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bsutter2

Pros/Cons of consolidation?

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Ill admit Ive never been a huge fan of Jacksonville or Miami, but the idea of consolidation seems like a damn good one. Why is that other major cities in Florida like Orlando and Tampa not consolidate? Is there some major problem to this that I am not aware of? (BTW I do know that Orange county is currently running a study on consolidation of emergency services, but i doubt anything will be changed anytime soon)

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Orlando and Tampa have a slim chance of consolidation because the counties seem to want to compete against the core cities. Thus I'm sure the suburbanites would reject being merged with the "rift raft". Orange also has several posh incorporated suburbs that don't wish to be gobbled up by Orlando.

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Miami also has attempted a form of consolidation recently. I believe part of ti has happened in that the county is no longer Dade but Miami-Dade.

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Orange county VOTERS actually passed a few years ago a "Study" for Orlando & Orange County to consolidate services such as Fire, Police, sewer, etc. This is facing some hurdles mainly from Orange County firefighters vs. Orlando City firefighters over Union/Labor disputes. Another hurdle is Orange County government opposing EVERYTHING the City of Orlando tries to do to better itself. Orlando tries to promote infill development; Orange county counteracts by approving sprawl. The sad fact of the matter is, most residents in Orange and the surrounding counties commute/work in Orlando. Why would they then object to improvements made to the city they spend most of their waking hours in???

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Miami is not consolidated. We have a metro government that allows the county to act as if it's a city, but Miami and Miami-Dade county are two distinct entities. Dade county does have some power when it comes to certain things within city borders, but the cities are, for the most part, independent. City of Miami has it's own Police, Fire, planning department, etc.

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Miami also has attempted a form of consolidation recently.  I believe part of ti has happened in that the county is no longer Dade but Miami-Dade.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It was just a name change. The citizens of Dade County can change the name of the county through referendum. It's part of the county's home rule powers.

Back in 1997, the city was in bankruptcy, and a group of citizens started a petition drive to get rid of the city altogether and have the county take over the area. A year later, the county commission asked the voters if they wanted the county's name changed to Miami-Dade and that was approved. The dissolution of the City of Miami item was placed on the ballot but it did not pass.

As far as "consolidation" is concerned, the city and the county are different entities, but a lot of the services that can be better provided with economies of scale are usually countywide services. There are a lot of services in the city of Miami are actually performed by the county, such as libraries, water and sewer, traffic lights, transit, public housing, etc.

The idea is that the county acts like a regional government and the city only serves local needs. When the county became a metro government, the city transferred a lot of functions to the county that were of regional importance, like the airport and hospital.

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It was actually the entire state of Florida that voted for that name change... I remember 1998.

Why would they want to dissolve Miami like that... people and their ideas.

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Florida's constitution provides that only the citizens of Dade County can change their county's name. Not even the legislature can do this.

The climate back then was really contentious... the city was very corrupt, overloaded, and there was serious misspending. The county was much more solvent than the city and would have absorbed all the city's departments into the county's existing departments, i.e., City of Miami police officers would have become Miami-Dade police officers (we don't have sheriff's deputies in Miami-Dade County), Miami firefighters would have become Miami-Dade firefighters, etc. The petitioners felt that the county could run the city better than the city could, and the county's municipal tax rate for unincorporated residents was cheaper than the city's and services were better.

If the "city" as a municipal corporation had ceased to exist, it's possible that the rich areas of the former city like Coconut Grove would have wanted to incorporate their own towns and leave the poor areas like Overtown behind. Looking back, I don't think the county would have made it easy for them to incorporate anyways (the county approves incorporations and annexations here) but still would have been a mess.

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Essentially, in 1968 Jacksonville and Duval County merged all of their operations, and the only things in Jacksonville that do not fall under the Jacksonville Mayor are the four cities that chose not to consilidate (Jax Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Baldwin), and the Florida State constitutional officers (Sheriff, Property Appraiser, etc).

Really, it was a pretty good deal for everybody. I wasn't alive in 1968, so if anybody here knows of the opposition to it, I'd love to know.

