The current City I live in, Sacramento CA has several annexations of other “cities” like Freeport, Natomos, etc. I am curious how this works politically. Is each case different when cities do this? I ask because i noticed some orderances are different depending on where im at even though they still have Sacramento adresses. Why does this happen and how does it work?
I think it normally requires an act by the state legislature. It’s more a question of state politics than of rules.
This PDF may be a good starting place to learn about annexations in California.
My very limited understanding is that state law (California Government Code) and local law guides the process. State law trumps conflicting local law.
Essentially, every county has a Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) that oversees the formation of local entities, annexations, and the like. Very simply put, (1) someone submits a proposal to LAFCo; (2) then LAFCo evaluates the environmental, fiscal, and other impacts; (3) the people in the affected areas vote on it; and (4) the result of the vote is binding and, if approved, LAFCo changes the maps and whatnot.
I don’t know what happens if the state has issued a charter to a city and that city wants to merge itself into another chartered city. Perhaps they have to go to the legislature to get the charter dissolved, unless the charter provides the city can dissolve its own charter.
Each state has different laws over annexing. Some states it’s a state legislature thing. In some states like Illinois we have a lot of incorporated places (IL has more than any other state then Texas).
This explains why cities like LA and San Antonio are so large. San Antonio suburban area are, for the moment, in the city limits. This is why Chicago, St Louis, Boston and Baltimore are smaller as they were stopped growing by incorporated places surrounding them.
The only example I know is Mariemont, OH, just out of Cincinnati, which is a strange case, as it has its own mayor and city government but still gets its mail addressed to Cincinnati.
Mail has absolutely nothing to do with being incorporated or with merging of cities. The Postal Service puts post offices where it’s most convenient for them. Not all incorporated cities have them and some unincorporated places have them.