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Who’s up for another round of city-county merger debates?

February 19, 2010

Apparently across the river in Evansville and Vanderburgh County, they are.

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel (City of Evansville photo)

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel made his case for the merger – efficiency, community stature – to the Henderson Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. This will be the newest effort since the 1970s when the idea went down to defeat, according to an article by the Henderson Gleaner‘s Chuck Stinnett.

Weinzapfel’s pitch sounds similar to the one made here in Owensboro and Daviess County by former Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson, who ran on the merger issue only to see if fail to gain a foothold during his term. That was the latest push to bring the city and county together, but failed to sway members of Daviess Fiscal Court.

Perhaps looking at the consolidation of certain departments would be a route to more widespread consolidation here. One idea that appears to have merit is merging the city and county parks departments. There are certainly efficiencies to be gained by having a single department to oversee all parks facilities, and city and county residents alike use all the cities, so there’s a common audience to serve.

Of course, there’s plenty on the plates of the Owensboro City Commission and Daviess Fiscal Court now. Perhaps merger of some sort has already occurred, though. Those who oppose the downtown plan being implemented by the city and county seem to lump the two governments into the same pot with their criticisms.

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