Talk:Consolidated city-county

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Potential merger[edit]

I am inclined to remove the section regarding the "potential" merger of Johnson County and Wyandotte County. Being a resident of the area, the comment and proposal brought forth by the individual legislator was bogus from the start and received no support in legislative session. It is a dead issue. Canby (talk) 22:01, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I do not think New York City belongs here. It is a special case. The "counties"/boroughs do not serve the same function as others in the state. Besides, there are 5 counties, not just one. Brooklyn Nellie (Nricardo) 01:36, Apr 28, 2004 (UTC)

Washington, D.C.[edit]

At one time Washington was not considered one and the same as the district - Alexandria and Georgetown were their own separate jurisdictions within the District of Columbia. I'm not sure if they would fit the scope of this article but they do present an interesting case that might be considered pertinent to the discussion.68.227.219.145 (talk) 04:34, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Limitations of Consolidation[edit]

The fact that a consolidation is incomplete or imperfect should not preclude listing here as some would seem to think. Taking Nasvhille, Tennessee, as an example because it is the one with which I am most familiar, there has been surprisingly little actual consolidation. Even after two rounds of amendments to the state constitution, Nashville, which is the only city of any size in Tennessee to go this route, still has many features that seem anomalous but are apparently actually contemplated by the system There are, as noted, six jurisdictions within Davidson County which remain as municipalities. Their relationship with the consolidated government is essentially analgous to that of any town in any other county that is not the county seat of that county. Also, the only offices that are truly "metropolitan" are that of the "metropolitan county mayor" and the "metropolitan county council". These offices are elected in a non-partisan manner in odd-numbered years. Other elective offices such as county clerk, trustee, criminal court clerk, assessor of property and the like are still elected in a partisan fashion at the same time as other elections in even-numbered years; technically they are still "Davidson County" offices and not "Metro" offices at all. The biggest factor is that there is no longer a City of Nashville municipal government. Rlquall 18:19, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Trying to classify Miami and Miami-Dade County: a special case[edit]

Venting session[edit]

Okay, enough of the "edit war". I don't live in Miami and don't pretend to know the answer, but someone does. I've heard of "Metro Dade" almost all of my life. I think that it is more than just a nickname. However, here is what I would purpose. If there is still a governmental entity known as the "City of Miami" separate from "Dade County", then I would agree that it doesn't belong here. If there is not, then it does, even if there are lots of little municipalites within Dade Co. that are technically not part of it. In other words, if one can pay both Dade County property taxes and a separate bill for City of Miami property taxes then they aren't consolidated. If one cannot, then they are consolidated regardless of whether every other little municipality (i.e. Miami Beach) is on board or not. Rlquall 20:54, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Looks like it isn't. See [1] Rmhermen 21:31, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Apparently, from my visit to the web site, what I seem to discern is that there are thirty lesser municipalites within Dade County, but that the current Miami-Dade government is the successor to the former Dade County government and the former City of Miami government. This would seem to meet the criteria for "consolidated city-county" to me. I would like for an actual resident to verify this, but it seems to me that our persistent anonymous editor must be in error, even if he does live there, which leads me to the conclusion that he is either a renter or his property taxes are paid in escrow (people who write a check for their own property taxes every year almost always know who to make it out to).

Rlquall 22:31, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No the website says the county changed it name in 1997 -it does not say that the county merged with the city at any time. Rmhermen 12:53, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Clarification[edit]

The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County do not operate under a consolidated government. Miami-Dade County is more correctly termed a "two-tier federation", the only county of its kind in the nation.

Residents who live in unincorporated areas are part of UMSA (Unincorporated Municipal Services Area). They receive all their services from the County. Residents in incorporated areas receive some services from their city, and some from the County.

In Miami, the County reigns supreme. The County is a body with city-like powers (this power is so unique in Florida that some Florida statutes that pertain to cities include a clause that states Miami-Dade County is a city "for purposes of this statute"). In some cases its jurisdiction supercedes that of cities, especially in issues that are of a countywide nature. It is the largest government in the southeast, operates the largest police and fire-rescue departments in the southeast, the nation's second-largest hospital, etc. The Mayor of Miami-Dade County wields much more power than the City of Miami Mayor.

