Separating governments is in nobody’s best interest

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Baton Rouge has a problem on their hands. The south side of the city is considering a measure that could separate it from the rest of Baton Rouge by forming the new incorporated town of St. George. While most cities in America seek to do the opposite, actually try to consolidate their metro area, Baton Rouge is looking to separate theirs.

Regionalization is the key for any metro area trying to get stronger.  For an example of a metro area that is separate and not cohesive, one needs to look no further than New Orleans.  We wrote the book on non-regionalization.  Orleans Parish does its own thing while next door neighbor Jefferson Parish does its. We don’t share any resources yet we are neighbors.

The duplication of services and the extra costs of providing these services is mind boggling.  Different police, fire, EMS, school system, even the public transportation system.  Jefferson parish does their inefficient thing while New Orleans does its own.

In Louisville, Kentucky a few years back, the city annexed several areas outside its jurisdiction to form one stronger city. It worked.  Louisville went from being a small town to a city because of that merger.

New Orleans should do the same. But it’ll never happen. Ironically, no one in Jefferson Parish would support the move as would no one from New Orleans. Selfish, self serving folks that cut off their nose to spite their face.

Maybe New Orleans needs to start doing what it did in the distant past and legally can still do: annex parts of Jefferson Parish again and make it part of one New Orleans. It’s not gonna happen. We like things separate and unequal too much. But it would be the best thing for all in the metro area.