Over the past few months, as the political class of the state has been in an uproar over the budget deficit, I've had several ideas abut streamlining local government (three to be exact , though the third, or perhaps the second, has escaped me).
The most significant proposal, and the most impossible, would be to eliminate townships in the state. Under this plan unincorporated areas would be administered directly by counties. This plan would also establish population and population density criteria for creating villages (general-law and home-rule) and cities.
The other proposal that I can remember deals with county row offices (surveyor, treasurer. sheriff, clerk...). Counties in MI can now create the office of county executive (either by adopting a charter or using the optional unified county structure) but the majority of the executive functions of the county remain in the hands of separately elected individuals. My proposal would allow the county commission to propose a referendum on eliminating one or more row offices and transferring those powers to the executive. If the referendum passed, the county executive would be able to appoint those row officers with the advice and consent of the county commission.