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View Poll Results: Is it better to
Consolidate and streamline services 14 70.00%
Leave growth to develop in an organic manner, and never change original city limits 2 10.00%
Abolish municipalities in general 2 10.00%
Many smaller municipalities function better 3 15.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 02-19-2018, 10:04 AM
 
612 posts, read 435,982 times
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There have been quite a few famous consolidations:

Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge...

What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of consolidations?

Cities such as Nashville and Kansas City has credited consolidation with reduction in taxes while improving services and amenities and eliminating duplicity.

Harris County, Texas for example is an example of strains that occur with fractured implementation of services.
The County is nearing 5 million people for which it provides road services. Counties in Texas are unable to levy sales tax. That role is left to municipalities. Problem is as of 2016 over 2 million people reside in unincorporated Harris County. On the reverse side the City of Houston provides municipal services such as courts and transportation to the county residents.

A similar dynamic occurs in Miami Dade.

I know people on here always beleaguer inflated city limits as a means of boosting city importance and seen as unimportant, however, city limits are very important in terms of municipal budgets and how services are provided.

Another interesting aspect of consolidation that I read about this hurricane season is urban development. Harris county was inundated by hurricane Harvey which flooded hundreds of thousands of homes in Harris county. I read that although consolidation will increase the city's total land area, it may decrease the city's effective land area. Many have attributed some of the harm to paving over the western and north west prairie areas of the county In unincorporated Katy and Cypress. The argument is that a concolidated government would be able to direct growth, revert areas back to water absorbing prairie, and creating defacto physical barrier's to sprawl. They argue that this would promote a more dense built environment which would lead to improved transportation and a more urban form.

What is everyone's thoughts on consolidations? I know it's complicated because rules vary by state and county size change the fundamentals greatly.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:28 AM
 
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I think it is good in terms of reducing taxes for homeowners.

On the flip side, there may be an impact on representation.

With this said, there many ways to consolidate and some do it via school districting, as an example.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
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It's a tough question with no easy answer.

On one hand, city-county consolidations allow for a city to be much more financially secure. Particularly if there is undeveloped land within the new city boundaries, it basically allows the city to capture the growth of the metropolitan region, making up for any decline in the core.

However, if too many neighborhoods which are functionally suburban are within the expanded city, this means that the city becomes dominated by...well...suburban interests. Indianapolis had this dynamic up until roughly the turn of the millennium, with Republican "suburbs in the city" controlling local government, and thus having free reign to decide on downtown revitalization projects which served their interests (e.g, more offices for commuters and sports stadiums instead of affordable housing). Another example outside of the U.S. is Toronto, where now deceased former mayor Rob Ford began removing bike lanes when he was elected mayor by a "suburban" coalition in the outer neighborhoods of Toronto.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:24 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,481 posts, read 2,223,791 times
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A city/county merger is something that St. Louis desperately needs. The city is independent and is not apart of St. Louis County. St. Louis County, meanwhile, has a million people and 90 municipalities. A third of those municipalities are only 0.5 sq miles in area or less, most containing a few hundred people at best. It's insanity.

A merged city and county, and a county with substantially less municipalities, would let St. Louis compete nationally with far less fractured regions by creating a unified front (rather than the current one that's St. Louis v County/Clayton), reduce redundant services, and give the city of St. Louis greater tax ability to fight crime.

The trouble is that we will never see this happen. The kings of the respective ant hills in the county will never allow for it. The best case scenario that St. Louis can probably hope for is the city being allowed to reenter the county as yet another municipality.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:46 AM
 
612 posts, read 435,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think it is good in terms of reducing taxes for homeowners.

On the flip side, there may be an impact on representation.

With this said, there many ways to consolidate and some do it via school districting, as an example.
When you say representation, do you mean having lots of suburban voters diluting City voters like eschalon was explaining? That would be a concern for many ( such as downtown revitalization) but not All issues. In some areas bike lanes are implemented by districts rather than the City as a whole.

I'm very interested in the opinions on Wayne county MI and Allegheny county PA.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:24 PM
 
1,593 posts, read 832,249 times
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Boston would be difficult since it wouldn't just be city-county consolidation.

Suffolk County
Boston
Chelsea
Revere
Winthrop

Middlesex County (Cities that would make sense)
Cambridge
Somerville
Medford
Malden
Everett

Norfolk County
Brookline - Already rejected annexation by Boston in 1874

There has to be city to city governmental redundancy in the cities north of Boston, they're all less than 10 sq miles. Even the cities North of Boston just consolidated among themselves into 1 or 2 cities it would probably make more sense.
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Very tough question. Most people with a bit of knowledge of Jax's history blame consolidation for our sprawling mess and lack of vibrant downtown, but really it is a never ending debate amongst the experts. The decades of decline in Jax's urban core coincided with consolidation, however it was also in line with white flight, the rise of the automobile, interstates dividing urban neighborhoods, the end of the streetcar, etc so hard to say absolutely.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:24 PM
 
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Jax like every other post automobile city would have sprawled despite consolidation.


General I thought Boston had undergone done consolidation in the past?
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:35 PM
 
56,563 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atadytic19 View Post
When you say representation, do you mean having lots of suburban voters diluting City voters like eschalon was explaining? That would be a concern for many ( such as downtown revitalization) but not All issues. In some areas bike lanes are implemented by districts rather than the City as a whole.

I'm very interested in the opinions on Wayne county MI and Allegheny county PA.
Not just that, but in some cases, from a demographic standpoint as well.

I also think that it depends on what you consolidate. For instance, in NY State, school taxes make up the largest portion of property taxes. So, in that case, school district consolidation is something that should be considered.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:12 PM
 
1,593 posts, read 832,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atadytic19 View Post
Jax like every other post automobile city would have sprawled despite consolidation.


General I thought Boston had undergone done consolidation in the past?
No it did a lot of annexing in the 1800's through 1912, but never a city county consolidation. Even if one was done, there's only three towns left in Suffolk County (Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop) and they are only have 83,000 people over 10 square miles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...phic_expansion
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