If the Kansas City metro were in one state and mostly one county, and if there weren't so many municipalities, we could probably have a combined city-county government like some other metropolitan areas do. There would be fewer governments to play against each other. There would be more efficient practices, and probably a more cooperative effect among metro citizenry. There would be less of the Johnson County / Jackson County dynamic. There would likely be more cooperation paying for stadiums, the zoo, museums, and mass transit.
Those in government would probably have an easier time with zoning and better planning. For example, if we were mostly one big city, the council could better enforce how regional development is done. They could make decisions that are more sustainable. As it is now, KCMO can't enact certain policies, because it could lose developers and businesses that are seeking to avoid them. The City could zone new neighborhoods to adhere to better standards; have more direct influence where development occurs, and for example, more heavily tax subdivisions with houses on large lots that will not be dense enough to support their own infrastructure as they age, and need replacement or repair. You would see less isolated development so far out, and with large expanses of vacant land in between them that are hard to service.
Good development practices can't really be accomplished here because developers can just move into another municipality that allows them to do anything, anywhere.
All local municipalities and counties give up a lot of tax revenue competing against each other.
We would probably be further along with creating a regional commuter rail system.
The numerous municipalities also created the problem of annexing land and expanding boundaries long before it was ever needed. Cities claimed vast tracts of undeveloped land before an adjacent city claimed it, to avoid becoming landlocked. Kansas City has done this in the Northland and South Kansas City. Doing so allows the City to grow, but it also had to take on the costs of providing infrastructure and services in mostly rural areas. Those sparsely-populated areas within City boundaries don't provide a lot of tax revenue.
Last edited by FangKC
on Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.