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Readers: Consolidated Government Not Too Extreme To Consider

June 21, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy No Comments
Sign on Natural Btidge marks the city limits of Uplands Park, population 460

The St. Louis region is highly fractured — lots of units of government. From numerous counties in two states you have many municipalities within each. Plus school districts, sewer districts, etc.

We can look to Indianapolis’ 1969 Unigov for one example:

Unigov was neither a complete consolidation nor a perfect remedy. For example, it did not combine fire or police departments (the Marion County Sheriff and Indianapolis Police Departments merged in 2005), and it left intact the cities of Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway and Southport. By far the most notable omission was the schools.

The Indianapolis Public Schools Board had preferred a unified school district, but political reality of the time would not allow it. The IPS schools were predominantly black, the township schools mostly white. “To have included schools in Unigov would have raised the specter of racial integration . and would have meant instant death for the plan,” the Rev. Landrum Shields, IPS school board president, acknowledged at the time. (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)

Louisville Metro is another example of pros & cons. Since passing in 2000, some are still unhappy.


More than half the readers in the recent non-scientic Sunday Poll agree the consolidated government idea isn’t too extreme to consider:

Q: Agree or disagree: Agreements between St. Louis City & County or adding the city as one of many munis might be ok, but one big city-county is too extreme.

  • Strongly agree 6 [13.95%]
  • Agree 5 [11.63%]
  • Somewhat agree 5 [11.63%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 13 [30.23%]
  • Strongly disagree 14 [32.56%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Resistance to any change will likely be high.

— Steve Patterson



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