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Old 01-25-2009, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,642,338 times
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I think the small counties came about when travel was so difficult in the horseback days. You note that I did not say horse and buggy days, because during inclement weather it was impossible to get a buggy over some of these roads.
Personally I like the smaller counties. The classes are smaller, giving the teachers more time to interact with each student, the county seat is more accessable, it takes less time for the fire department, ambulance, and sheriff to reach each home.
In addition, smaller counties gives the citizens more control over the elected officials. The citizens are more apt to keep track of what the elected officials do and to vote them out of office if they-the citizens -do not like what the officials are doing. In areas of larger populations, it seems that the elected officials do not care so much what the voters want. In the areas with smaller populations they KNOW that we have a voice and we WILL use it come election day.

While combining counties may reduce costs, it will also reduce the quality of service. Personally, I don't like to stand in long lines to get my drivers license, pay my taxes, or pay my water bill. Also, these costs are paid by the county and go back to the county in the form of service.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Far Western KY
1,833 posts, read 5,754,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
While combining counties may reduce costs, it will also reduce the quality of service. Personally, I don't like to stand in long lines to get my drivers license, pay my taxes, or pay my water bill. Also, these costs are paid by the county and go back to the county in the form of service.
What quality of service?

How ofter do you get a your drivers license, one every 4 years? Pay taxes? Once a year? And nothing says you couldn't mail your water bill in, last most people do. I'm sorry but those reason are a bit on the "me first" side.

The reality is KY has to many counties, and not enough money pay for them and this is why the state has a $500 million budget short fall.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,395,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davart View Post
What quality of service?

How ofter do you get a your drivers license, one every 4 years? Pay taxes? Once a year? And nothing says you couldn't mail your water bill in, last most people do. I'm sorry but those reason are a bit on the "me first" side.

The reality is KY has to many counties, and not enough money pay for them and this is why the state has a $500 million budget short fall.
And how many is too many? Hmm? So we should have 86, 42, or 7 counties Davart? Why on earth does it matter how many counties exist in this state? Each county is different and the residents are pround of their counties and just taking an axe to certain counties would be, well dumb...
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:38 AM
 
Location: NOVA
4,521 posts, read 4,977,518 times
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Default Smallest county

Smallest county by population is Robertson (est. 2,200) and size is Gallatin with only 99 square miles.

Largest by population is Jefferson 693,000 and Pike county at 788 square miles. Who said you can get travel cross-county on horseback in a day?

NACo | Find a County (http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/state.cfm&statecode=ky - broken link)
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:00 AM
 
145 posts, read 458,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InLondon View Post
And how many is too many? Hmm? So we should have 86, 42, or 7 counties Davart? Why on earth does it matter how many counties exist in this state? Each county is different and the residents are pround of their counties and just taking an axe to certain counties would be, well dumb...
It matters how many counties we have because the more counties we have the more expensive it is to run them all and provide county services. A state the size of KY with 120 counties shows no financial logic at all. Florida, a huge state has drastically fewer counties. Not saying Florida is perfect but it just makes no sence. People may have county pride but they also have city and region pride that can take its place. In NKY most people could care less what their county is called they worry more about their cities and region. It is the only place other than louisville and lexington that when people are asked where they are from they will give a city and not a county. It drives me nuts when I ask someone where they are from and they tell me a county. It is hard to memorize 120 of them and that rarely helps me at all. Would you like some sweet tea?
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,395,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsonkk View Post
Smallest county by population is Robertson (est. 2,200) and size is Gallatin with only 99 square miles.

Largest by population is Jefferson 693,000 and Pike county at 788 square miles. Who said you can get travel cross-county on horseback in a day?

NACo | Find a County (http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/state.cfm&statecode=ky - broken link)
Not much of a difference but according to Census Bureau Home Page Jefferson County's population is 709,000.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:34 AM
SGT
 
14 posts, read 24,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
I think the small counties came about when travel was so difficult in the horseback days. You note that I did not say horse and buggy days, because during inclement weather it was impossible to get a buggy over some of these roads.
Personally I like the smaller counties. The classes are smaller, giving the teachers more time to interact with each student, the county seat is more accessable, it takes less time for the fire department, ambulance, and sheriff to reach each home.
First, you're no doubt correct about how our counties were formed, and in saying that, you make the first and best case for reconsideration--what would have taken half a day in travel 100 years ago, or a 1-2 hour trip 50 years ago (especially in Eastern Kentucky), is now a half-hour trip.

You appear to be stuck on the consolidation of schools as an issue. It is not, or at least, if someone else brought it up, that's not an intention in my mind.

