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Dayton Together Reveals Merger Plan

Details of a plan to merge the governments of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County were revealed yesterday by members of the non-profit group Dayton Together.

They’re aiming to create what’s called a metro-style government, partially modeled after the 2003 merger of the city of Louisville and its surrounding county.

Under the proposal, the new government would be led by a council and one manager. A new mayor and 10 representatives would be selected by county voters using redrawn districts. School districts and other local governments in Montgomery County would not change.

Former Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Dayton Together committee co-chairman of Dayton Together Paul Leonard says they created the plan to avoid financial turmoil.

“We’re not getting the kind of federal funding or state funding we used to get, people are starting to say no to tax increases, and that’s creating a perfect storm," he said. "Someday, cities like Dayton are going to be in a position where they can’t pay their bills and so what we’d like to do is plan ahead. We’d like to avoid that.”

Opponents of the merger say the economic benefits would be minimal, and consolidation may negatively affect minority populations in Dayton by diluting their voting power.

The issue would not appear on ballots until at least 2017.