The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

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

CHAPTER X
CITY-COUNTY SEPARATION AND CONSOLIDATION
The presence of a metropolitan city within the political boundaries of a county raises serious problems relating to duplication of work and conflicts of authority arising from the coexistence of two conspicuous units of local government. In some metropolitan areas efforts have been made to end such duplication by the union, in whole or in part, of the overlapping units. Various degrees of integration have been effected but the schemes employed do not submit readily to classification. The classification adopted in this chapter, however, seems useful as aiding in a definition of the loose term "city-county consolidation" as a means of governmental simplification.
1. City-County Separation , i. e., the severance of the territory of the city from that of the county. This involves the consolidation of city and county functions within the city limits and the restriction of the county government to the residue of the former county. Usually it has been accompanied by an enlargement of the city limits.
2. City-County Consolidation . Under this scheme the county territory lying outside the city is attached to the city, the city and county are made coterminous, and the governments of the two are, in a large measure if not entirely, consolidated. No county remnant area remains to constitute a separate, and perhaps vexatious, problem.

Indeed, the difference between the above two methods of meeting the city-county problem lies in the different dispositions made of the area lying outside the city limits. With respect to the territory which is in either case consolidated with the city, the effects of the two methods are identical.

3. Consolidation of Certain Functions , i. e., the combination of some of the functions of the city and of the county, but without a complete merger of legal or territorial identities. Such functional consolidation may be accomplished irrespective of whether the city and county are coterminous or not.

Although in two or three cases, to be noted later, a drift towards consolidation of particular functions may be observed,

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