current constitutional and statutory structure that frames local government, and the barriers and forces that prevent the creation of more efficient and effective ways of providing services to the citizens that local government serve.

Building on that foundation, he will look at the promise and the limitations of intergovernmental cooperation, single unit and multi-function consolidation, and mandate relief as ways of achieving benefits for citizens who play multiple roles as funders, consumers, and providers of essential local government services.

Redfield has research appointments with the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS and the University of Illinois’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Prior to joining UIS in 1979, he worked for four years as a member of the research/appropriations staff for the Speaker of the Illinois General Assembly. His primary assignment with the legislature was staffing the House’s local government committees.

Redfield served as a member of the Sangamon County Citizens Efficiency Commission, which was created by a countywide referendum in November 2010. The commission studied the structure and performance of local government units in Sangamon County and recommended a series of reforms and initiatives aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the services that local governments provide to the citizens of Sangamon County.

There is no cost to attend the webinars, however pre-registration is required. Register online at For more information, contact Kathie Brown, community and economic development educator, University of Illinois Extension at