For two years members of OneDayton have met privately exploring the possibility of changing the structure of local government in Montgomery County, a reality that can’t happen without voter support.
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Government integration options
The non-profit group OneDayton plans to begin public discussions in 2014 on government structure options that would create a more unified Montgomery County. To achieve any of the options, residents have to vote for the change.
Option A, no change needed.
Option B, Council of Government for shared services: a central place for communities to discuss ways to share services to cut costs, work on common concerns, and help plan/manage agreements between members jurisdictions, not force solutions by votes. Shared issues would be faced with shared resources, voluntarily. The council would remain neutral in jurisdictional disputes.
Option C, Simple Charter: Municipalities and townships retain all powers, duties and obligations. County administrative structure is reorganized into distinct executive and legislative branches of county executive and five-member county council. All county officers (such as treasurer, auditor, medical examiner, director of development etc.) can be appointed. Similar to governments in Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
Option D, Strong charter, City-County merger, with one city: One city and the county combine into a single government; All other cities and townships remain in existence and retain all powers, duties and obligations; The newly formed city-county government is reorganized with a mayor/county executive and county council, exactly like a charter county structure. All county officers can be appointed. Similar to the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro government.
Option E, Strong charter, city-county merger, some or all jurisdictions: All municipalities and townships combine with the county to form one consolidated government; The newly merged government is reorganized with a county executive and county council, exactly like a charter county; All county officers can be appointed. Similar to The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.
Option F, Defining our own change: Assume that none of the above options fit Montgomery County. Develop a model that unifies as many jurisdictions as possible through merger to create a regional government that is able to address common economic interests. This option requires adoption of strong central charter creating the the unity government similar to Option E, but also allows more jurisdictions to join over time. Under this option, input would be sought on how and to what extent individual community identities would be honored and preserved under the unity government.
Dan Foley, Montgomery County Commission
Brother Ray Fitz, University of Dayton
Judge Walter Rice
Phil Parker, president and CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Paula MacIlwaine, former Montgomery County Commissioner
Shannon Martin, Bricker & Eckler real estate attorney
Joey Williams, Dayton City Commissioner
Bob Daily, former Journal Herald reporter also just retired from the Kettering Foundation. He covered a 1960 uni-gov movement in Dayton for the Journal Herald.
Adavantages of unified government
- Better economic development
- More clout in statewide issues
- Enhance region’s ability to attract businesses
- Align the government with common interests
The Dayton Daily News began coverage of discussions on merging Montgomery County’s jurisdictions into one, consolidated region in 2011, when County Commissioner Dan Foley first brought the topic forward. Reporter Joanne Huist Smith traveled to Louisville in June 2011, to look at the success and struggles of that city, the nation’s poster child for consolidated government. The newspaper is committed to providing in-depth coverage as the current movement to form a more unified government in Montgomery County unfolds.