Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ironchapman

Consolidation/Annexation News

Recommended Posts

Recently saw something in South Carolina's forum about a county thinking of consolidating with its largest city.

After seeing this, I wanted to know if other cities were thinking of doing so.

What cities are thinking of annexing a nearby town/area?

What cities are trying to consolidate withe their counties?

Also, I wanted to know what cities in the US aleardy have some form of city-county consolidation.

I'll post a few that I know of:

-Jax-Duval County

-Augusta-Richmond County (GA)

-Athens-Clarke Cty. (GA)

-Columbus-Muscogee Cty. (GA)

-Philly and its county

-NYC and the five counties of its boroughs

-Denver and its county

-SanFran and its county

-Miami-Dade Cty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Miami-Dade is not consolidated, but is under a "metro" form of government. The individual cities are still independent, such as Miami, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach, etc. The county acts as a city government in unincorporated areas, but also has certain powers county wide. That most counties do not have.

Aessotariq can fill in the details... but we're not consolidated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people want Pittsburgh and its suburbs to consolidate. And goodness knows we should. The city itself is just 55 sq. miles, and is home to less than 400,000 of the metro area's 2 million+ people!

Sadly, the suburban politicans are vehemently against consolidation, so we will probably continue to have an unfair tax structure here. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Orleans and Butte, MT.

Also Baltimore and Saint Louis, but I think they're both independent cities.

And, speaking of "metro" governments, isn't Las Vegas/Clark County also on that system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people want Pittsburgh and its suburbs to consolidate. And goodness knows we should. The city itself is just 55 sq. miles, and is home to less than 400,000 of the metro area's 2 million+ people!

Sadly, the suburban politicans are vehemently against consolidation, so we will probably continue to have an unfair tax structure here.  <_<

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Pittsburgh is the most fragmented metro in the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Orleans and Butte, MT.

Also Baltimore and Saint Louis, but I think they're both independent cities.

Baltimore and St. Louis are independent cities, and so are the cities of Virginia. They're not considered part of any county.

And, speaking of "metro" governments, isn't Las Vegas/Clark County also on that system?
Not quite. The Las Vegas/Clark County relationship is very close, and they obviously share a lot of resources -- shared law enforcement, schools, etc. The Charlotte/Mecklenburg County relationship seems very similar (I'll defer to the locals for more details).

Miami-Dade County's "two-tier" Metro government goes much further. The cities are actually subordinate to the county, with the county having regional powers over the cities. Metro lets cities be independent in some things, but it also keeps them in check. The county also has a lot of local control -- a lot of things that usually require the Legislature to get involved, the county can do on its own. Among its unique powers, the county has the exclusive authority to create new cities within its borders, approve annexations requested by cities, dissolve cities, etc. Everywhere else, the Legislature must do this. There is more detail in this thread if interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pittsburgh is the most fragmented metro in the country.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tell me about it. Hundreds of individual municipalities. There are buildings downtown which, on a Monday afternoon, have a more people in them than the population of some of the little towns around here! And there is not one square inch of land in PA that isn't consolidated into some township or other. It's ridiculous.

But of course the state gov't doesn't do anything about it, because suburban legislators are more numerous than city legislators, and therefore get their way 9 times out of 10. So the city gov't hiked up the parking tax to 50% so they could squeeze extra money out of suburban commuters, and now everyone is up in arms about that.

On the bright side, we finally got the Occupation Tax raised to a level that is fitting with inflation. And there is some talk about sharing services with the county.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even more fragmented than ATL?

By the way, what would PGH's city limits be if it consolidated? (size, I mean)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miami-Dade County's "two-tier" Metro government goes much further. The cities are actually subordinate to the county, with the county having regional powers over the cities. Metro lets cities be independent in some things, but it also keeps them in check. The county also has a lot of local control -- a lot of things that usually require the Legislature to get involved, the county can do on its own. Among its unique powers, the county has the exclusive authority to create new cities within its borders, approve annexations requested by cities, dissolve cities, etc. Everywhere else, the Legislature must do this. There is more detail in this thread if interested.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is that why county commisioners voted not to abolish the City of Miami back in 97, and just changed the name of the county? And why didnt Miami officials annex more land south and west of Coral Gables before the Kendal area started its push for incorperation. I guess if you think about it, Miami Dade Co. is like a city all its own, and Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, etc are all like boroughs of one lager city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Under the County's Home Rule Charter, once a city is formed, only the people of that city can get rid of it (i.e., dissolve or "dis-incorporate"). This is done by referendum.

