Lansing, Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero (for whom I worked as a full-time intern several years ago) has suggested that the region would be stronger if his city merged with East Lansing. Even more surprisingly, East Lansing Mayor Sam Singh seemed open to the idea if Lansing resolves its budget issues.
Regardless of whether a merger actually takes place, the two cities are pressing ahead with plans for regionally combined services, including a consolidated 911 emergency dispatch system, a regional communications center that would handle such things as televising public meetings, and a fire station that would be staffed by firefighters from both cities.
Merging these two cities would be a great start, but my dream politician for Michigan would do something about the townships (like get rid of them!). Charter townships are a developer's dream, and a breeding ground for suburban sprawl, and rural areas no longer need such a small unit of government.