City of Miami[edit]

  • Miami is a municipal corporation incorporated in 1896. The Mayor of Miami as of 2004 is Manny Diaz.
  • Its website is http://www.ci.miami.fl.us
  • The Police Chief of the Miami Police Department (http://www.miami-police.org ) is John Timoney as of 2004. In Florida, city police vehicles are generally white with blue trim and lettering. Miami's police vehicles display the City seal (in blue) on the front doors.
  • In the early late 1990s, the City of Miami was on the verge of bankruptcy, it had junk bond status, and a referendum was held in 1997 for City voters to decide if the city should be abolished. The vote was a resounding No. Municipal services in the newly disincorporated area would have been assumed by Miami-Dade County. This would not have been consolidation, since Miami would no longer have existed as a corporate entity. The City's rating has since recovered and it is now operating in the black.

Miami-Dade County[edit]

  • Dade County was created by the Florida legislature in 1836.
  • Its website is http://www.miamidade.gov
  • Florida counties are constitutionally weak; they are arms of the State government designed to provide state services (law enforcement, court system, jails, elections, schools, tax collection, etc.) at the local level. Counties cannot exercise power that is not expressly granted to them by state law. An example is the creation of special taxing districts, like library and fire rescue districts -- it would require an act of the legislature to create these (or incorporation, which requires approval from the legislature as well). County Commissions are limited to five members elected from specific districts (but elected at large by the county electorate). In 1957 this model was not working for a growing Dade County. Tax base was uneven, services among cities were inconsistent, mass migration was occurring in unincorporated areas.

Florida voters amended the state constitution to allow Dade County to creates its own home rule charter, allowing the people of Dade County to rule themselves and delegate more local control to the County Commission. Dade's voters elected a metropolitan government, a compromise between status quo and total consolidation. The new charter allowed the county to expand the size of the commission (currently 13) to members elected from their own districts, create special taxing districts (such as library districts) without an act of the Legislature, etc. Its name as it appeared on its letterhead was "Metropolitan Dade County" until 1997. Its corporate brand and d.b.a. name was Metro-Dade.

  • Dade County is the only Florida county that does not have an elected sheriff (position is appointed by the County Mayor); it's also the only county whose law enforcement agency is not referred to as a sheriff's office. Before 1997 it was the Metro-Dade Police Department, and today it's the Miami-Dade Police Department (http://www.mdpd.com ). The title of the head of the MDPD is Metropolitan Police Director (or Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department), a position currently held by Robert Parker.
  • MDPD vehicles are white with green trim and lettering. The sides contain the words "MIAMI-DADE POLICE" with a large insignia on the side.
  • Miami and Miami-Dade have distinct Fire-Rescue departments. Miami-Dade's fire engines and ambulances are lime green and display the words "MIAMI-DADE FIRE-RESCUE"; Miami's fire engines and ambulances are the traditional red and read "CITY OF MIAMI FIRE-RESCUE".
  • All elected State constitutional offices of an administrative nature (Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections) became appointed professional positions and were reorganized under the reporting structure of the County Manager's office.
  • Miami-Dade provides water and sewer services to the majority of the county. Some municipalities have their own utility.
  • Miami-Dade County oversees transportation services. It operates the countywide public transit system, as well as Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami seaport.
  • Miami-Dade County's Public Health Trust owns and operates Jackson Memorial Hospital, the area's public hospital. It's also responsible for social services (public housing, homeless services, etc.), and consumer protection.
  • Miami-Dade County operates the countywide traffic signaling system.
  • Miami-Dade County operates a countywide public library system, as well as an extensive system of parks (including the renowned Miami Metrozoo) and cultural centers. Some cities (including Miami) have their own city-maintained parks as well.
  • Miami-Dade County is responsible for emergency management operations (hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc.), disaster recovery, etc.
  • 1996 marked the election of the County's first Executive Mayor, Alex Penelas. Most Florida counties do not have a county executive as a single point of contact to represent the county. This usually leads to turf wars between the County Commission (a de facto legislative/executive body) and the Sheriff.
  • Because Miami has such international name recognition, the voters of Dade County chose to change the name of Dade County to Miami-Dade County. This hyphenated name was already being used for other agencies, i.e., Miami-Dade Public Library, Miami-Dade Community College, etc.

Paying local taxes[edit]

  • In Florida, property taxes are collected by a single County Tax Collector (a county Property Appraiser also assesses ad valorem taxes). Residents living in an incorporated area (like the City of Miami) will see both city and county tax line items on their bill. People who live in unincorporated area see an UMSA line in lieu of a city line and pay UMSA tax. Everyone in Dade makes the check payable to "Miami-Dade Tax Collector".

Resolution - Miami[edit]

Someone did a great job on this. (Wish they'd signed it, or would come back and do so.) Apparently, Miami is a unique case. This is so good that I would say that the bulk of it should either be incorporated into the Miami, Florida article or, probably even better, made into a linked Government of Miami-Dade County, Florida article.

