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mitchella81

Consolidations in Georgia

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I was just wondering how people feel in General about the growing number of City-County Consilidated Goverments in the state of Georgia. They just seem to continue to pop up. As of right now the state maybe getting it's fifth consolidated goverment with the consildiation of Preston-Webster County.

Existing Consolidations in State of Georgia

Columbus-Muscogee County

Augusta- Richmond County

Athens- Clarke County

Cussetta- Chattahochee County

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I was just wondering how people feel in General about the growing number of City-County Consilidated Goverments in the state of Georgia. They just seem to continue to pop up. As of right now the state maybe getting it's fifth consolidated goverment with the consildiation of Preston-Webster County.

Existing Consolidations in State of Georgia

Columbus-Muscogee County

Augusta- Richmond County

Athens- Clarke County

Cussetta- Chattahochee County

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I think this is good for cities and counties, I wish Macon and Bibb county would fully Consolidate...

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Savannah & Chatham County have consolidated their police, and many other public services, but I'd hate to see the two consolidate fully. There's way too large of an "issue" gap as far as what truly matters between the typical Savannah & Chatham County resident. if anything, it would probably lead to an even larger exodus to Effingham & Bryan Counties.

I would advocate, however, that the public schools here be "de-consolidated", and allow Savannah & Chatham Counties to have their own school districts. I think this may draw people back in to Chatham, as the better public schools are already there. I guess I see no need to drag down decent schools by linking them to the deplorable city schools.

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Savannah & Chatham County have consolidated their police, and many other public services, but I'd hate to see the two consolidate fully. There's way too large of an "issue" gap as far as what truly matters between the typical Savannah & Chatham County resident. if anything, it would probably lead to an even larger exodus to Effingham & Bryan Counties.

I would advocate, however, that the public schools here be "de-consolidated", and allow Savannah & Chatham Counties to have their own school districts. I think this may draw people back in to Chatham, as the better public schools are already there. I guess I see no need to drag down decent schools by linking them to the deplorable city schools.

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It has it's negatives and positives but overall I think it's beneficial..as long as the leaders can work together adn think about what benefits the whole county and not just their particular districts.

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It has it's negatives and positives but overall I think it's beneficial..as long as the leaders can work together adn think about what benefits the whole county and not just their particular districts.

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Could you eleborate a little more about the positives and negatives?

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I was just wondering how people feel in General about the growing number of City-County Consilidated Goverments in the state of Georgia. They just seem to continue to pop up. As of right now the state maybe getting it's fifth consolidated goverment with the consildiation of Preston-Webster County.

Existing Consolidations in State of Georgia

Columbus-Muscogee County

Augusta- Richmond County

Athens- Clarke County

Cussetta- Chattahochee County

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I would like to see county-county consolidations occur in rural Georgia rather than city-county consolidations such as Preston-Webster and Cusetta-Chattahoochee. I think this is a short term solution for thinly populated areas to preserve their identities, though Cusetta-Chattahoochee may benefit from BRAC at Fort Benning.

City-County consolidations seem to be better suited for cities, whether large or small. Georgia's small county size often means most cities over 20k could easily consolidate with the county. I think Macon-Bibb is the best bet for a city-county merger. From 1970 to 2000 Macon declined from 122k to 97k while Bibb slowly grew from 143k to 153k, meaning unincorporated Bibb actually grew from 21k to 55k. Also, neighboring Houston County grew from 63k to 111k during the same time frame, making Houston a rival to Bibb and the most recent estimates place Houston at over 127k compared to Bibb at 155k. Macon/Bibb have had more economic growth than the numbers suggest, but the neighboring counties have seen bigger population gains.

Other merger proposals that have floated in Georgia include Griffin-Spalding Co., Conyers-Rockdale and Dalton-Whitfield. I have never heard of any Albany-Doughtery merger proposals, but it seems to be a logical candidate moreso than the above three. Georgia's large unincorporated populations in several suburban counties have resulted in proposals of incorporating the counties as cities or incorporating unincorporated areas into cities. Creating new cities seems to have emerged as the choice for Fulton County while creating cities of Cobb, DeKalb and Columbia have been proposed. A big incentive for the creation of these new cities out of counties, counties can't collect franchise fees from utilties, but cities can, as well as often improve fire ratings for homeowner's insurance and police departments having powers that county sheriffs departments lack. Also, the separate county and city government systems often mean that the county systems lose valuable tax collections from industry and retail to the city as they tend to either be in incorporated areas or be annexed while the counties must provide education and services to the bulk of the population. Creating a new city out of the balance of an unincorporated couty's territory at least wouldn't result in the "Balkanization" of local government that seems to be the fate of Fulton County.

