Will city-county unification lead to economic development? That is the point of discussion today between supporters and opponents of the merger plan.
Supporters of unification say the merger will allow the community to speak with one voice, which will help lure business to the area. County Commissioner Joe Kiefer says he got that information from the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, which has a unified form of government.
"He said I hope you don't do it," said Kiefer, "and I was took back a little bit and said why. He goes because if you merge, then you become a competitor, and you will be competiting against us for jobs."
"They are using all the buzz words," said C.O.R.E. Co-Chair Rick Davis, "that are trying to touch and pull at the hearststrings of voters progressive, job growth, economic development. What I like to say is that you can dress a rattlesnake in a tuxedo, but it's still a rattlesnake."
Consolidation opponents say Indianapolis has only grown 14 percent since its consolidation, while counties surrounding Indianapolis have grown 137 percent.