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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
A problem in the rustbelt is that many of the old municipalities that surround the core city are in as bad or worse economic and physical shape than the core city is. The city doesn't need the added strain.
I remember a quote from a Chicago alderman decades ago that was something to the effect of "If we're gonna annex Cicero and Berywn (more blue collar inner burbs), then I also want Evanston and Oak Park (more white collar inner burbs) to offset them".
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  #42  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:45 PM
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I remember a quote from a Chicago alderman decades ago that was something to the effect of "If we're gonna annex Cicero and Berywn (more blue collar inner burbs), then I also want Evanston and Oak Park (more white collar inner burbs) to offset them".
Exactly
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  #43  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:46 PM
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setting aside somewhat irrelevant statistical dick measuring, i have to wonder if some of the inefficiency and waste in US government has to do with this hyper-balkanization of urban boundaries.

i grew up in silicon valley. in a 300 square mile area there are 10 or more independent cities. saratoga, los gatos, sunnyvale, cupertino, santa clara, san jose, mountain view, palo alto, fremont, milpitas, etc, each with a more-or-less complete governance structure. a scant few things are handled on the county level, and there are even too many of those.

the actual number of employees might not be all that different at the rank-and-file, but the number of "leaders" and leadership structures and different rules and regulations would be far lower. there would be one mayor, one city council, one planning commission or board, one chief of police, and so on, instead of dozens of each.

is it a coincidence that regions which are generally regarded as more efficient or business friendly have proportionally larger boundaries?

what would a bay area look like with the same 7-8M people but 3 fewer counties (6 instead of 9) and 50 fewer municipalities (50 instead of 100, with most of the combinations being in the urban core)?
Totally. For example, one factor that money people point to as a foundation of Illinois horrible fiscal situation is the fact that the state has 8,000+ different administrative districts--cities, towns, townships, blah blah blah all the way down to shit like "Mosquito Abatement Districts".
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  #44  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:55 PM
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Exactly
which is why, to do this right, you'd ideally do a city/county merger.

there's more than enough affluence & good old fashioned middle class stability in northern, northwestern, western, and southwestern cook county to offset the pockets of suburban poverty in western & southern cook county.

not that it will ever happen, but that's how the deal should go down, in a perfect world.
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  #45  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:58 PM
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Then those people should pay true market rates for the services they receive, rather than being directly and indirectly subsidized by the people who do reside within the anchor city.
what do you mean?

communities independent from the anchor city tax themselves and service themselves. they have their own police and fire protection, their own school districts, their own budgets and bond measures, better representation in the mayor/city council form of government. people in these smaller communities do pay for many urban amenities through regional bond measures.

it's easier to have your concerns heard in a smaller community than it is in a city of 1-8 million.
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  #46  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:08 PM
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Consolidating cities & suburbs comes with its advantages and disadvantages. On the upside:

- There's more efficiency, less redundancy in the public sector.
- Regional planning initiatives are easier.
- Standardized tax rates and less competition for revenue means less businesses or residents being "stolen" from one place to the next.
- Larger tax base.
- More political clout.


On the other hand:

- Smaller populations are better able to administer services at the local level. Places are less likely to be "forgotten".
- The larger a city is, the more diverse it's landscape becomes - as do the priorities of its inhabitants. Suburban voters may outnumber urban voters, leading to suburban-minded governments and/or a difficulty in achieving urbanist planning or transit measures. Local representation is less fine-grained.


There's probably a good balance somewhere in there between having hundreds of tiny, balkanized municipalities and having a metro-wide unicity.
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  #47  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stay Stoked Brah View Post
what do you mean?

communities independent from the anchor city tax themselves and service themselves. they have their own police and fire protection, their own school districts, their own budgets and bond measures, better representation in the mayor/city council form of government. people in these smaller communities do pay for many urban amenities through regional bond measures.

it's easier to have your concerns heard in a smaller community than it is in a city of 1-8 million.
But where do they work (and use services daily) to make the money to pay for their suburban services? People from Naperville or wherever come to Chicago (swelling it's daily population) and use Chicago water, garbage, streets, transit, police, etc. without paying for it, then go back to Naperville and use the money they make in Chicago to pay for a little suburban enclave. Please note I'm not among the militant anti-suburb crowd--just pointing out issue.
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  #48  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
which is why, to do this right, you'd ideally do a city/county merger.

there's more than enough affluence & good old fashioned middle class stability in northern, northwestern, western, and southwestern cook county to offset the pockets of suburban poverty in western & southern cook county.

not that it will ever happen, but that's how the deal should go down, in a perfect world.
Right... I imagine the situation is somewhat similar throughout cities in the "rustbelt' in the northeast and midwest.

