DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A proposal to merge the southwest Ohio city of Dayton with surrounding Montgomery County has been withdrawn.
A nonprofit group called Dayton Together had suggested combining the city and county governments but decided that wasn’t feasible after the city annexed 25 acres in Bath Township, in Greene County. The involvement of property in a different county would significantly complicate a merger.
The city intentionally annexed the land to block a merger, the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1T4RbRT) reported.
Proponents of the idea had said they hoped to improve efficiency and make the region more competitive. Without Dayton’s participation and the opportunities to combine services, a consolidation plan doesn’t make sense, said Dayton Together officer Phil Parker, who is president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley had opposed merging and suggested it could be a “hostile takeover” that might threaten the city’s ability to self-govern and disenfranchise voters. She said the annexation protects Dayton’s water system and impedes consolidation efforts.
“It gives us better control of the land, but it wouldn’t have come up without the merger deal,” said Matt Joseph, one of Dayton’s city commissioners.
Critics also had said the plan didn’t address problems it sought to fix, such as job losses.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com