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Other merger proposals that have floated in Georgia include Griffin-Spalding Co., Conyers-Rockdale and Dalton-Whitfield. I have never heard of any Albany-Doughtery merger proposals, but it seems to be a logical candidate moreso than the above three. Georgia's large unincorporated populations in several suburban counties have resulted in proposals of incorporating the counties as cities or incorporating unincorporated areas into cities. Creating new cities seems to have emerged as the choice for Fulton County while creating cities of Cobb, DeKalb and Columbia have been proposed. A big incentive for the creation of these new cities out of counties, counties can't collect franchise fees from utilties, but cities can, as well as often improve fire ratings for homeowner's insurance and police departments having powers that county sheriffs departments lack. Also, the separate county and city government systems often mean that the county systems lose valuable tax collections from industry and retail to the city as they tend to either be in incorporated areas or be annexed while the counties must provide education and services to the bulk of the population. Creating a new city out of the balance of an unincorporated couty's territory at least wouldn't result in the "Balkanization" of local government that seems to be the fate of Fulton County.

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Check the thread The Consolidated City and County. Some months ago, I posted a list - a grad student from U of Pittsburgh did a study, which included a list of every consolidation proposal 1900-2006 that came to a vote, noting which ones passed and which ones didn't. A few of the Georgia proposals you mention pop up in the list:

1933 Macon/Bibb County, Georgia Fail

1954 Albany/Dougherty County, Georgia Fail

1960 Macon/Bibb County, Georgia Fail

1962 Columbus/Muscogee County, Georgia Fail

1969 Athens/Clarke County, Georgia Fail

1969 Brunswick/Glynn County, Georgia Fail

1970 Columbus/Muscogee County, Georgia Pass

1972 Athens/Clarke County, Georgia Fail

1973 Savannah/Chatham County, Georgia Fail

1974 Augusta/Richmond County, Georgia Fail

1976 Augusta/Richmond County, Georgia Fail

1982 Athens/Clarke County, Georgia Fail

1987 Brunswick/Glynn County, Georgia Fail

1988 Augusta/Richmond Georgia *

1991 Conyers/Rockdale County, Georgia Fail

1990 Athens/Clarke County, Georgia Pass

1991 Griffin/Spalding Spalding County, Georgia Fail

1994 Douglasville/Douglas County, Georgia Fail

1994 Metter/Candler County, Georgia Fail

1995 Augusta/Richmond County, Georgia Pass

1997 Griffin/Spalding County, Georgia Fail

1999 Hawkinsville, Pulaski County, Georgia Fail

2003 Cusseta/Chattahoochee County, Georgia Pass

2004 Georgetown/Quitman County, Georgia Pass

* Referendum passed but was blocked by Justice Deparment.

The loose trend you see in Georgia holds true elsewhere as well - most of the approved consolidations were only passed after multiple attempts - in several cities (Nashville, Jacksonville, Anchorage, Butte and many others) the initial push towards consolidation was voted down, only to be approved years (or decades) later.

There are a number of interesting others across the south (Miami, Tampa, Pensacola, Memphis, Charlotte, Durham, Columbia, Wilmington, Roanoke, Richmond) which have come to votes at least once and have - thus far - been defeated.

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Hum thats very intresting nearly every consilidation in the state failed at least once. I guess the old saying if you don't succeed at first try try again. Any Idea why the justice department blocked the 1988 Augusta-Richmond consolidation?

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I would like to see county-county consolidations occur in rural Georgia rather than city-county consolidations such as Preston-Webster and Cusetta-Chattahoochee. I think this is a short term solution for thinly populated areas to preserve their identities, though Cusetta-Chattahoochee may benefit from BRAC at Fort Benning.

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I could not agree more. Some of Georgia's counties are ridiculously small and sparsley populated to boot.

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