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The Consolidated City and County


tamias6

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I may be biased, but I really think the pros outweigh the cons in most situations.

Suburbanization often takes the upper income residents out of the city, leaving it to provide the same (or higher) level of services to an inner-city population who needs and uses the services more, but with much less money. Pittsburgh is a great example of this. The people left in the cities are the ones who need public services the most, but are least able to pay for them.

But the problem comes in when suburbanites still demand and use public services (like roads) that they very often do not pay for. Consolidation equalizes the burden. Suburbanites very often do not pay their share of what they use, but they are exempted because they aren't residents of the central city. And God forbid you ask them to pay more money, or pay to use a road, or contribute in any way to the city.

I'm not bitter. ;)

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^^^^

My feelings exactly. Suburbs tend to be younger, healthier, and better off. These are the people that least need public services.

Here we have a beautiful thing called Local Government aid, which is taken from the income tax revenue and then provided to poor cities to equalize revenues a bit. This is in place as a better solution because then you don't have to merge with your county in order to equalize things.

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I think New Orleans-Orleans Parish should consolidate Think about it, many people from the Greater New Orleans area come to N.O. for work, leisure, school, etc. Also, many of the services that one would get in New Orleans, would also be found in Orleans Parish. It's ridiculous that suburbanites have the audacity to whine and cry when they have to pay their fair share of what they use. They want to reap the benefits of what the city gets, but don't ever want to help foot the bill.

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I think New Orleans-Orleans Parish should consolidate Think about it, many people from the Greater New Orleans area come to N.O. for work, leisure, school, etc. Also, many of the services that one would get in New Orleans, would also be found in Orleans Parish. It's ridiculous that suburbanites have the audacity to whine and cry when they have to pay their fair share of what they use. They want to reap the benefits of what the city gets, but don't ever want to help foot the bill.
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Pittsburgh really needs to do this, but unfortunately all those little suburbs will fight it tooth and nail.

There are several reasons I think we need it:

1) The city has the nation's third largest (I believe) weekday influx of population. Meaning that a very large portion of the people who work in the city live in the suburbs. That means a lot of people are using city roads and services daily but paying their income tax to a bedroom community.

2) Too much duplication of services. This is something the city and county are working on (they recently merged 911 systems and are talking about merging other services), but there is a long way to go yet. I can only imagine the money that could be saved if these duplications were eliminated.

3) Too much red tape for businesses that come here. They have to deal with too many different governments. Not to mention that every little town is competing with its neighbors for development and new businesses.

So I think there are a lot of pros to consolidation. The only con I can see is that some of the suburbanites won't like it, but frankly I don't care about that ;)

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I think in most counties, this would be a good thing. I don't believe we have any consolidated city/county governments in NC. However, we do have school systems that have merged. And in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County the city and county planning board is now one entity in charge of all zoning and planning recommendations.

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That I know of:

City/County (or County Equivalents) Consolidations:

Sitka City & Borough, AK

Juneau City & Borough, AK

Anchorage City & Borough, AK

Butte/Silver Bow, MT

Anaconda/Deer Lodge, MT (?)

Indianapolis/Marion, IN

Louisville/Jefferson, KY

Lexington/Fayette, KY

Nashville/Davidson, TN

Augusta/Richmond, GA

Columbus/Muscogee, GA

Athens/Clarke, GA

Jacksonville/Duval, FL

Large Independent Cities:

Virginia Beach, VA (extinct Princess Anne County + towns of Virginia Beach & Princess Anne)

Chesapeake, VA (extinct unincorporated Norfolk County)

Suffolk, VA (extinct Nansemond County + City of Cuffolk and City of Nansemond)

Newport News, VA (extinct Warwick County)

Carson City, NV (extinct Ormsby County)

St Louis

Baltimore

many Virginia independent cities, geographically small county-equivalents

City/County (Unsure if the legal mechanics are exactly the same as a "Consolidated City"):

New York

San Francisco

Denver

Philadelphia

New Orleans

Broomfield, CO

Las Alamos, NM

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That I know of:

City/County (or County Equivalents) Consolidations:

Sitka City & Borough, AK

Juneau City & Borough, AK

Anchorage City & Borough, AK

Butte/Silver Bow, MT

Anaconda/Deer Lodge, MT (?)

