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Old 02-02-2010, 01:56 PM
 
204 posts, read 299,859 times
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Mayor heartwell talks about the time is coming for a merger of kent county and the city of grand rapids. Me myself would love to see this happen it would make G.R. At least a half mill and put us into the next tier of cities.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:53 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,626,464 times
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I don't like it...

If Grand Rapids does that, it will "move up" without actually growing. What does that mean?

It means that any other city can do it too! The "move to a higher tier" will only be temporary. When everyone else catches on, Grand Rapids will be back where it started, relatively speaking. It would be kinda like inflation, only with city population rankings.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,748,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I don't like it...

If Grand Rapids does that, it will "move up" without actually growing. What does that mean?

It means that any other city can do it too! The "move to a higher tier" will only be temporary. When everyone else catches on, Grand Rapids will be back where it started, relatively speaking. It would be kinda like inflation, only with city population rankings.
Cities have been doing it all over the country for some time, by annexing surrounding cities and townships under their umbrella. Charlotte and Louisville, KY are great examples of "cities" that have nearly doubled in size geographically over the last 20 - 30 years, by annexation.

In fact, annexation is quite common everywhere BUT Michigan. We seem to have a fascination here in Michigan of having 150 governmental units per county.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Cumming, Georgia
808 posts, read 2,971,554 times
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I think back in the late 1980's to early 1990's, the city of Grand Rapids annexed a part of the GR Township in order to build the Knapp/Beltline Meijer store. That's the only thing that I can remember anything that got annexed around here.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,019,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
In fact, annexation is quite common everywhere BUT Michigan. We seem to have a fascination here in Michigan of having 150 governmental units per county.
I believe our state constitution protects those individual levels of government and prevents the annexation that you see elsewhere.

That would mean our fascination is historical in nature. We've had it this way for so long nobody knows it any other way anymore.

I'm not sure a full-county integration is even remotely realistic. I was surprised to hear Mayor Heartwell bring it up.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:06 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,626,464 times
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I think another factor is that the surrounding communities have a pretty strong sense of identity. I think places like Grandville, Wyoming, Jenison, Kentwood, etc, would actually put up a pretty big fight against something like that.

In a city like Charlotte that is overrun with transplants, it might be easier to pull off.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:04 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,019,063 times
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The whole "sense of identity" thing is more Michigan-specific too.
I have family in Dundas, Ontario. It's a cute little Rockford-esque town outside Hamilton, Ontario. It was annexed by Hamilton and never skipped a beat. It's still a cute little town, with its own schools, etc.

It's just that here in Michigan, I think "we have our own police, fire, city hall, and tax structure" is something people take much more seriously than other places.

Imagine for a second all the people that moved to Ada or Cascade to avoid city taxes. If you all of a sudden told them they were part of the city of Grand Rapids, it's not their "Cascade pride" that would cause them to explode, it's the fact that the city they sought to escape was now annexing them. This too, I believe, is a Michigan thing. We've had it this way for 150 years, so we're all just used to the status quo.
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