Could a consolidated City and County government get a bigger return on state revenue? Owensboro mayor Tom Watson says yes, and in the wake of a failed TIF plan that would have returned local sales tax revenue to fund a massive retail and entertainment project in suburban Owensboro, he wants to take another look at merger. "Weve got a great community, we need to find a way to speak with one voice so we can have our share," said Watson at Thursdays Rooster Booster breakfast. Watson delivered the State of the City address, and on several occasions, pointed out his belief that the failed TIF represents a missed opportunity for the city. "Some people say Im a dreamer," said Watson, "but I believe were better than that, even after all thats been said about me." Watson was a frequent target of criticism about the TIF. He lamented the loss of state funding for the development project, and attributed it to the divisive atmosphere in the city and county, pointing out projects in Lousiville, Northern Kentucy, and Bowling Green that were all approved. "Why would state officials want to get in the middle of a local fight?" Watson questioned. But County Judge Executive Reid Haire, who presented his State of the County address at the same podium where Watson spoke Thursday, said he is optimistic about the future of development, and doesnt believe consolidation is needed. "Do not judge the importance of things by the noise they make," he told the audience. Of consolidation, Haire said hes served on past committees studying and voting on the measure. It was defeated in the past, and Haire says the climate is not right to try merger again. "Im a little hesitant to jump in that same pond," Haire said.