During a panel discussion in San Jose, the San Carlos city manager suggested that government in the Bay Area may be too fragmented to be efficient. His is the latest voice to join a chorus calling for consolidations.

Citing the 2013 Index of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area has 101 cities, 27 transit systems, and nine counties – creating an environment of duplicative services and waste. Instead of fragmenting, streamlining, consolidating, and collaborative could help reshape the face of regional governance in the future.

Part of the push toward regionalization, particularly in the Bay Area, results from the disappearing distinction between areas such as the Bay Area and the Silicon Valley. As a greater number of workers commute, traditional regional and identity boundaries will stretch even further. But without a unified approach to issues presented by regional challenges, fragmentation will prevent improvement.

Another panel participant suggested that Bay Area sprawl could have been controlled had the area had a unified approach to transportation. The growth of sprawl contributes to emission of greenhouse gasses, which leads to regional issues such as climate change and air quality. By combining agencies and missions, or encouraging collaboration, regional government can support local governments and not overpower them.

Read the full story at the Peninsula Press.