Time for a Metro Government in Knox County?

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Is a metro government the future for Knox County?

Knox County Commissioner Scott Moore announced a proposal to explore metro government at Monday's commission meeting.

Moore says a single government would save taxpayers money and start making government more efficient.

City Council and County Commission would be eliminated, but Moore says the average citizen would see very little change, with just one mayor and one legislative body.

"It's like sending out property tax statement, your tax bills. The county sends it and out the city sends it out. You know, you could probably have one department that sends both of them out," says Commission Chairman Scott Moore.

Some call it a metro-government, while others call it a unified government, for the first time Monday, Commission Chairman Scott Moore brought up the single-government proposal.

But what exactly does it mean, and would a unified government save you money.

"What it is, basically, is talking about merging two governments into one," Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore says he's proposing a metro-government system to save taxpayer money. "As time goes on, the wheel tax is not going to carry this county for years and years down the road."

But City Councilwoman Barbara Pelot says the growing needs from citizens and businesses aren't going anywhere. "We won't save any money. The services that need to be provided and are expected to be provided by our government, are going to be pretty much the same."

Pelot says she's not opposed to a unified government, as long as it's run properly, "That entirely depends on how that charter commission is formed and whether it's going to permit us to have a true home-riled government."

Pelot says with so much controversy surrounding county commission, Moore's timing just doesn't seem right. "In my mind, it's always a good time to consider it. I don't know they I feel this is the best time because it is a chaotic time."

"It's something that takes over time. This probably couldn't go into effect till probably 2014, and give people a chance to know this is coming," Moore says the average citizen would see very little change with a unified government. "You would have one mayor instead of two. You would have one legislative body instead of two."

And whatever happens will be up to you at the polls.

"The decision to have a unified government really needs to be one that has the citizens at heart," says Pelot.

Moore is giving commissioners about 30 days to think about his proposal and is hoping it will be on the agenda next month.

Both County Commission and City Council have to vote yes on this before the mayors can appoint people to be on a committee...

So this certainly won't happen overnight, but Moore is hoping to get the ball rolling.

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