Clarksville, Montgomery Co. Residents To Vote On City-County Government Merger
Montgomery County and the City of Clarksville in Tennessee might merge into one governing body if residents choose to vote in favor of a consolidated government charter on November 6.
The proposal has been brought to vote twice before but failed. Former chair of Austin Peay’s Political Science Department David Kaverno said city residents passed the charter during previous proposals, but county residents voted against the merger.
Kaverno said he believes this time the charter has a better chance of passing in the county. He said county suburban areas have grown and residents who live there have expressed wanting access to city services.
But, Kaverno said he’s spoken with county residents who are not in favor of a merger. “They’re primarily worried about having to pay taxes that are equivalent to what the city residents pay,” he said.
The Leaf-Chronicle reports that a new mayor and a 23-member council will be elected in 2020 if the measure passes.
Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said she opposes the merger, said the proposed charter has “serious flaws” and that it doesn’t present a clear path to reducing costs to taxpayers.
She also does not support merging the Clarksville Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office as outlined in the charter. The elected sheriff would be in charge of all law enforcement if the measure passes.
County Mayor Jim Durrett did not respond to requests for comment.