As any gardener knows, the middle of July is that pivotal time when we need to pull the weeds or risk letting them strangle what’s left for the remainder of the summer.

The challenge is not all that different on the good-government beat. The bustle of legislative activity in Illinois has slowed, but the threats to a healthy and productive government are still there.

The trouble with weeds, in government as in gardening, is that they almost never completely die. The forces of waste, ineptitude or corruption — whether in plain sight or deep beneath the surface — can be costly and destructive.

Look no further than Macomb, home of Western Illinois University, where a college president was allowed to step down with a rich payout, despite a record of poor performance.

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David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...