Monday, October 6, 2008

Consolidation Talk

Looks like members of the County Commission and the City Council will meet tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. in City Hall to hear what Memphis mayor Willie Herenton has to say about consolidation.

County mayor A C Wharton was initially scheduled to attend, but he will be in Nashville instead.

From an e-mail from Myron Lowery: "County Commission Chairman Deirdre Malone and City Council Chairman Myron Lowery both agreed to schedule this meeting and to invite all elected officials in Shelby County to attend. While we realize this is a short notice, this is the beginning of many conversations on this issue."

I'll be interested to hear what Herenton has to say this time around. I'm just reciting from memory, but he's already made the argument for functional consolidation and a consolidated school system in previous conversations and neither of those went anywhere ... Will he have a new take or fall back on old arguments?

And, not to get ahead of ourselves, but if the city surrenders its charter and Wharton has already reached his term-limit as county mayor, that would put local leadership (in which its wildly assumed that Wharton will run for city mayor and win) back in play.

Here are some of my previous takes on consolidation, as well, here and here.

I'm also expecting the suburban mayors to be out in full force, so it should be interesting.


Polar Donkey said...

I imagine Lowery and Malone are interested in consolidation since Lowery will be running for city mayor and Malone will be running for county mayor.

Save This MG said...

I'm all for consolidation. It seems ridiculous to me that I'm paying for two local governments. There are those who say that consolidation will not lower costs. I disagree. Regardless, we would see a more efficient way of doing business with the government if we only had to deal with one organization. It's time to make this happen. It's time to move beyond race and affluence (or the lack thereof) and take this step.

marycash said...

I'm all for efficiency and economies of scale ... but for me, one of the most defining factors of consolidation would be the acknowledgment that we're all in this together.

I get the sense sometimes that people hear about certain problems (say schools) and think, oh, well, that's in Memphis. I don't have to worry about it.

Or the opposite: Oh, people in the county don't have a good ambulance service? Too bad. Serves them right for living so far out.

But both things impact the taxpayer's bottom line and the region's overall success. And, omg, I'm starting to ramble. Sorry!