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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Central differences between Jacksonville's and Charlotte's consolidation efforts

Unlike the Jacksonville, Florida, consolidation model, Charlotte chose to merge its city and county governments. Alexander explains that Charlotte's lack of political corruption did not apply adequate pressure to force the adoption of a consolidated government.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

I've heard the comment that Charlotte in a way made a mistake in that. Of course, this apparently was Jacksonville's second attempt, but they had commitments from the power structure, had money in the bank as it were, before they wrote their charter. That Charlotte went about it somewhat differently and didn't have the commitment from a lot of the powerful forces in the city.
But, you must bear in mind that comparing Jacksonville's structure with our structure is a different situation. Jacksonville was forced into a consideration of consolidation because of the problems that they had in government. The beautiful thing about Charlotte's attempt at consolidation is that Charlotte did not go into it because it was forced to go into it by a corrupt government.
Charlotte has had...
Fortunately, we have had a clean government. We have had the luxury of existence under a political leadership where we have not had corrupt governmental officials or corruption existing in departmental heads or corruption in government totally that was such a cancer that the only way that the only way to get rid of it was to cut out the cancer. Charlotte went into consolidation clean, and, maybe, that was it's mistake. That we had no corruption to force us into an acceptance of a new form of government to get rid of the corruption. You see? So, I don't fall over backwards when people attempt to compare or make a comparison of our consolidation with Jacksonville because...Or any other place. In fact, Charlotte is the only place that went into a consideration of consolidation or a study of consolidation not being forced to do it to get rid of some internal problem that, as I say, was a cancer to their governmental operation. We were going into it clean.