Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A myriad of municipalities - the Gaston v. Union bakeoff

For years, as a public policy geek and former state editor, I've believed Union County, just southeast of Charlotte, has more municipalities than any other county in North Carolina. A frenzy of incorporations in the 1990s and early 2000s pushed Union ahead of Gaston County, which had held the record -- at least as far as we knew.

But after doing a bit of research (for something else) I have learned that we in the N.C. Piedmont cannot hold a candle to the coastal county of Brunswick. At least, not if the N.C. League of Municipalities website can be trusted.

Check this out:

Brunswick County has 19 incorporated municipalities, outstripping Union's paltry 15.

And Union has 15 only if you count Mint Hill, almost all of which is in Mecklenburg County. Robeson County has 15 municipalities, and though two (Maxton, Red Springs) are split across two counties, they are predominantly in Robeson.

Gaston has only 14, and that includes two municipalities straddling the county line: Kings Mountain believes itself to be
part of Cleveland County. High Shoals is in Gaston and Lincoln counties.

Wake County also has 15 municipalities, according to the league's list. But that list counts Durham (Durham County), Clayton (Johnston County) and Angier (Harnett County), and it splits Zebulon between Wake and Johnston counties and Wake Forest between Wake and Franklin counties. Both of those towns think of themselves as Wake County places. Subtract Durham, Clayton and Angier and Wake has 12 municipalities.

Bottom line: Brunswick County wins the most municipalities title. Its smallest is Bolivia, population 146, and Bald Head Island, 160. 


Mary Newsom said...

I got an email from Max Hopper, mayor of Earl, in Cleveland County, upbraiding me (though nicely) for neglecting his county. Here's what he wrote:

"You may have again omitted Cleveland County from the Metrolina universe in your discourse on towns. Cleveland also has 15. Please remember that Cleveland is a member of the Charlotte Regional Partnership and is part of the Connect Our Future initiative and bring us in from the cold."

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.