An excerpt (I really cannot re-post too much of it re: Fair Use laws but readers should read the entire article anyway):
Ohio residents pay dearly for local control, shouldering the ninth highest level of local taxes in the country. (Ohio is 34th highest in state taxes.)
By supporting so many layers of administrative personnel and duplicate facilities and equipment, money is drained from providing services.
But the fragmentation also creates other costs. What's valuable about the Brookings report is that it lays out the full range of negative impacts, something local officials rarely discuss.
The core argument is that having so many units of local government makes long-term, regional planning very difficult, if not impossible, damaging a region's ability to compete economically.
But what exactly does this mean for non-central cities, as in, those sprawled or sprawling 'burbs?Without a unified approach, the report argues, central cities suffer as the suburbs sprawl. In the end, a city's ability to attract young, highly educated workers decreases, thus making economic development even harder.
Some of these arguments remind me of the ones used in Columbus to abrogate local law (like oil and gas well drilling regulation and gun laws, which Ohio's AG just argued should allow for negating gun bans in cities like Cleveland) but they also remind me of the evolution from restrictive covenants to zoning ordinances - done in the name of unification and unified approaches.
The balance. Where is the point of balance? What is gained? What is lost? And how do we size those things up? I guess that's what exploration is supposed to be about, yes?