Township Government Details

Townships, like Collier, are a specific form of local municipal government defined by an act of Pennsylvania legislature known as the First Class Township Code. There are other forms of government in Pennsylvania, including cities, boroughs, villages, home rule municipalities, and even one town. Some classifications, including cities and townships, are further divided, for instance, in Pennsylvania, townships may be either of the first or second class.

Often misconstrued, the designation “first class” does not relate to any comparison of current population, but rather to population density, and then only on a historical basis. The designation of “first class” is, however, important as it defines the structure of Collier’s local government and the operating codes which it follows.

Township Responsibilities

All of the operating “codes” grant municipal government powers to regulate and protect the public at large. It is important to note that Pennsylvania has a Commonwealth structure. In such a form of government, the local municipality is the closest form of government to its citizens and has the ultimate responsibility for public health, safety and welfare. These responsibilities may include police and fire protection, emergency medical services, emergency management, and highway maintenance and code enforcement. Townships may also provide additional services such as garbage and recycling collection, water and sewer service, and parks and recreation.

Local government is also an important factor in preserving the desired quality of life in a community. Municipal governments have specific powers as a governing body to adopt ordinances, rules, and regulations to protection the heath, safety, and welfare of the citizens. Local government also has an important role in enforcing state and other legislation. Regulatory activity may include subdivision and zoning controls, building and permitting, nuisance and animal regulations and other similar activities. Municipal government is also empowered to shape the appearance of community through recreation, cultural, and community activities such as parks, playgrounds and libraries.

Board of Commissioners

Collier Township’s governing body is a five-member (5) Board of Commissioners. Commissioners are to serve the population at-large versus any ward, district or specific area. The term of office is four years and commissioners are compensated at a rate of $2,500 per year. To qualify to serve as township commissioner an individual must be a registered voter of and maintain residency within the township during the term of office.

The Board of Commissioners primary role is to serve as the legislative body of the Township. The Commissioners establish policy, enact ordinances and resolutions. They also establish the Township budget and levy taxes.