Wharton Comes out For Consolidation

From the CA

Mayor Wharton announced today, in his state of the county, that he supports consolidating the governments of Shelby County under one roof.

That’s good for the discussion…a reasoned voice that, perhaps, can lead the way.

I just have one questions though…why not the schools? Sure Memphis City Schools are as much of a mess as the County finances, but just as the county can benefit from streamlining the services, so can the schools.

The article is just a quick hit. From the speech:

I believe strongly that it is time to seriously study the prospect of consolidation. State law has structured County governments to operate in rural settings. Shelby County is an urban county, much more suited to a metropolitan form of government than our current structure allows. We need to determine whether a change to our form of government will provide us with more progressive, comprehensive, and equitable means for financing our needs. And while a very preliminary assessment reveals that that in the long term we could achieve an annual savings of over $20 million under a consolidated government, we need to also carefully assess the costs and increases avoided as a direct result of the elimination of the inefficiencies and fragmentation which occur because of the existence of two governments.

Accordingly, I have asked my staff to move forward with reviewing the legal, financial, and procedural aspects of the various consolidation options which are available to us as a county with a charter form of government. I want to hear from all of the citizens in the county and the municipalities; I have already spoken to a number of the suburban Mayors to initiate discussions on this topic that is of vital importance to all of us.

There you have it folks! I’ll have my proposal for consolidation in the coming days.

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