Why So Rare

Why don't more cities merge or combine?

Several prominent cities in the US are the result of mergers, including Winston Salem, NC; Battle Creek, MI, and very recently Princeton, NJ.  

Princeton’s merger has been very successful and was detailed in the book entitled, A Tale Of Two Tigers by Chad Goerner. 

"In 2011 Princeton Township and Princeton Borough voted to merge into a single town, overcoming six decades of failed attempts. The consolidation of the Princetons is a victory for government reform advocates in a state of inefficient 'home rule' and overwhelming layers of government: 565 municipalities, 599 school districts and 21 county units.

"The first large-scale New Jersey municipal merger in over a century, Princeton's consolidation has generated considerable savings and operating efficiencies. Their success has provided a template for other towns to use in their own consolidation and service regionalization efforts."

In Canada, several prominent cities are also the result of mergers, including Cambridge, Ontario.

Consolidating or merging two municipalities requires collaboration between both cities to decide how to reengineer the new government structure and the services it provides.  Cities that are very similar, such as Lewiston and Auburn with aligned charters and harmonized city department structures, have great advantages.

It is a bold, progressive move, one where citizens can envision a better future as one, rather than holding to the status quo.  Supporters see a unique opportunity to reinvent the education system, which in turn, will attract the families whose skills will attract employers seeing quality talent.

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