Local Government Jurisdiction Description 1. What is the name of the jurisdiction you live, Give the description of the jurisdiction as offered on its site?
2. (a) Now that you know the what (borough, township, hamlet) etc. how is that entity defined by the Commonwealth? (b) Is it incorporated? Does it operate under home rule?
3. How is it governed? (Board of Supervisors/Manager? Council and Mayor??) When does it meet? As for the Board or Council: What are the requirements to serve? Are they paid? If so, how much?
4. What is the tax rate for your jurisdiction? Is there one?
5. What school district are you part of? How is that governed? What is the property tax mil rate? How many on the school Board? Are they paid?
6. List the different Boards and Commissions for your jurisdiction (planning, zoning, etc.). Select one and provide the following information: what does it do? When does it meet? You may have to dig for this: Are they paid, or volunteers selected to serve? Does this surprise you?
7. Each jurisdiction has it own police force, who is your Chief of Police? Does that section of the site contain important information about accident reports, etc?
8. Is there an Emergency Management Commission? If so, who serves on it and what is there function?
9. Can you find any information on the requirements to serve as Supervisor? Mayor etc.?
10 What are the duties of the Mayor or Manager?
11. Assume that your family wants to have a huge reunion in the local park, what is the procedure for a permit? Does your community have a pool? What are the requirements to use it?
12. Check out the requirements to add a deck to your house. Does the process surprise you? Does it seem complicated?
13 Is a dog license required? Is there a leash law ? Is there a fine for not picking up after your dog?
14 What about trash collection? Is it privatized? Is there a “ designated” company?
Lastly, after exploring the jurisdiction’s pages, answer the following questions:
Sometimes, when we really explore sites like this it surprises us. We get up and go to work; we simply go about our day every day. In the background out federal, state, county and local governments are functioning (or not) in ways that we really just take for granted. With that in mind, here are the last things that I want you to consider:
1. Are you surprised by the complexity ( or lack thereof) of the issues dealt with by the governing body and Commissions? I am sure that a lot of it seems silly, so if in the course of your exploration you found something that made you go Huh? (Like a permit to move in or out of your house, or for the length of the grass on a lawn) what was it? Maybe everyone has to wear a bike helmet. Feel free to share that
2. Is there any commission or Board ( even the school board) that peaked your interest?