I suppose people are not required to be annexed into a municipality, except for the fact that a number of counties outside of Illinois (and Missouri too) have adopted merger of municipality/county. Either they have merged or consolidated a number of services.
The almighty wikipedia names a number of such consolidations
Belleville Township is one that I think was contiguous with the City of Belleville. WIth no rural areas to serve, it only makes sense.
Granite City Township is still operating. AS much as I really liked past supervisors - and I don't even know who's in charge now....what is it's reason for existing.
What of Granite City township couldn't be handled through the Park District? I suppose there is the Township Hall and Assessor office...
I think it a layer of government could easily be removed there.
For geographic townships like Nameoki and Chouteau, couldn't the county reorganize maintenance of rural roads?
School districts pose the same challenges. At least Granite City is consolidated.
I live in a district where one district has 5 school, another has 4 schools, and a third has just one school. All three of those district feed a fourth high school district. All of these districts together would add up to be just slightly larger than Granite City's district, but not by much. 4 School districts. I know that where I am we pay into two of those districts.
It's true that in the case of the Townships, we would need the services. In the case of school districts, we still need the schools and the teachers.
But I think the secret is the fact that each layer of government is in need of a manager, supervisor, superindendent, or director of some kind.
That's where government becomes costly, all of these created 'executive' level positions usually commanding $75,000-$150,000 salaries at every level.
Where I live, we have four people making that big executive salary - while consolidated districts require just one of those salaries.
You may think I'm betraying the tenets of Deeism...but just to keep Bunker, Worker, Bender and Mr. Williams happy.... Consolidate government so we can afford more FREE housing and FREE food...and the such....
But being a little more serious, inefficient government benefits no one. I think the only reason people fight for it, really is to protect all of those needless 'executive' positions.
If Madison County had one highway commissioner, she would still need a number of people out there to maintain the highways....but how many highway commissioners in the townships would not be needed? I think this is what the 'establishment' is trying to protect, this army of people with their 70,000 plus salaries and pensions....and it all adds up.
On the link I posted....I only perused it quickly, but there is not one instance where consolidation is mentioned in Illinois.
At least Belleville did away with the Township layer.... it's a start.