Time running out on study on merging government services

by: Blair Miller Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Time is running out for county leaders to respond to a city request to study merging government services.

The county has 17 days to respond to a request by the city of Charlotte to consider consolidating the county and city government into one.

It's an issue Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has long pushed for, and last year helped city council approve a resolution seeking to at least study the idea.

"I'm making the case, but I know they have a lot to wrestle with," Foxx said.

He's referring to the Mecklenburg County Commission. The board includes newly-elected leaders including Pat Cotham, the new head of the commission.

The idea of consolidation doesn't interest her.

"The people right now just have other things on their mind and consolidation is just not one of them," Cotham said.

Some lawmakers believe taxpayer money would be saved by merging some government services like police, fire, parks and tax collection.
Previous county lawmakers seemed open to the idea, but they wanted to wait for the new board members to take over and decide.

Cotham said she's already told Foxx they won't be taking up the resolution.

"We have a lot of really big issues that people are interested in so at this point, I don't see that anytime soon that we would be talking about this," Cotham said.

Foxx calls it a loss for the community.

"If we don't get a resolution passed, I just don't think there are great hopes for any kind of functional consolidation because you can't have that discussion without involving the towns," Foxx said.

The study Foxx wanted would have been paid for through private funding.