Rather, cost savings would be realized as a matter of reducing the number of county school office personnel--one superintendent salary, insurance, and retirement instead of two, maintenance for one county office instead of two, and so on.

You still need "on-the-ground" service personnel, so reaction time for law enforcement, fire, and EMS would be no different. You still need sufficient clerk's office employees to handle licenses.

Rather, cost savings would be realized, again, at the top and in middle management positions.

Personally, I think it's difficult to make the case that there's a need for two judge-executives. I cannot prove it, but I feel confident that there also are cabinet offices in each county that do not field enough "business" to warrant two offices when there could be one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
In addition, smaller counties gives the citizens more control over the elected officials. The citizens are more apt to keep track of what the elected officials do and to vote them out of office if they-the citizens -do not like what the officials are doing. In areas of larger populations, it seems that the elected officials do not care so much what the voters want. In the areas with smaller populations they KNOW that we have a voice and we WILL use it come election day.
That sounds nice, but ask someone who lives in one of those counties and you'll find that decreased competition for political offices means politicians stay in office forever, and political corruption has that much more of a chance to breed below the radar... because Johnny Smith is a cousin of mine twice removed, and he's a good ol boy.

It's a stereotype borne of reality.

It's a free market thing. Larger county means a higher level of competition. There's a greater chance that the best will win out.

And let's not go overboard on thinking "large" county, as in, we're turning every county into another Jefferson or Fayette. One glance at the Judicial Districts map, and it's clear that this is mainly an exercise in joining counties that are rural so that they aren't as tiny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
While combining counties may reduce costs, it will also reduce the quality of service. Personally, I don't like to stand in long lines to get my drivers license, pay my taxes, or pay my water bill.
The only reduction in quality of service occurs if you are expecting service from top or middle management. For most of us, that's just not the case.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,395,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman1 View Post
It matters how many counties we have because the more counties we have the more expensive it is to run them all and provide county services. A state the size of KY with 120 counties shows no financial logic at all. Florida, a huge state has drastically fewer counties. Not saying Florida is perfect but it just makes no sence. People may have county pride but they also have city and region pride that can take its place. In NKY most people could care less what their county is called they worry more about their cities and region. It is the only place other than louisville and lexington that when people are asked where they are from they will give a city and not a county. It drives me nuts when I ask someone where they are from and they tell me a county. It is hard to memorize 120 of them and that rarely helps me at all. Would you like some sweet tea?
I never knew there was a perfect number of counties that a state should have. That's rather funny.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:53 AM
SGT
 
14 posts, read 24,755 times
Reputation: 12
Default ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by InLondon View Post
And how many is too many? Hmm? So we should have 86, 42, or 7 counties Davart? Why on earth does it matter how many counties exist in this state? Each county is different and the residents are pround of their counties and just taking an axe to certain counties would be, well dumb...
Begging your indulgence, since I'm not Davart...

1) How many is too many? Well, 120 is clearly too many... too many for a state of our population and land area and budget issues (and not just short-term).

As to how many we "should" have, if you don't like my proposal that county services be realigned by judicial districts (60 total), then I'd at least suggest that you consider the stats I provided earlier for states that are most like ours...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/kentu...ml#post7157449

2) Why on earth does it matter? It matters because most people like their government to run efficiently, and without taking any more from their hard-earned paycheck than necessary. If you aren't one of those, perhaps you could just sympathize with the rest for whom it does matter(?).

3) It's not necessarily a matter of taking an axe to the counties' names and boundaries (--though in this increasingly mobile world, "county pride" is, face it, increasingly an obsolete concept). In execution, it actually could work very similarly to, again, how the judicial districts work. Essentially, we're talking about consolidating services, and therefore, eliminating some top and middle management jobs at the county level, as well as those that are state-level that are county field offices. Some savings would also be rendered from a reduced need for some office space. Certain departments would be HQ-d in one county seat, while others might be HQ-d in another.

Last edited by SGT; 01-25-2009 at 10:57 AM.. Reason: Added URL
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,970 posts, read 12,385,235 times
Reputation: 29162
The Transportation Department considered combining counties for a while. Have three counties work out of one maintenance garage. Think about it though. Those of us in the counties shut down would have to drive to the other county, get our work orders, drive the equipment back to our home county, do the work, then drive it all back to the other county. How is that going to save? That's the same if you combine counties like you are talking about. Combine counties X,Y, and Z. County seat is in Z. Are you going to have the county workers from X and Y travel to Z then back to their counties to do the work, or are the workers from Z supposed to cover all the work in X and Y along with theirs? There's a lot of that to consider too. I'm not talking just road work, but your sheriff, ambulance, 911, etc.
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