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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Advantages of city-county consolidation

Although critics of consolidation contend that there would be an expansion of bureaucracy, Alexander reasons that separate city and county governments cannot resolve urban problems effectively. He therefore argues that consolidation would increase the city's representative base and would allow for constructive constituent feedback on city services.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MOYE:
Why did consolidation...What prompted the issue to come up when it did?
FREDERICK DOUGLAS ALEXANDER:
Well, I think it was a general recognizance of the fact that consolidation is necessary to resolve many of the problems that affect a growing community like Charlotte. There are many problems that face Charlotte that can't be resolved on a city-county level, as such. The restrictions of two governments comes into play. The complexity of the philosophy of peoples in two areas comes into play. You take transportation, for instance. We cannot adequately resolve our transportation problems from a community point of view unless we are dealing with a total area. You follow. The stricture or the constraints of laws that permit counties to only do some things and cities to only do some things, and the crossing of boundary lines which have the constraints of law. It makes it impossible to arrive at solutions to some of the problems that are necessary to move the community forward.
MOYE:
Was the water and sewer situation one of the major...
FREDERICK DOUGLAS ALEXANDER:
Yes. All of these...We have, in a sense, consolidated situations as it is now, but a total consolidation sets up the fact of dealing with one government. You begin to develop a one-government thinking. Certainly...[text missing] Specially with many of the people problems that will affect not only the country but our local communities can be resolved from a one-government approach rather from a two-government approach. You follow?
MOYE:
Some of the opponents say, "That's just going to be another level of government. They're all passing the buck down there now. That's just going to make them one step higher up someway and less in touch someway with the people." You contradict that view.
FREDERICK DOUGLAS ALEXANDER:
Yes, I do. I say that you come closer in contact with the people from a consolidated government than you do in two-level government as we have today because your representation is broader. You get inputs in government from elements of your communities that you don't get otherwise. So, I'm not a believer in the fact that that type of philosophy would cover.