A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Back in the 1990s, some Charleston leaders worried that the state capital could slip below the 50,000 population required for a Class I city — and the decrease might make some federal grants more difficult to obtain, or drop Charleston off the radar screen of corporations which ignore cities below 50,000.
At that time, leaders such as Mayor Danny Jones, County Commission President Kent Carper, state Sen. Brooks McCabe and others explored the “Louisville plan,” which seemed sensible.
Louisville boosted its national standing by expanding to encompass its entire county — leaving other local municipalities intact. The Kentucky city grew enormously, gained stature and reaped business increases. Louisville residents have been delighted by their change. In Kanawha County, critics didn’t like the idea, so it was dropped.
Maybe it’s time to revisit that notion…