John Moeser literally wrote the book on how the city-county dynamic in Richmond got the way it is. His recent essay in the Richmond Times-Dispatch explains how we got where we are. The short story? In the last 40 years the city and the counties have operated like separate nation states. They compete for resources, rather than collaborate on regional solutions. When a conversation about a regional project comes up– like a baseball stadium or a children’s hospital– the city-county dynamic is at work. In the recent past, the counties have wielded more power than the city, but as people flock to the city and poverty spreads to the localities, the balance of power is shifting. There may be an opportunity for a new generation of leaders to craft regional solutions that address poverty, pool and manage resources more effectively, and get things done for the good of the Richmond region.
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