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Division over Warren-Vicksburg consolidation idea

VICKSBURG — Officials in Vicksburg and Warren County are divided over whether the city and county governments should be consolidated.

The Vicksburg Post reports that 74 percent of people attending a planning forum in October said they would support a unified county-city government.

But some officials, including Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. say they are against consolidation.

“What purpose would it serve?” asked Warren County District 2 Supervisor William Banks. “You’ll have to come to me and show me what purpose it would serve, what’s going to be changed and what’s going to be the outcome of it. I’d have to have some facts on that. You’re going to have to show me the cards on the table: Once we do this, what is going to happen and what it’s going to say.”

Other officials aren’t ready to rule out a consolidated government.

Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale and District 1 Supervisor John Arnold both said they would be willing to consider consolidating governments.

Flaggs, who supports consolidating some city and county functions to eliminate duplication, said consolidation is wrong because the county and the board of supervisors were established by the state Constitution.

“We are a statutory body,” he said. “The Constitution says you shall have five supervisors. We can have as many as we want. You can’t mix it like that.”

Lauderdale said consolidation has not been examined closely enough.

“I think anytime we can consolidate something and give a better service at a better price to the people, I think it’s great,” Lauderdale said. “We ought to do that.”


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