I'm still wondering if in all of the lesser municipalities it is possible to make one check out for property tax purposes. Here in Tennessee, the county generates all tax notices, on behalf of itself and all municipalities within its borders, but it then falls upon the municipality to collect and apply them, and to make the county enforce them in the event of non-payment. I suppose that this always seemed illogical to me – the county courthouse seems to be crawling with employees who know how to do this sort of work, or should; tiny little towns with one or two clerical employees do not (whether such towns should even exist at all in the 21st century is a topic for a different rant at a different time and place). If Florida, or any of its juridictions, can do it better, it's something that we need to emulate. As the writer says about Florida, counties in Tennessee are likewise essentailly creatures of the state, with only the powers that the state choses to delegate to them. They have the option of adopting home rule, but few do so. So do municipalities, which has led to a system where some towns of under 1500 people have home rule and some of over 25,000 do not. This isn't the place for it, but since I don't know where is, I'll bring it up. Are there states in which the counties have lots of powers in their own right. In the only states that I have any familiarity with in regard to government, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama, the counties are mostly suboridnate subdivisions of the state with very narrowly-limited and defined powers. I understand that in some northeastern states that the counties are now primarily of historical interest and basicly census units almost like the historical English counties. I'd like some enlightenment on that, too.

Rlquall 14:02, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your wonderful comments... they encouraged me to register and acknowledge my work.

To answer your tax collection question, in Florida the county Property Appraiser assesses value and the Tax Collector collects taxes and distributes funds to each taxing authority (county, city, school board, water management district [flood control], etc.), regardless of their place of residence. Each taxing authority sets the millage rates. Any liens placed on property by the jurisdictions are reported to the county for collection.

--Monstrocity 09:12, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for checking back. Sounds like the methods in Florida are apparently like those in Tennessee. One justification for this could be that we have serveral municipalities that overlap into two counties (I think that two of them acutally extend into three.)

Please consider elevaing and relocating your comments into a Government of Miami-Dade Florida article. Thanks. Rlquall 12:44, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm... I wonder if Miami-Dade qualifies as a consolidated city-county, seperate from the City of Miami, Miami Beach, etc.? So, in other words, the model is similar to that of Indianapolis, but in this case the core cities are actually outside the consolidation? -- SwissCelt 16:49, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Landshut[edit]

I do not understand why Landshut is mentioned as an example here. To my knowledge, it has the status of a Kreisfreie Stadt, and is the seat of the administration of the surrounding district (Landkreis), to which it does not belong. The German and the English Wikipedia, and the town's and district's websites say so. This is a quite normal construction in the administrative structure of Germany. If no convincing reasons are added to the article, I will remove Landshut from it. --zeno 16:38, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Other uses of "metropolitan government"[edit]

It's not the most common use, but metropolitan government as applied in central Arkansas—for now—applies to what largely is an advisory council comprised of representatives from various city and county governments. This organization, Metroplan, serves mostly to guide the region in matters of transportation development and environmental quality regulation. A limited amount of people in Little Rock have voiced support for an eventual consolidated city-county arrangement with Pulaski County, independent of the work that Metroplan currently does for a four-county region.

I'm not sure how many other such organizations exist throughout the United States, as well as around the world. But it seems there would be more than one in existence, with some possibly having more authority than Metroplan. For this reason, I'd suggest metropolitan government to remain a separate article from consolidated city-county.—ArkansasTraveler 18:42, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Changed the tense on the proposed list to past tense[edit]

All of these to my knowlege were proposed and either died in commitee or rejected by the voters with the possible exception of Atlanta - Fulton County. Every item on this list needs a year proposed, last known status and date, and a source cited. Joncnunn 18:24, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Atlanta - Fulton County[edit]

It appears that right now in Fulton County, Georgia, the opposite of consolidation is going on based on current news reports. Communities are drawing plans to incorporate into new cities while existing cities are drawing major annexation plans. The context seems that no community wants to be in the last community still in unincorporated Fulton County. Perhaps someone from that area could spread light on this. Joncnunn 18:56, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes. While there is a Republican majority in the Georgia legislature, no bill will pass that gives any more territory or power to the City of Atlanta. It's a political stymie - suburban Republicans against Atlanta Democrats. Thus, I dropped this from the main article:
Hope this helps. Ellsworth 16:15, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

San Francisco[edit]

I added the note "(city established before county's creation). This quotation from the Wikipedia article on the history of San Francisco:

"The City of San Francisco was the seat of the County of San Francisco from 1849 to 1856. Because the population of San Francisco City was so disproprotionate to the rest of San Francisco County, the State of California decided to divide the county. A straight line was drawn across the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula just north of San Bruno Mountain. Everything south of the line became the new County of San Mateo, seated at Redwood City, while everything north of the line became part of the new consolidated City-County of San Francisco - California's first and, to date, only metropolitan municipality."

