Despite the possible economic benefits of consolidation, city officials acknowledged that they could face some opposition in their respective constituencies.
"Each of us have different commitments to the quality of service depending on the quality of service we're providing," Flad said. "For instance, Burbank might have higher standards for quality of service at its animal shelter, or vice versa."
In Pasadena, libraries are partially funded by a parcel tax, so it has more money per capita and a higher expectation for library service.
"The cities that have a higher level of service in a given area may not want to see that degraded, even if it means saving money," Flad said.
Tiebout--and subsequent public choice scholars--argue that local governments supply bundles of goods that reflect local interests and these bundles are a form of competition. The more that these three cities cooperate the less there will be to set each of them apart. So certain public services will be supplied more efficiently, but the services provided may not reflect local preferences. In a region of heterogeneous preferences more choices of bundles is better then fewer choices of bundles.