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County Consolidation

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The ACCG (Association of County and City Governments of Georgia) has a standing policy to support the consolidation of some of Georgia's counties. Anecdotally, the legislature diminished the size of Georgia's counties so that the farmer traveling in horse drawn carriages could reach the county seat and get back home on the same day.

With 59,441 square miles, Georgia has 159 counties while Alabama has just 67 dividing up its 52,423 square miles. South Carolina has 31,189 with 46 counties while North Carolina has 100 counties and 48,710 sq. miles; Florida 58,560 and 67 counties; Tennessee 42,146 and 95 counties.

There are, in fact, 32 counties in Georgia with fewer than 10,000 in population. If Georgia just took the average land area per county of all of our neighbors, we would end up with just 91 counties. It's unlikely that any consolidation effort would reduce the number of counties by half. Yet, already a number of counties have consolidated the city and county government functions because the sizes of the cities within the counties no longer justified separate governments. The justification most proponents use is that it would save GE taxpayers overall by consolidating county 'front office' management functions, possibly better deals on bulk items like asphalt, etc. For example, the consolidated City-County Government of Columbus-Muscogee consistently ranks as in the top 3 least costly governments to operate of its size in the southeast. So some economies must be available by consolidating.

So, the question is, as Georgia's population continues to grow by double digits, should the legislature consider consolidating some of these counties? If so, how should it be accomplished?... by census, by historical boundaries? Or should we leave well enough alone, unless a county goes bankrupt?

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I totally agree about consolidating counties. There are just to many GA has more counties than any state in union except for Texas. Not only that, I support only having on public school system per county. That's a mandate in Florida as well.

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Unfortunately, the trend in this state seems to be MORE government entities/jurisdictions rather than less as we've seen several new cities created in metro Atlanta in the last few years. Add to that the continued drumbeat from some of those same people to add another county by splitting North Fulton into a separate county. Of course, some of those new cities' plans looked a lot better when we weren't in a recession and now they are finding things a little more challenging.

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If they can figure out how to do it equitably I think that county consolidation would be a good thing. Having 152 counties is just.... unnecessary in this day and age.

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I think that county consolidation in many counties throughout the state would be beneficial. Several counties come to mind. Greene and Taliffero could merge. Hancock and Putnam...and I'm sure there are countless counties in southern Georgia with populations less than 50,000 that could merge. Because of the rural nature of the counties, it's not like the cost of services would increase...but the duplication of county governments could save the local taxpayers money.

That's my thinking anyway....

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I doubt that it would be beneficial for many South Georgia counties to consolidate. There are a few clusters of small counties (in Southwest and CSRA), but mostly the counties in SG are very large. I do like living in a large county though and even though Bulloch is 685 sq miles, its county seat works very closely with the Commissioners and even neighboring communities. I can actually see Statesboro and Bulloch becoming a consolidated government in the future simply because many of the city and county agencies have already merged and work together for the overall good. If that does occur, the census would however, misrepresent the spatial population geography, only because the vast majority of the population are located in the county seat and its nearby bedroom community, Brooklet. I think Toombs and Montgomery could merge, and I also can see Bulloch and Candler merging (if merging were to happen), mainly because Candler was cut out of Southwestern Bulloch. Several of the counties between Macon and Augusta could merge, but Southeast Ga counties are too large to consider it.

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I doubt that it would be beneficial for many South Georgia counties to consolidate. There are a few clusters of small counties (in Southwest and CSRA), but mostly the counties in SG are very large. I do like living in a large county though and even though Bulloch is 685 sq miles, its county seat works very closely with the Commissioners and even neighboring communities. I can actually see Statesboro and Bulloch becoming a consolidated government in the future simply because many of the city and county agencies have already merged and work together for the overall good. If that does occur, the census would however, misrepresent the spatial population geography, only because the vast majority of the population are located in the county seat and its nearby bedroom community, Brooklet. I think Toombs and Montgomery could merge, and I also can see Bulloch and Candler merging (if merging were to happen), mainly because Candler was cut out of Southwestern Bulloch. Several of the counties between Macon and Augusta could merge, but Southeast Ga counties are too large to consider it.

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I totally agree about consolidating counties. There are just to many GA has more counties than any state in union except for Texas. Not only that, I support only having on public school system per county. That's a mandate in Florida as well.

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I disagree with that entirely! Why should taxpayers living in an unincorporated part of a county subject their children to typically poor performing "city schools"?

Let those who live in their own jurisdictions decide how their children should be taught!

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Lets keep this about county consolidation, not school district performance.

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Lets keep this about county consolidation, not school district performance.

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