Facing cutbacks in federal and state assistance and a new wave of taxpayer revolts, local governments have renewed interest in local government consolidation as a way of achieving efficiencies of scale in response to citizen demands for services. Yet the vast majority of consolidation efforts fail, either during the process of drafting a charter or once they reach the ballot - only five have passed since 1990; only thirty-two have been successfully implemented since the first, when the city of New Orleans merged with Orleans Parish in 1805. What accounts for the high failure rate and what factors led to successful consolidations? This volume presents thirteen comparable case studies of consolidation campaigns and distills the findings.
1. Introduction, Suzanne M. Leland and Kurt Thurmaier; 2. Jacksonville/Duval County, Florida, Bert E. Swanson; 3. Columbus/Muscogee County, Georgia, Arnold Fleischmann and Jennifer Custer; 4. Tallahassee/Leon County, Florida, Linda S. Johnson; 5. Sacramento/Sacramento County, California, Glen W. Sparrow; 6. Athens/Clarke County, Georgia, Dan Durning, William L. Gillespie, and Richard W. Campbell; 7. Lafayette/Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, Hunter Bacot; 8. Branch/North Branch, Minnesota, Beth Walter Honadle; 9. Des Moines/Polk County, Iowa, Paul Coates and Alfred Ho; 10. Augusta/Richmond County, Georgia, Richard W. Campbell, William L. Gillespie, and Dan Durning; 11. Wilmington/New Hanover County, North Carolina, Gary Alan Johnson; 12. Knoxville/Knox County, Tennessee, Anthony Nownes and David J. Houston; 13. Kansas City/Wyandotte County, Kansas, Suzanne M. Leland; 14. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, H.V. Savitch and Ronald K. Vogel; 15. Conclusions, Suzanne M. Leland and Kurt Thurmaier