Significant tax dollars could be saved if we dropped from 105 counties to, say, 50. Likewise, much could be saved if we were to consolidate the many school districts. Probably won’t happen. Why?
Each county seat employees dozens of fairly high-paid individuals. Which county will give up their county seat… and the jobs… to see a neighboring county come out as the “winner”. There is significant political power with local school districts. Let’s just say, for example, that Rock Creek were to be consolidated with Wamego. Which district ends up with the administrative staff and which loses theirs? Alumni of these schools will not want their district to suddenly become part of those who were competed against in sports and scholastic competitions.
A number of counties, Riley included, pay substantial wages to their County Commissioners. OTOH, most municipalities don’t pay much to their elected officials. Will Riley County Commissioners give up their pay and allow a professional administrator perform many of their current duties?
Departmental consolidation is not easy. We tried that with the Health Department and found it was better to turn that over to the County. Departments that are, on paper, operated by both County and City may well be managed by neither. Control of these departments need to be in the hands of elected officials, not operating completely autonomous and without oversight. Management by “committee” doesn’t work well. Look at how RCPD’s budget has mushroomed and the City has zero control over that budget.