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Old 05-05-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,951,565 times
Reputation: 14655

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"Zombie" towns in Pennsylvania might not exist for much longer if this bill gets passed. As it is, municipalities are only permitted to merge or consolidate with another, and that's given a majority vote in both (or however many) municipalities involved. But Pennsylvania is one of only 10 states that does not allow them to disincorporate, which is why there are so many glorified homeowner's associations masquerading as municipalities. Even the mayors of several of these places acknowledge that they shouldn't exist in this form. Hopefully this bill will gain momentum.

Just for ****s and giggles, let's list some of the municipalities that probably won't exist if this bill passes. I'll start:


- Arona
- Callery
- East McKeesport
- Export
- Haysville
- North Charleroi
- Rankin
- South Greensburg
- Southwest Greensburg
- Wall
- West Homestead
- Whitaker
- Wilmerding
- Youngblood


Those are the ones I thought of off the top of my head. The rest of you can continue the list.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,913,851 times
Reputation: 10533
While some consolidation is needed, this is really the cowards way out, since it seems it will basically be similar to that controversial Michigan bill and force the de-incorporated boroughs to have appointed administrators rather than directly elected local government.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,366 posts, read 59,807,408 times
Reputation: 54006
So ... From what I read in the link, any disincorporated towns would be run by the county?

Quote:
In disincorporation, a municipal border is eliminated and residents, now in an unincorporated area, are served by the surrounding higher level of government, often a county. This process needs approval only by the government wishing to erase itself.
Are our counties really equipped to provide that kind of oversight and operation? I don't see any cost savings here, because the county still will have to provide the same services the municipality provides, and the management that goes with those services.

And I agree that this could be a problem:

Quote:
The bill also lets Pennsylvania dissolve municipalities, transforming them into unincorporated districts run by state-appointed administrators.
Isn't that taxation without representation?
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,341 posts, read 10,331,404 times
Reputation: 28455
Not sure where the giggles come in but it sounds like the only criteria is population?


If the residents in a town vote to unincorporate, fine. But it should come from them.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
While some consolidation is needed, this is really the cowards way out, since it seems it will basically be similar to that controversial Michigan bill and force the de-incorporated boroughs to have appointed administrators rather than directly elected local government.
I completely disagree; What this is is necessarily-strong medicine for a problem that grew of of the unrealstic expectations of people who sold their loyaties at the ballot box to political hacks with absolutely no sruples or sense of accountability.

There are, of course, some people -- honest employees who put in many years at their jobs -- who have every right to be protected. But the machinery that created this problem can no longer be allowed to fester and rot like an albatross around the neck of the honest taxpayer. That goes just as much for Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Reading and Harrisburg as for the "small potatoes" in the original post.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Philly
9,922 posts, read 14,042,591 times
Reputation: 2715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
So ... From what I read in the link, any disincorporated towns would be run by the county? Are our counties really equipped to provide that kind of oversight and operation? I don't see any cost savings here, because the county still will have to provide the same services the municipality provides, and the management that goes with those services.

And I agree that this could be a problem:

Isn't that taxation without representation?
Generally speaking there would be cost savings by eliminating a police department. some times might not even need a "whole person" but a "piece" of a person for three shifts. obviously back end savings would be large. are counties subject to act 111?
I don't think there is any good argument against allowing places to unincorporate, I think it's just a matter of what would happen afterward. I share your concern over this bill and think it should just get dumped on the counties or township.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,877 posts, read 42,096,122 times
Reputation: 43281
Growing up in PA and now living in MD I'll throw in.

PA does not have a history of County government, in many cases the County is an afterthought. The real local governmental power in PA is the Townships and Boroughs. If a disincorporation would happen the municipality would likely retrocede to the appropriate Township which would then have to be responsible for whatever issues that town had.

Net result would be a loss for the Township, the costs of the problems would rebound back to everyone in it.

The Counties in PA just aren't set up like in MD where they're the main form of local government. There are only about 157 incorporated municipalities in this state. Even the school systems are County based (which is a whole other discussion, there are good and bad points to it).
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,341 posts, read 10,331,404 times
Reputation: 28455
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
Generally speaking there would be cost savings by eliminating a police department. some times might not even need a "whole person" but a "piece" of a person for three shifts. obviously back end savings would be large. are counties subject to act 111?
I don't think there is any good argument against allowing places to unincorporate, I think it's just a matter of what would happen afterward. I share your concern over this bill and think it should just get dumped on the counties or township.
A lot of smaller towns don't have police depts anyway. Their law enforcement is covered by the state police. No difference in cost there.

And fire companies are staffed by volunteers. There's cost of equipment of course but unless they eliminate the whole fire company (bad idea), there's going to be equipment cost anyway.

Allowing-yes
Forcing-no.
That, to me, is the difference.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Philly
9,922 posts, read 14,042,591 times
Reputation: 2715
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
A lot of smaller towns don't have police depts anyway. Their law enforcement is covered by the state police. No difference in cost there.

And fire companies are staffed by volunteers. There's cost of equipment of course but unless they eliminate the whole fire company (bad idea), there's going to be equipment cost anyway.

Allowing-yes
Forcing-no.
That, to me, is the difference.
we seem to be in agreement. it's wrong to force towns to exist or force them not to exist. many small towns do have police departments and I'd guess that particularly goes for places that used to be a lot bigger. the law also needs to govern places like chester where people might just decide that, you know, it's not working anymore.
I'm sure it would be a "loss" for the township but so what? it just means the health of towns within the township is important. many towns were formed out of townships anyway for a reason that may no longer apply.
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:54 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
A lot of smaller towns don't have police depts anyway. Their law enforcement is covered by the state police. No difference in cost there.

And fire companies are staffed by volunteers. There's cost of equipment of course but unless they eliminate the whole fire company (bad idea), there's going to be equipment cost anyway.

Allowing-yes
Forcing-no.
That, to me, is the difference.
And some small boroughs already contract with a larger city for law enforcement. Fire depts generally have mutual-aid policies as well.
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