A thing I've never understood is how counties and cities interact in the U.S. The city I live in has a small city funded library that's not part of the county system which has a county library a few miles up the road. Why not just split the cost with the county and have one library system?

Although, I just realized that having two library systems means separate max book limits so I can check out more stuff at once.

@sam And naturally, it's not consistent. In some states, counties are not much more than abstractions to demarcate regions but do no effective administration (no county commission).

In other states, counties may be where all the administration happens, due to their including various unincorporated towns w/ no municipal governance (no city council).

Are you originally from the US though? I ask, as I fear that if you are, that I would have patronizingly explained the situation here.

@jotaemei yah, from the U.S.; no worries though, it's cool, I've never understood the county/city distinction even having grown up here. Closest I can come is "city is different because people want different services/specific laws than the more rural part of the county", which is fine, but then I don't get why there are stuff like the library or trash pick up that are duplicated.

@sam oh but you know where you live.... Our little city and the county which only contains it rejected a referendum to unify so we don't pay for two "public safety" depts each and etc etc. Was plausibly going to dilute both the city-POC and county-antitax-rural representation, so rejected. A few years later, we nearly defunded our shared/independent library when the city and county couldn't agree on splitting their costs for that and literally the dog catcher. So it goes.

@sam more broadly, my experience in other (more west) parts of the country is that counties are often sized appropriately to towns (containing many) and cities (containing one) and while they still represent some different constituencies the set of services they each deal with are not racially-motivated-disjoint.

@loppear yah, that figures I guess; I shouldn't be surprised to hear that two entities can't agree on splitting funding. I didn't even think about how it would affect voting for council people or commissioners or whatever too. Good call.

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