In Michigan, it is not uncommon to have cities with boundaries adjacent to eachother. In the larger metro areas, the metro is made up of a quiltwork of cities, even with a city inside another city (Highland Park in Detroit).
In addition, there are charter townships, which are a sort of proto-city, and are created in most cases because a city cannot annex territory without the consent of the charter township.
This high number of jurisdictions leads to a duplication of services, or perhaps better said, multiple small scale service providers. In many cases there would be cost savings by combining service providers in larger jurisdictions.
Some say that small jurisdictions provide better service because they are closer to the voters, for example, some have suggested breaking up the city of Detroit into smaller pieces to create smaller jurisdictions that respond to the needs of the citizens better.
One of the effects of this patchwork of jurisdictions is that property tax revenues are held within jurisdictions with high property values, and a low value area does not benefit from an adjacent high value area, which may be very close geographically. So when blight hits a jurisdiction, it is hard for that jurisdiction to break out by making improvements from general fund dollars (which come mostly from property tax).
Another effect is that ethnic groups sometimes tend to congregate in jurisdictions, and rather than a melting pot, it leads to an apartheid situation that is exacerbated by local politics being completely controlled by politicians of a certain ethnic group.
I am wondering if those outside of Michigan have a preference toward municipal services provided by larger jurisdictions, or is local home rule by smaller jurisdictions a better way to keep the services focused on the needs of the citizen?