Form of Municipal Government: In Pennsylvania, the present type of borough government is the weak mayor form which governed all incorporated municipalities during the 19th Century. Most of the present cities were boroughs first and became cities as their population increased. Borough have a strong and dominant council, a weak executive and other elected officers with powers independent of the council. The governing body of the borough is an elected council, in St. Lawrence the tax collector is also elected. Many other officials are appointed by borough council. The mayor is elected for a four-year term; council members are elected for four-year overlapping terms. A borough not divided into wards usually has seven council members. The powers of council are broad and extensive, covering virtually the whole range of urban municipal functions. In more than 200 boroughs, the chief administrative officer is a manager appointed by council. The manager is responsible for carrying out the policies and enforcing the ordinances of council, relieving council from routine day-to-day administration.
Municipal Functions: The main areas of local services include police and fire protection, maintenance of local roads and streets, water supply, sewage collection and treatment, parking and traffic control, local planning and zoning, parks and recreation, garbage collection, health services, libraries, licensing of businesses, and code enforcement.
Source: The Pennsylvania Manual
Berks County, Pennsylvania
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