I would not try to decipher the image I have uploaded at the bottom of this OP. Just suffice it to say that it is Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in all its cluster ■■■■■■ glory.
And a cluster ■■■■ is the only way to describe Allegheny County.
1 County Government
4 City Governments
45 School Districts
Cities + Boroughs + Townships add up to 130 total municipal governments.
Adding in school districts and the county itself and you have 176 governments.
If we follow the model for Philadelphia, consolidation would drop that to one consolidated county/city plus a countywide school district, total two governments.
The result would be called the County and City of Pittsburgh. The resulting school district would be called Pittsburgh Public Schools. I would set up a governing structure for the consolidated County/City similar to what currently used for Allegheny County.
Unfortunately, there is not enough testosterone in Harrisburg to accomplish such a feat.
In the alternative, do this:
Abolish the townships and incorporate their functions into the county. Incorporate the boroughs closest to Pittsburgh into Pittsburgh, those nearest the other three cities into those cities and consider consolidating or abolishing other small boroughs. Finally, consolidate school districts in accordance with municipal consolidation.
But I would prefer Option 1, which would wipe out 174 governments. Getting rid of 174 governments sounds like a damn fine goal to me.
While consolidation is not the appropriate solution for ever county, Pittsburgh is perhaps the metropolitan area in the country where consolidation would be the most appropriate solution, with Hillsborough County, Florida and Orange County, Florida bringing up second and third place.
Again, don’t try to decipher the image below too hard, you may give yourself a stroke.