Although I've never seen a map that verifies this, it's clear that the "original" city of 1849-1856 was significantly smaller in land area than today's City and County of San Francisco. Ldemery 01:03, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Recent Florida consolidation talk in Alachua and Orange Counties[edit]

Within the last few years, the Gainesville Sun and the Orlando Sentinel have mentioned quite a bit about consolidation in Alachua County and Orange County, respectively. I posted the link to a study commissioned by the Orange County/City of Orlando Consolidation Committee. The report was issued in September, and it appears things are moving quite rapidly towards full consolidation. With Alachua County/Gainesville, I could use some help finding references about the proposed unification. As recent as the last election, the elected Sheriff ran on a ticket that supported unification. Unlike Orange County/Orlando, I don't believe consolidation has progressed beyond talk. There are a few articles I recall reading on the subject in both the Alligator (UF's student newspaper) and Gainesville Sun, but I'm not sure if it looks definite enough to warrant inclusion in the article. Perhaps someone else could shed some light. 70.171.49.37 08:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Chris

Incorrect Title/Redirect[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move Consolidated city-county to Metropolitan government. However, there may be support for creating a different article at Metropolitan government or changing the target of its redirect. Dekimasuよ! 05:43, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


I do not believe that the redirect from metropolitan government as a Consolidated city-county is a type of metropolitan government. I believe that this page should be moved to, or split into metropolitan government.

The current title makes this form of government seem more exclusive than it is. Especially the part about it being exclusive to America. There are metropolitan governments in Canada, specifically Toronto. The page should be expanded to show that metropolitan governments are not exclusive to America, and that they can be in more forms than just City-County. --Bballoakie t/c 09:07, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

How about just create a new and more globally appropriate article under "metropolitan government", replacing the existing redirect. There are definitely other cases of this, most notably Greater London and Tokyo. You can put a link to "consolidated city-county" as a specific implementation in the U.S. --Polaron | Talk 01:28, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

confusing?[edit]

"Wyandotte County, Kansas, uses the term "unified government" to refer to its consolidation with Kansas City, Kansas, and most of the towns within the county boundaries in which some cities and towns remain separate jurisdictions within the county." what?64.129.127.5 (talk) 15:26, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Nashville[edit]

What are the "seven" communities said to retain municipal governments? I count six:

What am I missing?

75.201.209.12 (talk) 15:23, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Geographic concentration[edit]

> "The Midwest and upper south have the highest concentration of large consolidated city–county governments in the United States ..."

  • Five Six are now listed including two in Kentucky and two in neighboring states, Indiana and Tennessee. How many of that size (at least 300,000; see Lexington) are there in the United States? Perhaps any remark about geographic concentration should feature only the four. --P64 (talk) 18:44, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

More generic term[edit]

I came here looking for the generic term for 2 levels of government that operate as a single government. This article only addresses city/county government in the US. But I'm looking for the established term that includes such cases as city/state (as in the German city/states of Hamburg and Berlin) and city/national as in Monaco. Does anyone know if such a term exists? Bostoner (talk) 23:30, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

You might be thinking of unitary authority. IMHO, the two first paragraphs under Consolidated city–county#Overview should be moved and integrated into that article. I was a bit confused to see such a detailed description of UK, German, etc. circumstances after the intro, which clearly places this term in an US context. A sentence such as "Consolidated city–counties are a type of unitary authorities, which can be found in many countries in the world." should be enough to alert the reader that similar arrangements exist in other countries, and point towards that information. //Essin (talk) 14:03, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be city(hyphen)county?[edit]

Shouldn't there be a hyphen between city and county, rather than what looks like an n-dash? Stevie is the man! TalkWork 16:32, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Questionable inclusions[edit]

The following should be moved from Consolidated city–county#Consolidated since their creation to Consolidated city–county#Merged:

The following should be moved from Consolidated city–county#Consolidated since their creation to Consolidated city–county#Other:

The following could be included in Consolidated city–county#Other:

Yours aye,  Buaidh  18:48, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ House Resolution 1188 in the Georgia General Assembly