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Mayor Announces Celebration for Metro Government’s 50th Anniversary


Seigenthaler, Cate, Harper to Co-Chair Citizens Group

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean today announced that he has appointed a citizens group to plan a nine-month celebration and public education campaign commemorating Metro Government’s 50th Anniversary. Serving as co-chairs are John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center and former editor and publisher of The Tennessean; George Cate, Metro’s first vice mayor; and State Sen. Thelma Harper.

In addition to the co-chairs, Dean appointed committee leaders who will focus on different aspects of the celebration:

  • Jay Turner, managing director of MarketStreet Enterprises, will chair the Finance Committee.
  • Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations, will chair the Events Committee.
  • Carole Bucy, professor of history at Volunteer State Community College and Metro Historian, will chair the Education Committee.
  • Pat Nolan, senior vice president at DVL Public Relations & Advertising, will chair the Media and Community Relations Committee.

“This anniversary is an important one for our city,” Dean said. “Fifty years ago, Nashvillians decided to do something different than the rest of the country and become a more efficient government and a stronger community by consolidating our city and county governments. That forward-thinking decision to make us a ‘metropolitan’ form of government has saved us money and resources over the years and is the reason cities from across the country call us to learn more about how it is done.  To help make this important anniversary a successful celebration and learning experience for the community as a whole, we are fortunate to have three long-standing community leaders guide this commemoration.”

Activities will be scheduled around three key dates: June 28, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the successful referendum creating the Metro Charter; November, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the
first Metro mayoral and run-off election; and April 1, 2013, the anniversary of the implementation of Metro Government. More information about community-wide celebrations, other activities and how schools, civic clubs, neighborhood organizations, the faith community and others can get involved will be forthcoming.

Nashville’s consolidation in 1963 was the first true city-county consolidation in the country, although Miami-Dade County had merged part of their government services prior to then.  Nashville-Davidson County became the pioneer and role model for future city-county consolidations. Even today, other cities and counties considering such a merger look to Metro Nashville for guidance. 

According to the National League of Cities, to date, there are only 14 city-county consolidations in the United States. Consolidation is a merger of a city and county governments and the services of each, representing creation of a new governmental entity and not the taking over of one by the other.