Indianapolis/Marion, IN

Louisville/Jefferson, KY

Lexington/Fayette, KY

Nashville/Davidson, TN

Augusta/Richmond, GA

Columbus/Muscogee, GA

Athens/Clarke, GA

Jacksonville/Duval, FL

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I think it's easier to make a case for a city/county consolidation where one city (typically the county seat) clearly dominates its county. I think it would be hard for a county such as mine, where I live in the largest city in the county but it is not the county seat, to undergo a consolidation. Also, there is a high-growth suburban area in the northern end of the county located just outside Charlotte, NC. In my county's case, there would just be too many competing interests to successfully have a city/county consolidation.

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The City of Grand Rapids, MI and Kent County could make a good consolidated city/county as it would help solve the area's sprawl problem by enabling a more regional master plan. Also I think it would give the region a strounger political voice in the state capital as well. But charter townships here in Michigan seem to have way too much political power and would invoke that power to resist such an idea of annexation of consolidation.

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Yep. You know how Miami-Dade has two police forces? Miami Police is for the city limits, Miami-Dade police serves all the suburbs. New Orleans could consolidate all services with Orleans Parish. The only merger I don't think would work is Memphis & Shelby County. Memphis & Shelby County are like Hatfields & McCoys, folk in Shelby County don't want nothing to do with Memphis and so forth.
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There's been serious talk recently of The city of Pueblo and Pueblo County in Colorado merging, but it hasn't happened.

There was also a proposal about 5 years ago for Eastern El Paso County (the county Colorado Springs is in) to break away and form a new county. Western El Paso County is heavily populated and more politically moderate while Eastern El Paso County is extremely rural and populated by hard right conservatives. The cultural clash means Eastern El Paso County residents are often unhappy with the decisions made in Colorado Springs... I think Eastern El Paso County breaking away and the remainder of Western El Paso County and The City of Colorado Springs merging would be a splendid idea. It will never happen, of course... though the city and county do work very closely together as it is.

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There's been serious talk recently of The city of Pueblo and Pueblo County in Colorado merging, but it hasn't happened.

There was also a proposal about 5 years ago for Eastern El Paso County (the county Colorado Springs is in) to break away and form a new county. Western El Paso County is heavily populated and more politically moderate while Eastern El Paso County is extremely rural and populated by hard right conservatives. The cultural clash means Eastern El Paso County residents are often unhappy with the decisions made in Colorado Springs... I think Eastern El Paso County breaking away and the remainder of Western El Paso County and The City of Colorado Springs merging would be a splendid idea. It will never happen, of course... though the city and county do work very closely together as it is.

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I can't say I support the idea of amalgamating suburbs into central cities against their will. They've done this in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, and in New South Wales in Australia, with dubious results. Also, the residents in Ontario and Quebec that were subject to it protested loudly (and rightfully so) holding referendums to deamalgamate that were successful. The premiers of both Ontario and Quebec promised to uphold those deamalgamations, and to his credit, the latter premier actually kept his word.

Can't say I blame the suburbanites either for paying their taxes to desireable suburban communities. Central cities still get the revenue from businesses in the city limits that residents commute to work for.

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Yep. You know how Miami-Dade has two police forces? Miami Police is for the city limits, Miami-Dade police serves all the suburbs. New Orleans could consolidate all services with Orleans Parish. The only merger I don't think would work is Memphis & Shelby County. Memphis & Shelby County are like Hatfields & McCoys, folk in Shelby County don't want nothing to do with Memphis and so forth.
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