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No consolidation

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

Consolidation is a fancy word used by some to combine government services.

Right now in Marion County we have a major push, initiated by the sheriff, to consolidate sheriff and fire/rescue services in the county.

Some people are calling for other consolidation, such as combining parks jurisdiction … all in the name of efficiency.

What they should call it is what it is … a power grab.

If any or all of these consolidations are allowed, it would create more big government, something that the voters said in the last election that they don’t want.

Right now there are various boards and advisers in both the county and the cities who work toward betterment of services. Consolidation would mean the loss of some of those boards, and as a result, the loss of more local voices in the operation of our cities and counties.

We also doubt whether it would create more efficient operations. Bigger isn’t always better.

Let’s let the sheriff be the sheriff. His job is to enforce the law and prevent crime, and he and his people are good at it.

Let fire/rescue be what they’re supposed to be, the people who respond to medical emergencies, and there are a lot of them, with the intent of saving your life. These people, also dedicated, are good at what they do. Let them continue with their own supervisors, people who have come up through the ranks knowing their problems, their feelings.

If the consolidation proposals take place, we see only two things that can happen. First, the city activities would get swallowed up by the bigger county government, and city residents would lose a lot of their say in events, or, second, it would be the other way around, and city powerbrokers would take over a lot of the county events, with all the attention being paid to programs in the cities and those who live in unincorporated Marion County being ignored.

This debate is a liberal-oriented, big-government push. Americans have rejected proposals like this; and here in Marion County we should do the same.