Consolidating local government services

Meanwhile the Legislature sent the Municipal Partnership Act to Snyder for his approval in early November.It sets guidelines for merger agreements, allowing combined municipalities to levy a millage and use tax revenue.It has not been signed into law yet, but Snyder has said he supports making the merger process easier for local governments.Not all local officials embrace consolidation as a quick financial fix.By JACOB KANCLERZ Capital News Service LANSING – While the state pushes cooperation among Michigan’s local governments, some local officials say consolidating services doesn’t always save money while others say their communities have been consolidating for years. Rick Snyder encouraged municipalities to work together to solve fiscal problems earlier this year.

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In Wisconsin a law authorizing counties to consolidate was enacted by the legislature in 1935, under pressure from the Wisconsin League of Women Voters.Proposals for some type of consolidation will be brought forward in most of the state legislatures meeting in 1937.Units of local government in the United States number more than 175,300, according to a compilation made by William Anderson, of the University of Minnesota, in 1934, Anderson found that in addition to the federal and state governments there were 3,053 counties, 16,366 incorporated cities and villages, 20,262 towns and townships, 127,108 school districts, and 8,580 miscellaneous units—irrigation, drainage, conservation, and utility districts, and other types of units.Combined services may lead to downsizing, which can harm the quality of services, said Summer Minnick, the director of state affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.“Municipalities are in the business of providing services,” she said. It takes people to pick up the garbage, it takes people to plow the streets, it takes police officers to have a public safety department.