Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



The growing urban areas of the United States has brought about a number of metropolitan problems. These problems have multiplied over the past few years due to the population explosion and migration. The ability of urban governments to cope and function under these growing trends has been the subject of many urban scholars. Solutions proposed to overcome these problems have invariably revolved around some form of structural reorganization or local government. One of the most popular proposals for governmental reorganization has been the consolidation of city and county governments into a single government for the entire metropolitan area. Studying six recent city-county consolidations, it was found that certain characteristics of the areas involved were similar. All these mergers had a history of past attempts at consolidation; they were all small to medium-sized cities; and, within the county's boundaries, there were very few incorporated areas. One of the most striking similarities was that all of these consolidations produced a mayor-council form of government. Like the previous consolidations, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County has had a previous attempt at consolidating. Albuquerque is a medium-sized city and is one of two incorporated entities within the boundaries of Bernalillo County. With these favorable comparisons of previous consolidations to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, it is assumed that consolidation will take place in the study area. With this assumption, it is hypothesized that the most likely structure of government to come out of consolidation in the Albuquerque­Bernalillo area will be a mayor-council form of government. The methodology employed in this thesis used a comparative analysis of six previous consolidation, coupled with an analysis of past attempts at consolidating by Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. After correlating this, a sample survey was used to reinforce the hypothesis that a mayor-council form of government will be the most likely outcome of consolidation in this area. In conclusion, it is hoped that with such major structural changes in the local government and the expanding geographical boundaries the normal voter apathy in local elections will not prevail. Only by means of the ballot box can this thesis be validated.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Edwin F. Connerley

Second Committee Member

Donald Winston Smithburg

Third Committee Member

Albert H. Rosenthal



Document Type