One of the more interesting items on the agenda is the ordinance to eliminate the City’s Legal Department. In the last 40 years Freeport’s population has not grown, but the size of City government has continued to grow. 40 years ago Freeport did not have a legal department, but retained private counsel for the City’s corporation counsel. Today we have a separate legal department with a full time corporation counsel, a part time attorney retained to prosecute ordinance violations, and other attorneys retained for “specialized” legal work. Of course, there is the need for office space, equipment, and support staff, all at taxpayer expense in city hall. Every time Freeport hires more firemen, policemen, and other city employees, it is not just the cost of the salaries. You must add on the present benefits for each employee plus the cost of retirement benefits. The State of Illinois is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the horrendous pension obligations incurred by state government, and the City of Freeport is headed in the same direction. Any time you can outsource government work, you normally will save money in the long run. This would certainly apply to the City’s legal department. The City’s legal department should be eliminated. It is luxury the taxpayers of Freeport cannot afford.
If the citizens of Freeport are interested in seeing the real cost of certain employees of the City of Freeport, go to the 2014 – 2015 Total Compensation Report for City Employees over $75,000
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