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TheGerbil

City and County announce plan to merge

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http://post-gazette.com/pg/08095/870495-85.stm

This could be monumental if it actually goes through. But there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. The good news is that the mayor and county executive both agree on it. Without that, there would be no discussion at all.

Another issue is that this would be a city-county merger, it would not include the county's other 120+ municipalities. On the bright side, it should be easier to pass for that very reason. That is, IF the state approves the plan, which has to happen before we could even vote on it.

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It's a flawed and ambiguous plan. I am no sure how the city or county benefit from a plan that does not include the merger of the remaining 129 municipalities. As councilor Ricky Burgess said, "it gives suburbanites a say over Pittsburgh; but Pittsburghers no say over suburbanites". Unlike the Louisville merger... which these guys have studied for years... there is no unincorporated land for Pittsburgh to gain.

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I'm not really seeing how this works for city residents either. I'm not a huge fan of my current city council person but at least I'm one of ~33,333 of her constituents. How would I have that level of representation in a combined city-county council? Currently there are 13 district county council members each representing almost 100K residents. So if I read this right, I'd lose 1/3 of my power.

But the other 129 municipalities in the county get to keep their local governments and get a say in the way the city is run? Am I missing some great benefit that I'd get out of this?

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I hadn't thought about it like that. :(

I think the main benefit would be the elemination of duplicated services. And it would hopefully be step toward merging all municipalities in the county. But you guys make a good point that in the meantime, the other towns would perhaps have more control over the city than city residents would like.

Hopefully that is something they would think about as they hammer out the details. Maybe there is a way to avoid that pitfall.

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I can't see this ever happening. It's probably the best thing that could happen for the City of Pittsburgh, but there are too many politicians from the little municipalities that will never give up the little slice of power they have in life. They will fight to the death to delay, stall, or reject any idea of consolidation.

Look at the couple school districts in Beaver County talking about merging. Same thing on a smaller scale. Each school board does not want to give up their little slice of power. The heck with the kids, education, or saving money. It's all about control and their little bit of power in life.

It's sad how people supposed to be serving the public good go on power trips and think they are more important than they are. It's this kind of thinking that will never allow a City / County merger.

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So we're ahead of them in putting things on paper that we already knew (and then not acting on them). And this they're jealous of?

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it's all about creating synergies, facilities man... no matter the scale

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