Pittsburgh-Allegheny is probably THE poster child for it.

Allegheny County has 130 municipalities! WTF? I think aside from Cook County, it has the most of any county in the US. That's ridiculous for city/county the size of the Pittsburgh area.

Look at all of those tiny places along the river valleys and city border (City of Pittsburgh is #89)

It would make zero sense for the City to annex the most of the bordering small boroughs and former steel towns of the Monongahela Valley because they would be nothing but a burden, but consolidation of City and County would bring in some of the wealthiest areas in the state of Pennsylvania.



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  #49  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Stay Stoked Brah View Post
what do you mean?

communities independent from the anchor city tax themselves and service themselves. they have their own police and fire protection, their own school districts, their own budgets and bond measures, better representation in the mayor/city council form of government. people in these smaller communities do pay for many urban amenities through regional bond measures.

it's easier to have your concerns heard in a smaller community than it is in a city of 1-8 million.
Let them install all of their own infrastructure themselves. Maybe their HOA fees will pay for it

OR they can pay true market rates for the construction and maintenance of interstate and state and county roads connecting their communities to the core city... let those costs fall solely in the hands of the local tax base. And let those municipalities pay for all of the extension of utility infrastructure necessary to connect them and which allow them to expand (water, sewer, gas, electric, cable, phone, fiber, etc.). Have fun with that.

You can be guaranteed that those municipal taxes, budgets and bond measures are not covering the bills.

Last edited by pj3000; Oct 26, 2020 at 4:59 PM.
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  #50  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Let them install all of their own infrastructure themselves. Maybe their HOA fees will pay for it

OR they can pay true market rates for the construction and maintenance of interstate and state roads connecting their communities to the core... let those costs fall solely in the hands of the local tax base. And let those municipalities pay for all of the extension of utility infrastructure necessary to connect them and which allow them to expand (water, sewer, gas, electric, cable, phone, fiber, etc.). Have fun with that.

You can be guaranteed that those municipal taxes, budgets and bond measures are not covering the bills.
States should restrict the use special assessment bonds to cover local infrastructure expansions. Livingston County, Michigan, got into trouble with this a decade ago because they were using these bonds to attract development (sprawl) right before the housing market crashed. When the market crashed local governments in the county were left holding the bag, but the populations weren't materializing as planned. But the worst part about this is that Livingston County wasn't even building in response to a growing regional population. They were just sucking population from other parts of slowing growing Metro Detroit.

https://thelivingstonpost.com/living...nancial-state/
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  #51  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 5:01 PM
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A lot of Southern, along with some Western and Midwestern cities come to mind. I'm thinking of Phoenix, Columbus OH, Nashville, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Madison WI, Fresno, any NC city, Charleston SC, Louisville, Chattanooga and Knoxville TN, etc.
In Phoenix, my impression is that the population has generally followed the annexation, not the other way around. In the post-war era, with Phoenix experiencing almost constant explosive growth, most municipalities have tried to anticipate the sprawl by annexing open desert to keep themselves from being "landlocked" by other municipalities, and capture future development.

So in Phoenix, for instance, even today you have 100+ square miles out of the ~500 total in the city that are open desert, annexed to avoid being boxed in by Scottsdale and Glendale.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ph...4d-112.0740373

Even worse are places like Surprise, a suburb that has more undeveloped land than developed land in its city limits:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Su...4d-112.3678207

So debatable whether that makes Phoenix's population "bloated" or artificial. But it is different than say Chicago's 1889 annexation of 225,000 people in advance of the World's Fair.

A couple of interesting links on Phoenix annexation:

https://www.roguecolumnist.com/rogue...st%2Dto%2Deast.

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/v...s%20Phoenix%22
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  #52  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 6:50 PM
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Let them install all of their own infrastructure themselves. Maybe their HOA fees will pay for it

OR they can pay true market rates for the construction and maintenance of interstate and state and county roads connecting their communities to the core city... let those costs fall solely in the hands of the local tax base. And let those municipalities pay for all of the extension of utility infrastructure necessary to connect them and which allow them to expand (water, sewer, gas, electric, cable, phone, fiber, etc.). Have fun with that.

