Do you remember the good old days, the ones filled with politicians who pushed for consolidation of the city and the county? Is this a good time to bring it up again? While there are other important issues of the day, this one comes up every 10 years or so.
Fans of consolidation point to the efficiency of services and the economy of scale, where there would be only one fire department, only one business license department; and only one government center that can ignore your needs. Supporters of the other side argue that a balance of power is good between the city and the county, that having two government entities means that, if an agency screws up, you may be in luck and not be in that jurisdiction.
Another part of the argument: If consolidation is approved, who swallows whom? Does the tail wag the dog or does the dog wag the tail? The county would argue that it is the larger entity of the two and deserves to be king of the hill; the city would argue that its name alone would make it top dog, that more people know Las Vegas than Clark County, and that the city has more of a show biz flair than the county.
Regardless of the side you take, let’s take a new look at the pros and cons of consolidation based on individual issues and attractions, and which entity holds the most cards:
Monorail: The county has it, the city doesn’t
Mayor: The city has one, the county doesn’t
Showgirls: It’s a draw. The county, which includes the Strip, had them; the city, via the former mayor, had them
Casinos: It’s another draw, they both have them
Fremont Street Experience: The county doesn’t have it, the city does. On the other hand, the Strip has a longer stretch of bright lights
Cheaper beer: Drink up in parts of the county, but in all of the city
Ninety-nine cent shrimp cocktail: Unfortunately, neither one has it around the clock
Museums: Some are in the county; the majority are in the city
Criminals: It’s another draw
Law Enforcement: That’s a wash. Metro is already consolidated
Fireworks: The county (Strip) wins, with the city a runner-up
Expensive Entertainment: It’s the county (Vegas Strip, baby)
Boring: The County drills it, if by boring you mean creating underground transportation
Planes: It’s the county all the way
Those are some of the pros and cons of consolidation. Do we have enough information to choose? If not, should we just kick the can down the Strip…or Fremont Street?