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Old 04-27-2008, 01:13 AM
3,281 posts, read 6,009,686 times
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Hey guys, I had a couple of questions about the Louisville-Jefferson county merger. People around Cleveland are talking about a similar type of merger (and so are other rust belt cities like Pittsburgh and Milwaukee) and a lot of times in articles supporting such mergers, Louisville is talked about as a successful case of city-county consolidation. I'm curious to hear what you guys, the citizens, think.

1) Somewhere I read that while Louisville did merge with surrounding municipalities, the suburbs were able to keep some autonomy. To what extent are these suburbs autonomous? Did they keep control of certain services, like fire/police? Or local councils? Recreation?

2) For the formerly suburban residents of municipalities that were not previously part of Louisville, have things gotten better? Have services improved? Have costs decreased (taxes)? Has the overall quality of life gotten better?

3) Has the merger improved the entire region as a whole?

4) All in all, would you support the merger again if you could do it all over?

Thanks in advance for your help, I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say. I'll also throw some follow up questions in your direction as they come to me in reading your responses.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:23 AM
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All i'd say is that it might have saved money but the politicians found new homes for that! Some townships inside the county still exist as tier 3 cities and they charge an extra tax to live in their surroundings. Overall, I haven't noticed too much of a diff!
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:45 AM
Location: Kentucky
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I don't see any changes where I am.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:01 PM
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
11,973 posts, read 24,276,499 times
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1) Louisville's system is just like Indianapolis where residents in suburban both vote for Metro mayor and Metro council while also continuing to maintain their own mayor, council, and police/ fire

2) The tax system hasn't changed at all because the old Lou. city limits is the Urban Service District (w/ higher taxes) and all suburban areas maintain their pre merger tax rates in the Suburban District. Most suburban areas still have no sidewalks or streetlights b/c of this.

There has been a lot of consolidation of services, such as one police department instead of two (not counting suburban cities that have their own police) and one EMS call center. There have also been projects to replace all faded street signs throughout the county and consolidate street services like patching potholes.

3) The areas that were already thriving pre-merger are continuing to thrive (namely Downtown and the East End) and vice versa (West/ South ends continue to struggle) Downtown and areas just to the East have seen a huge amount of recent growth, but I really doubt merger has anything to do with that.

4) Republicans in the suburbs defiantly would vote for it again b/c they are now 45% of Metro Council (compared to having NO voice in the old city only aldermen system)

Seriously, everyone would vote for it again b/c some has improved and nothing is worse b/c of merger
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:02 PM
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As a former Clevelander <waves hi!> I have been following this as well.

I'm curious because some things about Louisville were already shared with the county before the merge (the school system being the biggest one that comes to mind), and for the most part, if I'm not mistaken, Louisville was never made up all of the smaller townships and villages like Cuyahoga is - if you live in Cuyahoga, you also live within an existing city/township like Cleveland, Lakewood, Shaker, etc. Other than Jeffersontown and a few other independent "cities", I think that many areas outside of Louisville proper already relied on county services. I might be mistaken, so Louisvillians feel free to step in and correct!

It seems much more difficult for me to imagine how Cleveland and Cuyahoga could do a similar merge, especially considering the lack of any current county service plans. And how would the merge account for the large disparity between, say, Pepper Pike and Westlake vs East Cleveland and Bedford?

Maybe it is just me, but from what I've heard and experienced, there would be a big difference between the experience of Louisville and Jefferson Cty vs Cleveland and Cuyahoga given their drastic differences in their setups and the status of the independent cities before the merge.
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