The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

By Paul Studenski; Frank H. Sommer et al. | Go to book overview

in wealthy Scarsdale to 4.78 per cent in the industrial and densely settled Hoboken, in the New York area.

There are also great variations in the borrowing capacity of the several municipalities of an area. Some have large borrowing powers, others small. Some have needs far in excess of their borrowing powers, others borrowing powers in excess of their needs. Some are at the limit of their borrowing capacity, others have not even begun to borrow. In a word some sections may be comfortably situated in the matter of borrowing, whereas others are in difficulty.

These wide variations in the tax situation and borrowing capacity of different sections of municipalities may be lessened in only one way--by the establishment of some system of pooling or equalization of their tax resources and borrowing powers. Only by integrating the financial resources of the metropolitan community can a harmonious development be assured.


Summary

It is evident from the foregoing that a political problem new to our experience has presented itself for settlement. We have seen that the modern metropolitan region is composed of local communities each with its own personality and a measure of peculiar needs. Yet, side by side with the locality needs, exist the broader metropolitan interests which the component cities, towns and villages, acting as independent organs of local government, can never serve. For this task it is necessary that the localities be integrated in such a manner as will enable the whole region to function as a political unit. This integration must be so effected as to foster the development of a vigorous metropolitan consciousness in the entire area, promote proper standards of service throughout, preserve and cultivate a healthy consciousness of locality in the constituent parts, and secure the proper treatment of purely local, as distinguished from metropolitan affairs.

The problem is one calling for scientific treatment coupled with constructive imagination. A new form of government seems to be indicated. It is the obligation of political science to devise a form that will work.

Here and there, under the pressure of necessity, something has been done in the direction of integration. Sometimes it has

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