But is bigger better? According to Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Executive Director David M. Sanko, the answer is No. "No one has ever proven that bigger government is better – or even more cost-effective – government."
On July 27, Hanover Township Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution opposing any forced local government mergers or consolidations, declaring that "townships are excellent fiscal stewards that have been doing more with less ever since the days of William Penn." It also notes that consolidated, county-based governments generally have higher tax burdens than smaller governments.
Township Manager John (Jay) Finningan derided Caltagirone's legislation as "Harrisburg's attempt to make government bigger. I'd hate to have anyone call Easton because their road is not plowed."
Later that evening, the Solicitor told Supervisors about a state legislative miscue concerning permit extensions, in which state legislators goofed and required every municipality to advertise in The Pennsylvania Bulletin. Supervisor Steve Salveson grimly noted, "This is brought to you by the same people who want all municipalities to merge."
The Resolution supports voluntary mergers started at the local level, provided it has the support of a majority of all affected municipalities.
None of the Lehigh Valley's state representatives have agreed to cosponsor Caltagrione's legislation, which appears to be dying a slow death in State Rep. Bob Freeman's Local Government Committee.