The main question for local leaders is would consolidation of the city and county's governments benefit the area?
Now the voters could have their say in the matter, if Representative Allen Peake's bill passes through the house on Monday and then the senate in the weeks to come.
The bill could have a hard time getting through the senate, but if it does voters will answer the question for themselves in November.
"It's time that we take a new look at how we govern ourselves and I believe this bill will provide us significantly smaller and efficient government," said Peake.
Representative Allen Peake believes a smaller, more unified governing body could benefit
"We've got to find a way to reduce the cost of government. If you're going to merge the city and county you've got to save some money. And you do that by merging departments, eliminating duplicating functions and hopefully at the end of the day one plus one, one city and one county will not equal more than two but it will equal something less than two," said Staton.
Peake says his plan will save a significant amount of money for middle
"The combined budget can not be greater than what the two individual budgets for what the city and the county were and in fact it's got to decrease by five percent over five years," said Peake.
Senator Cecil Staton says time will tell if Peake's bill lines up with his vision of moving forward, but there's no doubt consolidation itself could be helpful for the economy.
"When your looking at economic development, when you're looking at trying to bring new businesses to our area, create new jobs. It is thought that there could be some benefit from having one local government to be the face of the community in those kinds of negotiations," said Staton.
Peake agrees and says a unified, smaller government would make the political process smoother.
"22 elected officials, 15 council members, 5 County commissioners, a mayor and a sheriff. This bill would take it to 11. It would be a nine member commission, a mayor and a sheriff and so you're going from 22 elected officials to 11 and in my mind provide us a better qualified elected official and make us more efficient on a going forward basis," said Peake.
The bill will be voted on in the house more than likely on Monday and then will be presented to the Senate in the weeks to come. If both parties pass the bill, voters will decide on consolidation in the November elections.