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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Stanford Raynold Brookshire, August 18, 1975. Interview B-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Differences in local government between Charlotte, Nashville, and Jacksonville

Brookshire contrasts Charlotte's local government to the governments of Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida. He discusses that unlike Charlotte, Jacksonville and Nashville experience extremely corrupt governments and had no statewide statute for annexation of urbanized areas. Charlotte had a honest governmental structure as well as the legal ability to annex urban areas.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Stanford Raynold Brookshire, August 18, 1975. Interview B-0067. 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 don't think it was that, no. Again I come back to the placid attitude of citizens locally, satisfaction with local government. If you study the consolidation efforts which succeeded in Nashville and Jacksonville, you'll find they had some real problems. They had the citizenry at large up in arms. There in Nashville, for example, and they don't have the sort of liberal annexation state statutes that we have that permit the city to take in suburbs as they were established, they were having a flight of wealthy people from the core city moving into suburbs. They were county residents only, out of the city and beyond the reach of the tax collectors.
Yet, they still wanted the streets, and the sewers, and the schools, and whatnot.
That's right. They still wanted Nashville to be a progressive, growing city, and, yet, they weren't supporting it with their taxes. That was the big thing in that consolidation, I think, that enabled them to pass a consolidation vote. In Jacksonville, Florida, they actually had a lot of corruption. Their school system had lost its rating as first-class schools. Just such a bad local government situation that people, in effect, said, "Anything is better than what we've got."
As I recall, several of the city commissioners or whatever had been indicted by the grand jury.
They had. Here in Charlotte, there was none of that sort of thing. People just weren't concerned with swapping local government for something else that was so involved. Maybe a lot of them didn't clearly understand it. Maybe a lot of them had their fears that were groundless as far as that's concerned but they thought "We've got what's been good, sound, honest government. We're getting along okay. We haven't any particular problems. Why swap what we've got, what we know works, for something that may or may