The Commission can place a referendum on the ballot or they can vote to authorize a petition drive to force a referendum onto the ballot. The latter is what happened in 1997 with the City of Miami. The city was in bankruptcy, and many people felt that the city's fate was so doomed that it would simply be better to get rid of Miami altogether and have the county take over the services to the area. The county already provides many services to the City, including water, traffic signals, transit, libraries, etc., so what would have happened is that the county would have taken over the remaining operations that the city was responsible for, such as police, fire-rescue, zoning, parks, solid waste pickup, etc. A major worry was that the rich parts of the city would then want to incorporate their own enclaves, leaving the poorer areas behind, and there was also a concern of dilution of minority representation. In the end, Miami voters decided that they wanted to keep their struggling city.

Incidentally, you mentioned another unique power -- this is the only county in Florida that has the power to change its own name. That's what happened in 1997 -- the Commission put a name-change referendum on the ballot to change Dade County's name to Miami-Dade County.

The last annexation I can find on record performed by the City of Miami was done in the 1960s-70s. I don't have an exact answer for this, but it's entirely possible that the city did not see any land valuable enough to annex (the city is landlocked on several sides already), or it simply couldn't afford to without raising taxes citywide. Another major complication is that it would screw up fire-rescue operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (it would cut the county's service area into two pieces). MDFR provides full-time professional fire rescue service to the entire unincorporated area and 30 of 35 cities.

As for Kendall, the push for incorporation of that area has not been very strong. In this county, when an area wishes to incorporate, you have to form what's called a MAC - Municipal Advisory Committee. A MAC is convened to draft a proposed city budget, determine costs (including possible annual mitigation fees to the county), determine the structure of the city govt., etc. The MAC then makes an up or down recommendation to the Commission who then decide to place a referendum on the ballot. Kendall incorporation support has been lukewarm at best, save for a few vocal NIMBY groups; the last meeting of the East Kendall MAC was held in 2003.

I guess if you think about it, Miami Dade Co. is like a city all its own, and Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, etc are all like boroughs of one lager city.
This is a perfectly valid way to think of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even more fragmented than ATL?

By the way, what would PGH's city limits be if it consolidated? (size, I mean)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have heard that the Pittsburgh metro area has more municipalities in it than any other in the nation. So yes, probably more fragmented than ATL.

I am not sure what the physical size would be if we consolidated. But I can tell you the population of the 'city' would more than double. There are less than 400,000 people living within the city limits (but it should be noted that a lot more than that WORK within city limits), and there are over 1 million people living in the county. There are about 2.5 million in the region.

This is why it is absurd that suburbanites blame the city for its own financial difficulties. They don't want consolidation because "MY town is run efficiently!" Yeah, *your* town is a bedroom community, and most of your income is earned in the *city*. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even more fragmented than ATL?

By the way, what would PGH's city limits be if it consolidated? (size, I mean)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Iron, if consolidated the most widely accepted plan is to merge with Allegheny County which Pittsburgh is the county seat of:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/42003.html

Pittsburgh would become the 7th largest city in the U.S. in population overnight, with close to 1.3 million people and grow from merely 55 sq. miles to 730 sq. miles.

I am a big proponent of consolidation, when you think about it though a consolidated Pittsburgh would still only be 1/3 of the metro population and roughly 1/7 of the land area of the metro as defined by the U.S. Census.

As far as fragmentation in just the home county of the metroplex (Allegheny) there are close to 130 different citys/towns/boroughs and over 273 governmental taxing zones (school districts, towns, cities, special districts etc. etc. etc.).

In the whole Pittsburgh metroplex there is 898 governments NOT COUNTING the 7 county governments (to bring it to a grand total of 905!)

Chris Briem did a great study of this at the University of Pittsburgh:

http://www.briem.com/frag/PittsburghIndex.htm

There are advantages to this and it is nice in some ways but increasingly the metro area is at a disadvantage because of all this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting link here Iron explaining every dynamic you would want to know about city mergers:

http://www.citymayors.com/government/mergers_locgov.html

New Orleans was the VERY first in 1803 Paris was the first in the world in the early 1800's.

New York City is also one MANY forget as being consolidated--actually New York City consists of the consolidation of not only THE county but FIVE counties!

San Francisco, St. Louis and Baltimore are ones people usually forget also.

San Francisco is TINY compared to the rest of the metro so again it is not an exact science merging with your county (or even five in NYC's case) is not an end all to urban sprawl or unified metro government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Pgh!

Ironically, I was just on that site looking for info on Atlanta's mayor, Shirley Franklin.

Baton Rouge-East Baton Rouge Parish was the first modern consolidation.

JAX-Duval is the largest in the contiguous US.

Juneau-Juneau Borough is the largest in the nation overall, I believe.

It's either that or Sitka, Alaska with its borough.

One of those Alaska cities is the largest city in terms of area in the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in SC, we have a county that suprised everyone with an idea to consolidate. Cherokee County wants to consolidate with the City of Gaffney. This is a small couny (about 55k), with a small town, so it could be an ideal situaiton for them. There is only one other incorporated town in the county. They will vote on it in teh next election I believe. We have a thread on this in the SC section if you are interested. Just click the GSP link in my sig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.