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Cities, County Mergers Complex but Cost-Effective: USA TODAY

Here’s a great follow up story to my MacRo Report Blog post and  Frederick News Post article of  May 16th Time to Lower Real Estate Taxes and Consolidate City, County Governments? 


Seems like other cities and counties are facing the realities that governmental jurisdictional mergers bring huge cost savings to taxpayers and also provide more efficiencies in bloated and outdated governance structures … which have lead to big budgets, entitlements and overspending.  

The author of this piece is Judy Keen, a veteran USA TODAY reporter, who also wrote last month “Cities consider selling water, sewer systems for cash“ … another very good piece to ponder.  I post her article from yesterday’s USA TODAY in its entirety here.  

I may be off a bit here, but I think that we have about 3,600 people for every elected official in Frederick County … that’s a lot of politicians …  do we really need all these ”Chiefs”  (who like tribal leaders generally don’t get along with other tribes, anyway) … maybe we should be taking a serious look at some merging for our “region”. 

By Judy KeenUSA TODAY … here are a few excerpts:

Strains on government budgets and demands for more efficiency are stirring new interest in merging cities with counties. 

Voters in Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., will decide in November whether to merge. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pa., are considering forming a single government. The idea has been discussed in Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, Wis.

“The economic situation is the reason a lot of jurisdictions are taking a look at this,” says Arnold Fleischmann, head of the political science department at Eastern Michigan University.

Combining operations is complex and controversial — especially if schools are affected — and often is rejected by voters concerned about higher taxes and reductions in services, he says. Cost savings aren’t always dramatic, he says, but “spending doesn’t grow as rapidly” in merged governments …

Mergers are possible in: Macon and Bibb County, Ga.,   Evansville and Vanderburgh County, Ind. , as well as Covington and Alleghany County, Va. … MORE

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