Saturday, May 27, 2017

Township Government

PENNSYLVANIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT ~~ Local government in Pennsylvania is a mosaic of 5,334 individual units. All were established by the State or provincial government and operate under laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Each unit is distinct and independent of other local units, although they may overlap geographically and may act together to serve the public.

As of 2001, there were 67 counties, 56 cities, 964 boroughs, 1 incorporated town, 1,548 townships (91 first class, 1,457 second class), 501 school districts and 2,198 authorities (active and inactive). The number of local units has remained fairly stable for the past few decades with two major exceptions.

After passage of school district legislation in 1963 and 1965, the number of school districts diminished radically. Authorities, born as local units during the depression years of the 1930s, have proliferated at a phenomenal pace since then.

PENNSYLVANIA TOWNSHIPS ~~ fall in one of two classes. There are 91 first class towships, generally more and located in the state's metropolitan areas. There are 1,457 second class townships, generally rural.

The governing body of second class townships is composed of three supervisors who are elected at-large. Two additional supervisors may be elected if approved by referendum. All are elected at-large for six-year terms. Pine Township falls into the second class category.

Other elected officials include the tax assessors, tax collector (second class), three auditors or controller, and a treasurer (first class). Appointive officers include the secretary, township manager if desired, chief of police, fire chief, engineer, solicitor and others.