Consolidating local governments
New Support for Governmental Consolidation Consolidation in American industry, commerce, and finance proceeded apace before the depression, but consolidations of overlapping units of government were brought about only infrequently, painfully, and piecemeal.
From time to time, townships, school districts, and other local units were merged or abolished, but the number thus eliminated was no greater than the number of new units established.
According to information compiled by former Albuquerque mayor David Rusk, 105 referenda were held in the United States between 19 to consider proposals to consolidate cities and counties.
The Federation also released a report on June 30, 2008, that recommended disbanding the Illinois International Port District and allowing the City of Chicago to transfer the District’s open lands to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and its golf courses to the Chicago Park District.
Although that dissolution has not yet occurred, the Civic Federation continues to support legislation to do so.
The Civic Federation previously wrote several times on the topic of government consolidation as the voters in the City of Evanston eventually decided to dissolve its coterminous township.
Not considering Hawaii, which has no independent cities, the Midwest and Upper South have the highest concentration of large consolidated city-county governments in the United States, including Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City, Kansas; and Lexington, Kentucky.
Currently, the largest consolidated city-county in the United States by population is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while the largest by land-area is Sitka, Alaska.