Cities and Counties Must Work as a Unit

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

Cities and Counties Must Work as a Unit


Editor's note: In lieu of letters from readers, today's space is devoted to a sampling of editorial opinion from other newspapers around the region.

* The Daily Press, Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 13:

Consider these trends: In the 1980s, more than 70 percent of Virginia's population growth occurred in the counties. The counties picked up 33,937 manufacturing jobs while the cities lost 21,413. Crime rates increased 3 percent in the cities and decreased 10 percent in the counties. Finally, by 1990 the median value of owner-occupied housing in counties was $100,400 compared to $79,000 in cities.

Eventually the counties will face the same problems that cities face today. Some already do. York and James City counties, for example, can't keep up with the demand for additional schools being imposed by the population explosion. That construction is being accompanied by rising tax rates that will soon be high enough to negate some of the advantages people saw in suburban living.

These trends are creating problems everywhere, but a solution is more difficult to find in Virginia, which is the only state to have independent cities and counties. …

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