Our government operates at a relatively low cost. For example, look at the property tax rates (these are the overall rates someone in the city limits would pay):

Jacksonville - 18.7543

Miami - 26.23895

Tampa - 25

St. Petersburg - 24.3064

Ft. Lauderdale - 24.7012

Orlando - 20.2927

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I got those figures from a recent Florida Times-Union opinion article by Ron Littlepage, who referenced them in a recent article. He got them from the various county property appraisers websites.

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Essentially, in 1968 Jacksonville and Duval County merged all of their operations, and the only things in Jacksonville that do not fall under the Jacksonville Mayor are the four cities that chose not to consilidate (Jax Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Baldwin), and the Florida State constitutional officers (Sheriff, Property Appraiser, etc).

Really, it was a pretty good deal for everybody.

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Of all the counties the one I would expect to consolidate would be Pinellas. It's not like Polk where cities could be miles from each other. Everything is right next to each other. The county itself is essentially a city. It depends on what the people want though. In Ohio Cuyahoga County,where Cleveland is,is similar to Pinellas in population density,the thing is the cities and the citizens are so aggressively independent that they wouldn't dream of consolidating their 5 sq mile town,even if everything around them was crumbling. There's a real NIMBY attitude here,which might explain why things are going downhill around here,as is the population. People think they live in an island in their suburbs,forgetting that if Cleveland sinks,so will they as Cleveland is the engine of this area.

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I would love it if my hometown consolidated with the county, much like Jax did, but the county's geography makes it more difficult to do that. Where Duval County is one central mass, Charleston County is a long strip that runs SW-NE, and this creates a political divide in the county. For instance, citizens that live in the towns of Edisto Island and McClellanville are located on exact opposite sides of the county, and they feel very loosely tied to Charleston. Other beach towns and major suburbs like Mt. Pleasant don't want to lose their identity. However, I believe the central UA of Charleston could merge or consolidate, leaving the county with jurisdiction only in areas outside of the city limits.

Consolidation here would lower property taxes, unify the community, create more satellite police stations to reduce crime, and provide better fire service. I know this is a Florida forum, but I thought I'd give you a SC city perspective! ;)

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I would love it if my hometown consolidated with the county, much like Jax did, but the county's geography makes it more difficult to do that. Where Duval County is one central mass, Charleston County is a long strip that runs SW-NE, and this creates a political divide in the county. For instance, citizens that live in the towns of Edisto Island and McClellanville are located on exact opposite sides of the county, and they feel very loosely tied to Charleston. Other beach towns and major suburbs like Mt. Pleasant don't want to lose their identity. However, I believe the central UA of Charleston could merge or consolidate, leaving the county with jurisdiction only in areas outside of the city limits.

Consolidation here would lower property taxes, unify the community, create more satellite police stations to reduce crime, and provide better fire service. I know this is a Florida forum, but I thought I'd give you a SC city perspective!  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Do you think that everyone in Duval County was thrilled in 1968 by consolidation? It could still work. Now, even in Duval County. The cities of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Baldwin all remain unconsolidated. For them, the City of Jacksonville acts in the way a typical county government would act, providing services such as Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, etc.

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Miami is not consolidated.  We have a metro government that allows the county to act as if it's a city, but Miami and Miami-Dade county are two distinct entities.  Dade county does have some power when it comes to certain things within city borders, but the cities are, for the most part, independent.  City of Miami has it's own Police, Fire, planning department, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here it explians EVERYTHING! Under Law and government there is a sub section called Ferdearion not consolodation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami-Dade

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Do you think that everyone in Duval County was thrilled in 1968 by consolidation? It could still work. Now, even in Duval County. The cities of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Baldwin all remain unconsolidated. For them, the City of Jacksonville acts in the way a typical county government would act, providing services such as Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, etc.

Well, I think people in Duval County were far more rational and reasonable than some people in my hometown's county have ever been. :D I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but until more people in the remote sections of Charleston feel more connected to the city, consolidating the entire county might not happen. Maybe they can do the exact option that the small towns in Duval County did...it really was a great idea to allow those towns to not join in the consolidation. The option allowed these towns to retain their own identity, but it still allowed Jax the maximum benefits of consolidation.

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The City of Orlando's millage rate is 19.2927. It is 20.2927 if you live Downtown but only for commercial properties.

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