Remaking Local Government: Success and Failure Under Indiana’s Government Modernization Act
Keywords:Local Government Consolidation, Comparative Case Study, Indiana
AbstractDuring the period of 2008 to 2012, four consolidation attempts occurred under Indiana’s Government Modernization Act: two proposing city–county consolidation and two proposing town–township consolidation. The town–township mergers received overwhelming support, with more than 70% of voters approving consolidation in each case. The city–county mergers, on the other hand, were each defeated by a margin of approximately two to one. In this paper, we conduct a comparative case study of the four consolidation proposals using Leland and Thurmaier’s (2004) C3 model as an analytical framework. The results of our study indicate that greater demographic diversity and the potential for large cost shifts from urban to rural customers stimulated opposition to the city–county consolidations. The successful town–township consolidations were characterized by more homogeneous populations and modest and predictable fiscal impacts. We find no evidence that pre-existing functional consolidation or strong elite advocacy on behalf of consolidation leads to greater support for the referendum.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional, contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see, The Effect of Open Access).