Sunday, March 16, 2008


I discovered this blog through a BNN link yesterday. The fun part is that he's running a poll on regional consolidation. If you want to vote, go to

Consolidation in Virginia Beach is usually dismissed as some sort of left-wing utopian scheme. That's why it's intriguing that the two blogs that back the idea are the pro-Fair Tax 757 Hampton Roads and the pro-Mike Huckabee and pro-Bob Marshall Avenging Archangel. While I don't think even our children will live to see all 17 jurisdictions of Hampton Roads merged, I do believe we could drastically reduce the number. An obvious first step would be consolidation of the five cities of South Hampton Roads. While that may not happen soon, I believe it will happen within 30 years:

1. Seperate cities made sense as long as they were developmentally and demographically diverse. As they become homogenous, they make no more sense standing seperately than two democratic German states in 1990.

2. With the suburbs heading towards buildout and facing aging problems like the core cities, the region is going to need a large infusion of out-of-area money. A merged South Hampton Roads would be the 10th largest city in the country, and thus would draw that kind of investment.

For those in Virginia Beach who have been loudest against consolidation:

1. Status quoers - Yes, you go from being big fish in a medium size pond to medium size fish in a large pond. However, you'd get a R&HA and many of your longtime public spending schemes would make more sense financially. Also, with the amount of money necessary to run for Mayor, the Hampton Roads Partnership would virtually own the office. You'd get one of your own with a veto.

2. Deaniacs - consolidation would get you district elections for City Council and the higher-paying jobs you support.

In short, consolidation of the five cities of South Hampton Roads probably makes too much sense for it to happen under what now passes for "leadership" around here.

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