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elb401

Should Alabama cities consolidate with their counties?

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elb401    1

Should the largest cities in Alabama (Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Huntsville) try to merge with their counties to create metro governments? How would it be benifit their citizens?

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jmanhsv    0

ok..... I thought I replied to this, but the reply is no longer here. :blink:

Anyways, it basically said that Hsv/Madco should merge into one metro government. Then, it would be easier to expand our mass transit, sewer, law enforcement, and transportation systems. These are lacking in the unincorporated portion of the county, which is now home to over 100,000 residents.

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DruidCity    0

My reply yesterday got lost in the transition, too.

In short, I think the Birmingham area is way too fractured for there to be any chance at all of a merged government.

In the three smaller metro areas (Mtgy, Mobile, Hunts), it might be worth a look.

Montgomery covers a sizable % of Montgomery County already, so that might have the best shot ?

Of smaller cities, I know that the Quad Cities (Florence) area has talked about the possibility of merging municipal governments forever. I'll be surprised if it ever happens.

Tuscaloosa's current mayor happens to favor moving toward a metro form of government, but this is not expected to become an issue any time soon, as most are reasonably satisfied with the current set-up.

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Rural King    1

-The site had an issue and some responses posted between certian time frames last night and this morning were lost.-

I think metro government is definately something that some cities and counties of Alabama, and any state, should look at. Lots of duplication in services could be cut out if metro govs were adopted in alot of places. I guess it really depends on each particular county/city situation, thus a case by case basis.

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DruidCity    0

As a "subtopic" of sorts, I wonder what examples of merged government services currently exist in Alabama cities ?

For instance, I know that Mobile has the state's largest public school system, because it's a combined countywide system.

In Tuscaloosa, our library and parks/recreation systems are countywide, but we have separate city and county school systems.

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elb401    1

Besides Mobile's school system being merged, the city and county also share a lot of other resources and I think the new mayor wants to merge more with the county to help end the duplication and save both governments money. I do have a question though......Does the state constitution in Alabama favor consolidation?

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jmanhsv    0

^With all those amendments, there's bound to be one about city/county consolidation. :lol:

As a "subtopic" of sorts, I wonder what examples of merged government services currently exist in Alabama cities ?

Huntsville's public library system and basically any committee that is involved in business and tourism (Chamber of Commerce, CVB) are all city/county partnerships. The Metro Jail, expected to open next year, will be the first joint law enfocrcement project.

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Blazer85    0

I could see Birmingham getting a Jefferson County consolidated government some day, but getting Shelby County or other metro counties to join that would be a huge challenge.

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elb401    1

Really, I would think that B-ham would have the hardest time. But anything is possible. I think It would be great if the cities in AL consolidated.

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Blazer85    0

Speaking of... today there was an article in the Birmingham News indicating that Rep. John Rogers (D) has submitted a proposal that would create a unified Birmingham regional government (much like that which we're talking about here). Needless to say, the bill will likely fail... still interesting and worth keeping an eye on.

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codyg1985    0

I see Huntsville and Mobile as having the greatest chance of consolidating county and city governments, simply due to the lack of powerful suburbs that can fight any merger.

I see it as a slim chance that Birmingham will merge with Jefferson County. It is going to take a lot to convince the Over the Mountain cities to associate themselves even more with Birmingham than their geographic proximity to it.

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convulso    0

birmingham is very problematic. there is little consensus among the various municipalities, the city and jefferson county, and a lot of hypocrisy on almost all sides. all of the municipalities in jefferson and north shelby counties have one thing in common, though: they would not exist as they are (for better or worse), and many of them simply would never have come into existence at all, were it not for the presence of birmingham as an anchor.

birmingham is a maddening example of how an urban center can offer so much and be raped by its own dependent satellite communities in the process. as others have pointed out elsewhere on the AL forum, birmingham's metro area is disproportionately enormous compared to the population of the city proper. no one wants to live in a poor school district, or suffer risibly incompetent city council representation, or embrace an urban way of life that would encourage and necessitate world-class urban amenities (think public transportation and flexible mixed-use zoning.) - especially when the alternatives are (literally) all around the city. more people move to cahaba heights - no wait - inverness - no wait - chelsea - no wait...harpersville, which of course clogs the highways. the solution? thus far it's been discussions of ways to encourage the trend (double-decker flyover lanes for 280 and road widening). why not just pull the funding out from under projects that exacerbate flight from the city, and dump every dime into servicing the urban core?

it's a chicken-and-egg problem, and as long as people are interested in laying blame (the city's notoriously corrupt, myopic and ignorant political structure is generally most often cited), there is never going to be any sort of regional consensus that would lead to a merged city-county government. which, in birmingham's case, is a real shame. too bad b'ham doesn't have a recent history of level-headed local and regional leadership that engenders enthusiasm and trust amongst all municipalities. wanna run for mayor or JCO commissioner, mike dow?

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Blazer85    0

Some great points, convulso, but I believe that's beginning to change. With all these condos, lofts, etc. starting to pick up downtown, that not only lessens the amount of population decline, but it also puts more wealthy, influential people in the downtown central business district that can really maybe get the city heading in the right direction with the election of proper city leadership.

