Merging Government Talk Doesn’t Get Far

June 23, 2010

Investigative Reports

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The NerveCharleston County Council member A. Victor Rawl’s request for consideration of a referendum relating to the merging of the governments within the county certainly got our attention when the meeting agenda was posted on the Charleston County website.

A liberal plot to take over the county? It really wasn’t that, though some council members spoke very strongly in opposition to anything like it.

The council member was asking the county to consider asking voters whether a commission be formed to study merging respective governments. If voters agreed to a commission, the commission would study the issue and put its recommendations forward in another referendum.

Council members generally agreed that there may be areas where efficiencies could be gained by merging of activities. Some members noted the successful consolidation of dispatch services as a good example.

The full absorption of the cities and municipalities was generally dismissed as a bad idea and unlikely to ever occur. And as some council members noted, some mayors would adamantly oppose giving up some or any of their powers.

Rawl noted his proposal was the “methodology to get them (the municipalities) to talk to each other.”

Somebody remembered the MAP Commission that studied the services of the county and municipalities and made a number of recommendations to improve efficiencies.

The number of recommendations that were adopted is unclear.