Essay On Local Government

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The rise of Urban America began in the mid 1800’s with the dawn of the industrial revolution. With it came a rapid increase in the population of cities. This movement towards cities did not last forever, and after WWII, much of the population of cities moved to the suburbs. With the growth and decline of urban environments, and the growth of suburban environments, there has become a mixture of different types of local governments, some of which overlap the same geographical areas. Some view this hodgepodge as a problem, and have offered various solutions. To understand the different types of local governments and how they overlap, one must first understand the development of urban areas, and the movement from urban to suburban areas.
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All solutions fall under some form of regional government, but there are disagreements as to which is best. The easiest to implement is creating a Regional Planning Body, or regional council, in which city and suburban governments send delegates to discuss issues within the region. However, this type of regional government has little actual power. The lack of power makes it more likely to be accepted by local governments, because it is not threatening their power. A less common and more involved regional government is the consolidation of multiple local governments into one large regional government. The easiest merger to pull off is city-county consolidation. It is easier because the city and county cover the exact same territory, thereby eliminating overlap and increasing efficiency. The hardest consolidations are those that call for merging of a city, county, and the suburbs, as all three governments lose power to one regional government. Similarly, there is annexation of local governments, where cities annex their suburbs. Suburbs normally are vehemently opposed to this idea, as they lose the freedom of lower taxes and more specific regulations. Probably the best form of regional government is to have two levels; One with the cities and the suburbs as they already are, and a regional government that’s a level above the cities and suburbs. This allows the regional government to handle services like transit authorities and infrastructure, leaving cities and suburbs to their individual zoning plans, taxes, and regulations. Each government has power and each can be happy, since there aren’t overlapping responsibilities. Unfortunately, many metro areas in the United States that could benefit from regional governments do not have them. This is due to a resistance from local governments to give up any power to another government. To handle this, metro areas are forced to
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