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kayman    0

birmingham is very problematic. there is little consensus among the various municipalities, the city and jefferson county, and a lot of hypocrisy on almost all sides. all of the municipalities in jefferson and north shelby counties have one thing in common, though: they would not exist as they are (for better or worse), and many of them simply would never have come into existence at all, were it not for the presence of birmingham as an anchor.

birmingham is a maddening example of how an urban center can offer so much and be raped by its own dependent satellite communities in the process. as others have pointed out elsewhere on the AL forum, birmingham's metro area is disproportionately enormous compared to the population of the city proper. no one wants to live in a poor school district, or suffer risibly incompetent city council representation, or embrace an urban way of life that would encourage and necessitate world-class urban amenities (think public transportation and flexible mixed-use zoning.) - especially when the alternatives are (literally) all around the city. more people move to cahaba heights - no wait - inverness - no wait - chelsea - no wait...harpersville, which of course clogs the highways. the solution? thus far it's been discussions of ways to encourage the trend (double-decker flyover lanes for 280 and road widening). why not just pull the funding out from under projects that exacerbate flight from the city, and dump every dime into servicing the urban core?

it's a chicken-and-egg problem, and as long as people are interested in laying blame (the city's notoriously corrupt, myopic and ignorant political structure is generally most often cited), there is never going to be any sort of regional consensus that would lead to a merged city-county government. which, in birmingham's case, is a real shame. too bad b'ham doesn't have a recent history of level-headed local and regional leadership that engenders enthusiasm and trust amongst all municipalities. wanna run for mayor or JCO commissioner, mike dow?

I agree on everything. Birmingham's biggest problem is the selfishness of the people of the region. Now think about this, this is suppose to be the most densely populated region in the so-called charitable state. Honestly, I've seen people from the NYC metropolitan area be more generous than Central Alabamians. The constant beotching over the funding mass transit is downright pathetic. I'm also on a regular telling people around here, GET OVER IT YOU LIVE IN A LARGE METROPOLTIAN AREA NOW! Birmingham is not Anniston or Selma where there is zero growth or no major industry in the region. The biggest problem behind Birmigham's inability to gain traction with its public transportation lies with House Representative John Rodgers, former-BJCTA executive director but current boardmember Phil Gary, and nearly all of the "Over the Mountain" State House Representatives and Senators. If a concensus of citizens in Metro Birmingham would rid themselves of these leaches and accept the urban livestyle of this region then Birmingham wouldn't have any problems.

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rolltider    0

I agree on everything. Birmingham's biggest problem is the selfishness of the people of the region. Now think about this, this is suppose to be the most densely populated region in the so-called charitable state. Honestly, I've seen people from the NYC metropolitan area be more generous than Central Alabamians. The constant beotching over the funding mass transit is downright pathetic. I'm also on a regular telling people around here, GET OVER IT YOU LIVE IN A LARGE METROPOLTIAN AREA NOW! Birmingham is not Anniston or Selma where there is zero growth or no major industry in the region. The biggest problem behind Birmigham's inability to gain traction with its public transportation lies with House Representative John Rodgers, former-BJCTA executive director but current boardmember Phil Gary, and nearly all of the "Over the Mountain" State House Representatives and Senators. If a concensus of citizens in Metro Birmingham would rid themselves of these leaches and accept the urban livestyle of this region then Birmingham wouldn't have any problems.

Wouldn't have any problems? A consolidated government and a cleaning out of the absolute corruption at the Bham City Hall would be the catalyst the city needs to take it's rightful place among America's great cities.

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rolltider    0

Wouldn't have any problems? A consolidated government and a cleaning out of the absolute corruption at the Bham City Hall would be the catalyst the city needs to take it's rightful place among America's great cities.

Follow-up - One thing I find very interesting about Birmingham-Hoover is, while Birmingham has been in a population decline and Hoover has been growing, the sum of the two has remained steady at about 300,000 in the last four census (1970, '80, '90 & 2000).

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Southron    14

A Louisville/Nashville style merger of Birmingham and Jefferson County is badly needed, but the political situation is nearly hopeless, unfortunately.

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kayman    0

Well, it seems that that it is official, the Town of Branchville in St. Clair County has unincorporated and will merge with the City of Odenville. The last I heard about the Town of Argo unincorporation, which is in both Jefferson and St. Clair Counties, was a circuit judge denied the procedures that would allow it to merge with Springville.

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Blazer85    0
Well, it seems that that it is official, the Town of Branchville in St. Clair County has unincorporated and will merge with the City of Odenville. The last I heard about the Town of Argo unincorporation, which is in both Jefferson and St. Clair Counties, was a circuit judge denied the procedures that would allow it to merge with Springville.

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kayman    0
This is one of the few things we here in Birmingham can hope for. We'll never probably (at least no time soon) have a consolidated government. But if we can limit the # of suburbs and such, it is easier to get 10 larger suburbs to work together rather than 30 smaller suburbs. Hopefully a number of suburbs and towns in our metro will continue to merge so that we don't have over 100 municipalities or whatever it is in Greater Birmingham.

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