Consolidating government services dream dating now
It's much easier to register complaints or suggestions with elected leaders when they're close at hand.It's much easier to influence local leaders where residents are likely to run into the mayor or city council members at the grocery store, at church, or at a high school football game than in communities where the elected officials are held in much loftier positions.
This is a simple case of monopsony power -- the power of a single, larger buyer to force prices downward, in a mirror image of monopoly power when a single, larger suppleir can force prices upward.
Larger political units have larger contracts to offer, thus inviting a much greater prospect of bona fide corruption.
Smaller communities are by no means exempt from corruption, but it's much more rational to undertake criminal activity like collusion, bribes, and kickbacks when the payoffs are greater than when they involve much smaller rewards -- particularly when the criminal penalties are uniform across communities of different sizes.
Many metropolitan areas contain both cities and counties that provide similar or duplicate services.
Sheriff's departments and police departments often cover the same geographic areas, and city parks departments often maintain lands similar to and nearby county conservation areas.
By bringing those services under a single government authority, consolidated governments can reduce the administrative costs and burdens of maintaining parallel providers of duplicated services.
Suppose a metropolitan area composed of five communities with 50,000 residents each were to consolidate into a single unit of 250,000 residents.
The benefits as noted below include improved bargaining power and reduced service duplication, but the disadvantages are often under-represented and include increased corruption and the loss of competitive suppliers.
When viewed from a broader historical context, it is difficult to find any serious examples of occasions when government became more efficient as it became larger.