It might not be a good idea for Harlem and Grovetown to lose their autonomy. It would be logical for them to be happy to have no city taxes and have the rest of the county support their infrastructures. How-ever, would the other citizens of Columbia County be happy to pick up their tab?
My biggest concern would be that the county would have to promote even more development to pay for a bigger government. And, we all know what more development would mean to our quality of life! Trees, run for your life! Not only would Evans be developed more, but development would creep into Grovetown and Harlem as well. I think Harlem and Grovetown should thank their lucky stars that they are pretty safe from commercial development thus far.
I know those cities have had their problems with government, but giving up voice and vote and merging into a bigger government could be even worse. It really depends on what Grovetowns and Harlems goals and objectives are. I would have to be convinced that the county is prepared and able to handle more. I would also have to know how much it is going to cost, financially and aesthetically. I dont want to live in a metropolis. Little is good.
My first question should be Whose idea is this? The citizens of Grovetown and Harlem or Columbia County politicians? Richmond County hasnt been a huge success in their consolidation. I hope we dont use them as a role model.
So, bottom line - I would not have a problem with consolidation or paying more taxes if Grovetown and Harlem residents want this, and if consolidation would truly benefit Columbia County, Grovetown, and Harlem in ways that add to our quality of life (not just our pocketbooks).
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