The UniGov relationship between Indianapolis and Marion County that developed 40 years ago remains more the exception than the norm. Discussions of city-county working agreements in Fort Wayne and Evansville, among other places, have taken place in recent years.
The local government efficiency focus in-state has shifted to the Kernan-Shepard Commission and its 27 recommendations. Perhaps no issue is more important to long-term economic reform. Count the Indiana Chamber (with an assist from former Gov. Joe Kernan) among the chief advocates in spreading the word and working for enactment.
Louisville/Jefferson County is the recent model of success (2005 BizVoice story). Other city-county consolidations, according to Governing magazine: Nashville/Davidson County, Jacksonville/Duval County, Boston, Denver, New Orleans, Honolulu, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
A potential marriage between Pittsburgh and Allegheny County has never gained traction. Officials keep trying, but the latest proposal would exempt the county’s 129 other municipalities (129; seems like local government on steroids).
Pennsylvanians will have their say later this year at the polls. Indiana voters will be going to the polls in referendum elections for 43 township assessors (much more to come on that topic) with the General Assembly and others tackling comprehensive reform in 2009.