Michigan governor seeks to destroy local governments
From this morning’s Wall Street Journal:
Michigan has 1,773 municipalities, 609 school districts, 1,071 fire departments and 608 police departments. Gov. Rick Snyder wants some of them to disappear.
The governor is taking steps to bring about the consolidation of municipal services, even whole municipalities, in order to cut budgets and eliminate redundant local bureaucracies. His blueprint, which relies on legal changes and financial incentives, calls for a “metropolitan model” of government that would combine resources across cities and their suburbs.
In doing so, Mr. Snyder, a Republican, is taking aim at that twig of American government so cherished by many citizens-the town hall. The long national tradition of hyperlocal government prevails in much of the Northeast and Midwest, with their crazy quilts of cities, towns, villages and townships.
“You do have to ask: ‘Boy, do we really need 1,800 units of government?'” says Mr. Snyder’s budget director, John Nixon. “Everybody likes their independence, and that’s nice to have. But if you’re not careful, it can cost you a lot more money.”
So as a cost saving measure, Governor Snyder wants to eliminate local independence and consolidate small governments into larger, less responsive and less local Big Governments. How is this going to save the state money? And why is a state governor butting in to local politics like this anyway?
It is no wonder that the people of Michigan are trying to undo their mistake and recall the governor.