Is Bigger Always Better?

Regionalism event image

Clarke Forum panel to discuss local government in Pennsylvania 

by Christine Dugan 

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 5,000 units of local government encompassing 67 counties, 2,561 municipalities, 514 school districts and nearly 1,800 special district governments. Opinions vary on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the commonwealth’s current structure of local government. A panel of local and regional government officials will convene for “Regionalism in Pennsylvania: Is Bigger Always Better?” on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room to share stories of achievement, lessons learned from regional cooperation and the principles that will lay a foundation for future success.

The panelists are Ron Bailey, executive director of the Chester County Planning Commission and member of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board; Elam Herr, assistant executive director for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS); and Steve Kusheloff, manager for SEDA-Council of Governments (COG). Kirk Stoner, director of planning for Cumberland County, will moderate the discussion.

Bailey is a senior research fellow with the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin & Marshall College. He also worked in state and local government in the Pacific Northwest. Herr represents PSATS before the Pennsylvania General Assembly and executive departments on legislative and policy matters affecting townships. He also is responsible for the planning, development and administration of the association. Kusheloff is manager for public information at SEDA-COG. Previously, he was a member of the Sunbury City Council and later served on the Upper Augusta Township Municipal Authority.

Stoner manages land use, transportation and environmental-planning initiatives for Cumberland County. Previously, he worked for the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation as a business-development specialist and was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett in 2012 to serve on the Pennsylvania State Planning Board, where he advises the governor’s office on planning, development and land use issues.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Greater Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce.  

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Published October 13, 2014