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Old 08-05-2016, 11:44 AM
 
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Ex-senator pushes for merging counties | News | herald-dispatch.com

I've always been in favor of the State merging counties and creating a larger MSA and CSA.
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeros71 View Post
Ex-senator pushes for merging counties | News | herald-dispatch.com

I've always been in favor of the State merging counties and creating a larger MSA and CSA.
Boy this will raise a lot of questions and concerns. Something tells me that Putnam won't like merging with Cabell or Kanawha, let alone both.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:02 PM
 
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I think the Huntington-Charleston area would be much better served by it just being marketed as one metro area in terms of trying to attract economic development, tourism, etc. rather than merging three counties into one large government entity. Have representatives from each city and county within the area work as committees to do this job rather than having separate groups from each area promoting only their own town or county. The area has already grown into one good sized metro area, it is just not being marketed as such. Although I do feel that some of the smaller, more remote and cash strapped counties would benefit from consolidations of county services, school boards, etc., I think that Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha are all capable of supporting themselves as independent counties while working together with the others for the benefit of the entire area. I have just seen too many instances where those "in charge" in Kanawha County feel that everything must benefit Charleston to the detriment of anyone else. If we are truly to be one metro area, both the Charleston and Huntington airports need to be closed or adapted to other uses and a regional airport constructed. Charleston fought this idea recently and were not willing to give up Yeager in order to move the entire area forward. I feel that we would also need to close both the Big Sandy Arena and Charleston Civic Center and build a larger, nicer arena somewhere around Hurricane that would serve the entire area and be able to attract better conventions, concerts, etc. I am sure neither city would be willing to do that. Areas such as Lexington, KY where there is one central city and the surrounding areas that merge into one government make much more sense than trying to merge three counties and all the towns within those counties. Lets get the entire area working together for the betterment of the entire area, but the consolidation of the counties into one government is not the way to do it.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:06 PM
 
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Agree with the airport comments. I would not trust folks from Charleston. They have proven over and over that they aren't team players and it has cost this area greatly.

Disagree with the arena. Huntington/Marshall should built a top notch arena and put Charleston out of business.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:26 PM
 
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Combined government makes great sense, but bureaucrats will always try to protect their power in their little fiefdoms. Look at Steve Williams' comments in the HD story. He's generally a pretty progressive mayor, but this could threaten his power. Can't have that!
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by murox View Post
Combined government makes great sense, but bureaucrats will always try to protect their power in their little fiefdoms. Look at Steve Williams' comments in the HD story. He's generally a pretty progressive mayor, but this could threaten his power. Can't have that!
I "kind of" agree with this. Neither city will want to compete with the other more than they already do. The only way I see this happening is if each county takes half of Putnam. It would also have to be done in such a way that the new counties meet the qualifications to be considered apart of a single MSA.

Quote:
... any border county that has 25 percent of its workforce cross into the county is added to the MSA.
But like I said before, the suburbanites in Putnam won't be happy. They will see it as a way for their county taxes to go to Huntington or Charleston.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:30 PM
 
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Also, I think that we definitely should have a regional airport in Putnam somewhere. However, I don't think that we should shut down both airports. Those could be used by either private entities or maybe even the universities for some expanded or new programs, like aviation or aeronautical engineering.

Lastly, I'm not too sure about how Hunt-Char should deal with their respective arenas. I think they are competing with each other pretty well and having success. I do know that building an arena in Hurricane and trashing the other two makes zero sense.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Huntington, WV
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I think city-county mergers should be looked at and mastered first and then consider some kind of merger as suggested once the efficiency of those mergers can be better determined. Huntington and Charleston are already working together in many ways that benefit us. We are actually marketed together by tourism as the Metro Valley. The CSAs have also already been combined into one CSA. The MSAs however have not yet been combined and that combination would raise some funding questions. With regards to County-City mergers, when you look at the examples cited by Mr. McCabe, it was one city combining with the county that it already existed in. I think the prospect of combining 3 counties with 2 larger cities would bring about many issues.

I also question the timing of this being pushed now as Kanawha County and Charleston are losing population quite heavily while Cabell has had some slight gains and Huntington's yearly losses are miniscule with some occasional gains. Barring any large annexations, I would not be surprised to see Huntington pass Charleston in the 2020 Census. As stated by others, I would also be afraid that leaders in Charleston would make decisions that were damaging to the Huntington area in order to keep themselves afloat. One only has to look at the lack of a Regional Airport as mentioned. The leaders there didn't just think it was a bad idea, they actively sought it's destruction. Cabell and Putnam voted for bonds to support the airport but Kanawha voted theirs down. Here's a nice read on the topic: Welcome to the Huntington Quarterly Online

If power is consolidated in Charleston, I could see them making some decisions that would be harmful to Huntington. Even if Huntington is larger, I can't see the capitol city yielding power to another city. They would likely use the fact that they are the capitol as an excuse to have greater representation. If given the decisionmaking power, I could see them attempting to close Tri-State Airport and/or the Civic Arena here. This would send all of those customers there and increase their numbers while damaging our local business. Not to mention, what would this look like for Putnam County? Although it sounds great building all of this stuff in between, neither Huntington or Charleston are going to want to give up those things that help push the local economy. This would just further shift things to Putnam meaning wasted money on new infrastructure that is already developed in Huntington and Charleston.

All of this sounds like doom and gloom but these fears are based on past occurrences. There would be some potential positives but if they didn't come to fruition, it could spell trouble. If any of this would happen, there would have to be some serious fail safes put in to make sure things like what we've listed above couldn't happen. If there was equal representation on a council, this would be a good start. If there was also a funding formula put in place based on population, this would also be good. This way funding would remain in the areas that are larger with growth being rewarded. I'm still of the mind that city-county consolidations need to start first and then we can talk further mergers.

Last edited by tbailey1138; 08-05-2016 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:51 PM
 
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Here is a more on the topic:

Dear Huntington, the time for recreation is now - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:57 PM
 
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You know, I've always been a fan of annexations and municpal mergers. Those can be a nightmare with not many benefits other than, "we look bigger." I think this is a very similar situation.

Maybe I underestimate their stupidity, but would corporations really think that there is a difference because we changed where we draw our lines? I mean it's the same number of people either way you look at it. I feel like it just changes their Google search results.
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