But he said it isn't something that people want."People are going to want to see their services delivered closer to home and the governance of those services be accessible to them close to home," Andrews said."I can crunch the numbers and come up with savings every time, but that's not the issue."A majority of the students' recommendations hinge on merging departments and then cutting staff, something Mayor Mike Pantelides' administration isn't interested in doing, Andrews said. The report's recommendation on city elections is close to the agreement signed by Pantelides and Schuh for the 2017 municipal election.
A city election commission report on the 2013 election listed an abundance of problems."We have to try new things in government," Pantelides said, who won by 59 votes in 2013.
"The last elections were a disaster."Merging city departments Other recommendations include merging the Annapolis parks and recreation, public works, police and fire departments.
After decades of discussion and debate, voters in Lee County's 17 fire districts and two municipal fire departments could vote in two years whether to become part of a countywide fire department. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, has filed a bill that would let voters in each of the 17 districts, and in the cities of Cape Coral and Fort Myers, decide individually whether to affiliate with a countywide district, to be called Lee County Fire Control and Rescue District.
If the Legislature approves the bill, the question would appear on the 2018 general election ballot.
A district that votes against consolidation would be able to take up the issue again in five years, if requested by either the district fire board or by petition of 5 percent of the fire district's registered voters.
No district would be forced to join the countywide agency, which would not be part of county government."The two cities plus all the independent districts, they would have a referendum in 2018, asking 'do you want to fold your independent district and join the Lee County Fire Control District? "If they vote no, nothing changes; if they vote yes, they become part of the new district."Existing districts would become a service delivery area within the new fire district and would retain responsibility for their outstanding debt.
Anne Arundel County paid for the report, which told county officials what they already knew: The city and county could save some money, but that would impact the individual identities of both governments.
The consolidation report was one of many PALS program reports that cost the county about ,000."This report was merely an academic exercise," said Owen Mc Evoy, spokesman for County Executive Steve Schuh.
Written by undergraduate University of Maryland economics students, there are shortcomings such as failing to consider the laws in place in Annapolis or offering only vague descriptions of cost-savings measures such as the value of purchasing supplies in bulk.