Consolidating local government services

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New York State in June passed a bill that As local and state governments look to cut costs during the recession, many are considering consolidating services with neighboring jurisdictions.New York State in June passed a bill that would allow residents of a town, village or special district to dissolve that government or district by referendum.Susan Parnell is a professor of urban geography in the department of environmental and geographical science at the University of Cape Town and a director of Isandla Institute.As local and state governments look to cut costs during the recession, many are considering consolidating services with neighboring jurisdictions."What it does is it takes the public employees and uses them as chattel back and forth," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. " Donohue says forcing consolidated services through a carrot-and-stick approach is not the right way to go."Do they get paid at the higher rate or the lower rate? "He's trying to hold a gun to peoples' heads, saying 'you have to combine these services without asking the people themselves,' " Donohue said. " In a statement, the Cuomo administration says the plan empowers local voters, and not enacting it preserves an untenable status quo of high property taxes.

The final meeting will be held July 27th and the plan will go before the county legislature by the first of August.

This text will be an indispensable resource for government officials, students, researchers, and community leaders alike.

Mirjam van Donk is a director of Isandla Institute; a former independent consultant on HIV/AIDS, gender, and development for international and national organizations; and a former project coordinator for the Local Government for the Gender Advocacy Program.

In light of declining revenues and a decreasing population, Youngstown, Ohio, is considering eliminating one of its three municipal judges and consolidating its municipal court system with four Mahoning County in nearby towns into one body in the same building.

There's bipartisan concern in Albany over Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to cut property taxes by pushing county governments to find ways of sharing services.

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