Archived

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

MJLO

Consolidation of Michigan Cities and Services

14 posts in this topic

There has been all this talk of Consolidating the way Michigan communities perform on a local level. Michigan has more forms of local government than most other states. This is definately an issue when it comes to the size of the government and how well it performs. We have in the recent past had discussions, on the disfunctionality that charter townships, and the accompanying NIMBYism that they bring to they bring to the state.

Will there be any significant consolidation of cities and services in Michigan? I think it could benefit the state on many levels. Re-aligning districts, services, and the like. But what does the Governor mean when she uses terms like "share software". Doesn't sound like much of anything to me. How would something like this work. Are the people talking about this stuff serious? Would we really see any sort of large scale reallignment of services in the state. Creating larger school districts, and larger cities. Or is what we are dealing with going to turn out to be fluff, and insignificant, not helping the advancement of the state, it's schools, and it's cities?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


But what does the Governor mean when she uses terms like "share software". Doesn't sound like much of anything to me. How would something like this work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's these smaller, practical things that count just as much as any larger plans. Another example is consolidating radio networks between police and fire departments in a particular metro area that would make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sharing computer software was just an example. The idea is that you consolidate, standardize on the same software, then take advantage/negotiate lower pricing per user since you are now buying at larger volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are you telling me we dont already use the same software township to township?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, not all of the time. For instance, until relatively recently, the city and township assessors offices in Metro Lansing weren't all using the same software for property look-ups and assessments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest consolidation seen would be in things like police and departments. More or less the same people would be patrolling the area just under the guise of a different entity. For instance instead of the City of Wyoming Police Department or the Kentwood Fire Department those areas might just be served by the Grand Rapid Metropolitan Police or Grand Rapids Metro Fire Dept. This is just a mere example.

The possibility of the same thing happening to school districts could really be the issue which gets people fired up though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like municipal reform is heating up. It's really a shame that this is going to be so contentious, but it's something long, long overdue, IMO, that even if its doesn't pass was worth the discussion. I can think of few other states west of the Eastcoast were cities and townships are so divided and where townships are given so much municipal power, almost on par with established, incorporated cities if we're talking charter townships:

Link

Townships fight push to merge

July 16, 2007

Gary Heinlein / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

LANSING -- Local officials are fighting state pressure to combine services, saying consolidation may actually bloat government costs, rather than shrink them.

Consolidation is being floated by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, House Speaker Andy Dillon and the House Democratic majority as part of their efforts to streamline government and save money. They are pushing legislation that could take the first steps toward combining school districts and restricting townships' authority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sounds to me like these people are more worried about losing their jobs or losing a measure of power than they are about the welfare of their respective regions or the state at large.

As long as it's done properly, of course consolidation and annexation will save money and reduce government. I think this is especially true if a majority of these townships choose to revert to county control.

It would be really great if the political powers that be could work out a deal whereas townships only have the choice to either revert entirely to county control or be annexed into existing municipalities (or even split the difference with different areas of the township). Otherwise, you'd likely see a substantial number of these townships just incorporating into cities themselves, which wouldn't do much to reduce the number of municipalities in the state.

Something proponents of consolidation could offer opponents would be a consolidation grace period wherein areas being annexed into cities would not see their taxes change for a certain period of time and after that, a phased integration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is completely understandable that these officials are worried about the reduction of power and/or merging of some townships. I can sympathize with them, but only so far.

Very interesting ideas. Yes, in most other states, the role of townships is greatly reduced with the county being king. If merging certain rural townships to streamline government sounds too scary for those that live in them, then perhaps a simple reduction in responsibility would be less scary.

In Ontario, for instance, they had a complete municipal reform that merged a lot of rural townships, and some even so much that they simply became county-equivalents. Perhaps, another idea, if one wants to effectively abolish township government would be allowed for the township boards to remain, but purely as ceremonial/advisory councils to the county board.

I mean, come on, look at Lansing Township:

667153016_9b53171621_o.gif

To be quite frank, it should have been merged with the neighboring municipalities long ago. Instead, it got charter status. Really, how backwards, counterproductive, and ridiculous is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is completely understandable that these officials are worried about the reduction of power and/or merging of some townships. I can sympathize with them, but only so far.

Very interesting ideas. Yes, in most other states, the role of townships is greatly reduced with the county being king. If merging certain rural townships to streamline government sounds too scary for those that live in them, then perhaps a simple reduction in responsibility would be less scary.

In Ontario, for instance, they had a complete municipal reform that merged a lot of rural townships, and some even so much that they simply became county-equivalents. Perhaps, another idea, if one wants to effectively abolish township government would be allowed for the township boards to remain, but purely as ceremonial/advisory councils to the county board.

I mean, come on, look at Lansing Township:

667153016_9b53171621_o.gif

To be quite frank, it should have been merged with the neighboring municipalities long ago. Instead, it got charter status. Really, how backwards, counterproductive, and ridiculous is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think an interesting way to end the Detroit vs. the suburbs would be to merge all the the governments of them together in a setup like they way that congress is setup. Initially the part that would be like the House of Representatives would be the the City Council level of government, and the Senate-like part would be made up of the county commissions set to the same amount of members per county.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see a truly capital city that included all of the former Lansing, Meridian and Delta Townships. If I dream really big, Delhi and Dewitt Townships would become Lansing also. The old townships would become historical names like Springwells and Greenfield in the Detroit area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.