You can be guaranteed that those municipal taxes, budgets and bond measures are not covering the bills.
it obviously goes both ways. central cities rely on suburbanite commuters and suburbanites rely on large regional amenities that come with living in a major metropolitan region. this relationship works worldwide. most people in a metropolitan area choose to live outside of the anchor city and they often cite that the reason to do so is more control over their community's direction, taxation and schooling. if people didn't want to live this way then every city would be manhattans.
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  #53  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Stay Stoked Brah View Post
it obviously goes both ways. central cities rely on suburbanite commuters and suburbanites rely on large regional amenities that come with living in a major metropolitan region. this relationship works worldwide. most people in a metropolitan area choose to live outside of the anchor city and they often cite that the reason to do so is more control over their community's direction, taxation and schooling. if people didn't want to live this way then every city would be manhattans.
This is a load of bs.

It goes both ways, yes... but not in anywhere close to equal $ amounts.

Again, let suburban communities build their own or pay actual market rates for the transportation and energy infrastructure required to connect and grow.

Federal and state policies subsidize suburban/exurban communities at the expense of core cities and inner-ring suburbs.

Policy allows the market to dictate the cost of housing in a metro area... yet policy does not allow the market to dictate the cost of connecting all of the necessary infrastructure to that housing. That's where everyone else within the country, state, and county steps in to pay for it all.

Claiming that this "relationship works" displays a serious lack of knowledge about the state of many of the nation's metro regions.
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  #54  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:32 PM
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This is a load of bs.

It goes both ways, yes... but not in anywhere close to equal $ amounts.

Again, let suburban communities build their own or pay actual market rates for the transportation and energy infrastructure required to connect and grow.

Federal and state policies subsidize suburban/exurban communities at the expense of core cities and inner-ring suburbs.

Policy allows the market to dictate the cost of housing in a metro area... yet policy does not allow the market to dictate the cost of connecting all of the necessary infrastructure to that housing. That's where everyone else within the country, state, and county steps in to pay for it all.

Claiming that this "relationship works" displays a serious lack of knowledge about the state of many of the nation's metro regions.
every city on this rock has suburbs.
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  #55  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:37 PM
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^ yeah?

Non sequitur if I've ever seen one on here.
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  #56  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:40 PM
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^ yeah?

Non sequitur if I've ever seen one on here.
what happens to Pittsburgh when commuters don't show up?
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  #57  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
which is why, to do this right, you'd ideally do a city/county merger.

there's more than enough affluence & good old fashioned middle class stability in northern, northwestern, western, and southwestern cook county to offset the pockets of suburban poverty in western & southern cook county.

not that it will ever happen, but that's how the deal should go down, in a perfect world.
Cook County as one City of Chicago? That's an enormous area for one level of government.

Not being a Chicago resident I can't speak to the utility or political viability of this; but I'd be inclined to fold the 2 Stickney bits, along with Oak Park, Cicero and Berwyn and maybe Norwood Park, along with Worth and Calumet into Chicago proper.

That to me is a manageable, logical boundary.

After that, I'd be inclined to create a single, large municipality on each of Chicago's borders.

One to the north, Evanston, Niles, Northfield and Maine

One to the west, Leydon, River Forest, Proviso, Riverside, Lyons and Palos

One to the south, Thornton, Bremen, Orland
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  #58  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:47 PM
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what happens to Pittsburgh when commuters don't show up?
That's not the issue.

The issue is that the give-and-take is nowhere near equal.

Pittsburgh should not have to subsidize projects and artificially make it cheaper for those commuters to reside further and further away, while its own projects sit unfunded for decades.
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  #59  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Stay Stoked Brah View Post
every city on this rock has suburbs.
I guess suburbs are parasites. Name a city that wouldn't exist without suburbs.
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  #60  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 7:54 PM
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That's not the issue.

The issue is that the give-and-take is nowhere near equal.

Pittsburgh should not have to subsidize projects and artificially make it cheaper for those commuters to reside further and further away, while its own projects sit unfunded for decades.
I don't know what's going on with regional Pittsburgh, but I'm sure Pitt benefits from outsiders that have already been taxed by their own community that then come into Pburgh's city limits to spend their post tax money there.
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