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A Comparative Analysis of Illinois, Ohio, Colorado and South Dakota Park Districts and Parks and Recreation Departments to Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, and Michigan Parks and Recreation Departments
Unformatted Document Text:  Advocates of regional planning argue that fragmented systems of local government create weak “political authorities” and “strong private interests” that make it difficult to gather the resources necessary to solve regional problems (Harrigan and Vogel, 2003, p.16-7). Other regional planning advocates argue that fragmentation of metropolitan government is prohibitively difficult because too many governmental units need to be at the planning table (Orfield, 1997). Still other regional planning advocates raise equity-based objections, arguing that suburbanization itself denies wealthy suburbs’ resources from being shared with inner cities. The latter suggests that further fragmentation of metropolitan government exacerbates that inequity (Downs, 1994). Public choice advocates disagree. These “theorists focus on how fragmented government provides individuals with the ability to choose what community to live in on the basis of the level of services and taxes that best meet their needs” (Harrigan and Vogel, 2003, p. 13). Public choice advocates argue that fragmented metropolitan government fosters competition that benefits consumers (Harrigan and Vogel, 2003). Metropolitan ecologists share a similar view. “Ecologists’ positive view of special-purpose governments rests in part on their geographic, functional, and financial flexibility in meeting a wide variety of service delivery needs without jeopardizing the viability of individual governmental units” (Foster, 1997, p.44). The history of park districts originated with the creation of the New York Central Park Commission in 1854. Accounts of its creation state that the Central Park Commission was considered a political reform that sought to depoliticize parks and 9

Authors: Emanuelson, David.
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Advocates of regional planning argue that fragmented systems of local
government create weak “political authorities” and “strong private interests” that
make it difficult to gather the resources necessary to solve regional problems
(Harrigan and Vogel, 2003, p.16-7). Other regional planning advocates argue that
fragmentation of metropolitan government is prohibitively difficult because too
many governmental units need to be at the planning table (Orfield, 1997).
Still other regional planning advocates raise equity-based objections, arguing that
suburbanization itself denies wealthy suburbs’ resources from being shared with
inner cities. The latter suggests that further fragmentation of metropolitan
government exacerbates that inequity (Downs, 1994).
Public choice advocates disagree. These “theorists focus on how fragmented
government provides individuals with the ability to choose what community to live
in on the basis of the level of services and taxes that best meet their needs” (Harrigan
and Vogel, 2003, p. 13). Public choice advocates argue that fragmented metropolitan
government fosters competition that benefits consumers (Harrigan and Vogel, 2003).
Metropolitan ecologists share a similar view. “Ecologists’ positive view of
special-purpose governments rests in part on their geographic, functional, and
financial flexibility in meeting a wide variety of service delivery needs without
jeopardizing the viability of individual governmental units” (Foster, 1997, p.44).
The history of park districts originated with the creation of the New York Central
Park Commission in 1854. Accounts of its creation state that the Central Park
Commission was considered a political reform that sought to depoliticize parks and
9


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