Sunday, June 03, 2012

Why regionalism need not be so hard - Cleveburgh Version

So here in town the topic of 'Regionalism' always breaks down quickly into to two irreconcilable camps.  Those who think our hyper fragmented local government in Allegheny (one of the most fragmented in the nation by the way, if not the most fragmented in the world) is costly and inefficient and those who perceive the opposite as a movement toward one big 'metropolitan' government. 

Both sides are wrong IMHO.  Those who say fragmented government is expensive never really look at what the expenses are of our smallest municipalities. If you have few or no cops, no professional fire department and rely on the state police or the county for much of what larger communities pay for then guess what... low cost.  They may not be effective and really are foisting costs onto other taxpayers, but they are not costly to the local taxpayer.  On the other side, there are so many ways to deal with the situation and few rise to the level of creating some 'mega' government that technicially has no legal basis at the moment and really is not on anyone's agenda. But that paranoia exists. When I wrote about the notion of Cleveburgh I really had notes and comments from a lot of folks attacking the idea on the presumption I envisioned some combined local government.  At the end of the day both sides argue past each other and nothing moves the status quo much at all.
Anyway.  Years ago I wrote:  Why Regionalism is so hard looking at our long long (I mean really long) history at fighting over this vague notion of 'regionalism'.   But I see a story up the turnpike from Cuyahoga County that pretty much epitomizes the solution I see to dealing with our much more extreme fragmentation here.  See:  Cuyahoga County offers services in pursuit of regionalism.

Worth a read.


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