Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The growth of urban population beyond the legal boundaries of our towns and cities presents problems that are not being handled effectively by existing agencies of local government. Essentially the difficulty is that, while the suburbanites are an integral part of the central city's social and economic life, they are beyond her legal jurisdiction. As a result county government, designed primarily for rural areas, finds itself bogged down with urban problems. To meet such incongruities suburbanites often seek satisfaction of their needs in a series of uncoordinated special service districts, or other public or semi-public agencies and often ultimately in separate municipal incorporation. In short most of our urban centers are governed not by one, but by numerous more or less independent, uncoordinated, over-lapping layers of local government. The result is confusion and conflict of authority, divided responsibility, high costs, uneven services, frustration of popular understanding and control, bitter antagonisms and decay of the central city due to the exodus of wealth and talents into suburbia, leaving costly blighted areas "in town" and an ever growing responsibility for "daylight populations" that bear little of the tax burdens involved.