Allegheny County is infamous for having the largest number of municipalities of any county in Pennsylvania, with 130 in all. This has resulted in quite a variety of different types of communities, from large and thoroughly urban cities like Pittsburgh and McKeesport, to sparsely settled but geographically large townships like Findlay or Fawn. You can’t get to 130 without a number of very tiny boroughs like Wall, or Chalfant, or the tiniest of them all, Pennsbury Village. 45 municipalities in all are entirely within Allegheny County and are less than one square mile large. One of those is also the smallest municipality by population: the Borough of Haysville. This 0.2 sq mi speck sits on the north side of the Ohio valley within the Quaker Valley school district and sports a 2010 population of 70. This low population leads to a low number of registered voters: 56 in all in 2015. Of these voters, only 18 cast any ballots at all, and each of these 18 voters encountered a situation unique to Haysville; not a single candidate was listed for any Haysville office. Up for election were Mayor, Tax Collector, Constable, and what appears to be five members of council, and absolutely no one had their name on the ballot as the official candidate. As such, every vote was a write-in candidate and not everyone who submitted a ballot bothered to put in their suggestion for each office. Most overlooked was Tax Collector, which received a grand total of three write-in votes. I can only hope that they were not three different names, as I do not know what would happen if any municipal office election resulted in a three-way tie of one vote each.
Here are the final vote count for each office:
Mayor: 12 votes out of 18 ballots cast
Tax Collector: 3 votes out of 18 ballots cast
Member of Council (vote for 3): 36 total votes, 12 per slot out of 18 ballots cast
Member of Council (vote for 2): 13 total votes, 6.5 per slot out of 18 ballots cast
Constable: 10 total votes out of 18 ballots cast
With eight municipal offices and a total population of 70, fully 11% of the population of Haysville can serve in its government at one time!
My hope is that Haysville is still able to function as an independent borough without any obvious interest shown by its population to participate in its government, but the borough is very likely the first example someone can point at to argue that 130 municipalities in Allegheny County is too many, especially with the lack of interest shown in local government just about anywhere.
For the record, here is a list of municipalities in Allegheny County, 10 boroughs and 1 township, that are smaller than one square mile and have a population of less than 1,000 in 2010. Municipalities in the 37th Senate District are bolded.
|Chalfant||800||0.16 sq mi|
|Pennsbury Village||661||0.08 sq mi|
|Wall||580||0.48 sq mi|
|Glen Osborne||547||0.46 sq mi|
|West Elizabeth||518||0.25 sq mi|
|Thornburg||455||0.42 sq mi|
|Rosslyn Farms||427||0.47 sq mi|
|Ben Avon Heights||371||0.18 sq mi|
|South Versailles Twp||351||0.85 sq mi|
|Glenfield||205||0.86 sq mi|
|Haysville||70||0.20 sq mi|