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Down economy exacerbating U.S. town dissolutions

By MANUEL VALDES Published: October 11, 2012
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Carmen Wilkerson ran for mayor of St. George with one clear goal in mind for the tiny Missouri town: Get rid of it.

Like many of St. George's 1,200 residents, the paralegal had dreaded the thought of having to pay more taxes for a backlog of road fixes. So she campaigned for mayor in the spring of 2011 with a slogan — “Save Us From Our City” — touting disincorporation. She won, and the following November residents voted by a nearly 3-to-1 margin to dissolve the town.

“Ultimately, it was...
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