local government

Commissioner Leonard Steps Up Portland’s War on Fun

Portland is known primarily as a cool city, where people spend their 20s happily working in the service sector, drinking craft beer, eating organic food, and exploring a variety of unconventional lifestyle options. In short, Portland is weird. That’s not just an observation: it’s the city’s marketing strategy. Keep Portland Weird is a pretty common bumper sticker in the city (believe it or not, there are cars in Portland). Yet despite the non-conformist attitude of Portlanders, the municipal government seems bent on destroying everything fun about the city.  read more »

Australian Local Governments Stop Forced Amalgamation

Local government consolidations are often proposed by a wide range of interests, often out of the belief that they will produce more efficient (less costly) governments. Much of the academic literature supports this view. However, the evidence indicates that material savings routinely fail to occur from such amalgamations. The claimed $300 million annual savings in Toronto's megacity quickly became higher costs and a larger bureaucracy.  read more »

What Seneca Falls Can Learn from Toronto

One of the most enduring myths in public policy is that local government consolidations save money. The idea seems to make sense, and most of the academic studies support the proposition. However, rarely, if ever, does the promised reduction in public expenditures or taxes actually take place.  read more »