Borough (Pennsylvania)

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Municipal offices sign for Littlestown, a borough of Pennsylvania LittlestownBoroughOfficesSign.jpg
Municipal offices sign for Littlestown, a borough of Pennsylvania

In the U.S. commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a borough (sometimes spelled boro) is a self-governing municipal entity, best thought of as a town, [1] usually smaller than a city, but with a similar population density in its residential areas. Sometimes thought of as "junior cities", boroughs generally have fewer powers and responsibilities than full-fledged cities.

Commonwealth (U.S. state) Term used by four U.S. states in official names

Commonwealth is a term used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official state names. "Commonwealth" is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. The states, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, are in the Eastern United States and prior to the formation of the United States in 1776, were British colonial possessions. As such, they share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions.

Pennsylvania U.S. state in the United States

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Municipality An administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

Contents

Description

All municipalities in Pennsylvania are classified as either cities, boroughs, or townships. [2] The only exception is the town of Bloomsburg, recognized by the state government as the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania. [1]

Township (Pennsylvania) township in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania township or township under Pennsylvania laws is one class of the three types of municipalities codified, in Pennsylvania—smaller municipal class legal entities providing local self-government functions in the majority of land areas in the more rural regions. Townships act as the lowest level municipal corporations of governance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a U.S. state of the United States of America.

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania Town in Pennsylvania, United States

Bloomsburg is a town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States, located 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Wilkes-Barre along the Susquehanna River. It is the county seat of Columbia County and the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, Bloomsburg had a population of 14,855, with an estimated population of 14,519 in 2013.

Boroughs tend to have more developed business districts and concentrations of public and commercial office buildings, including court houses. Boroughs are larger, less spacious, and more developed than the relatively rural townships, which often have the greater territory and even surround boroughs of a related or even the same name.

There are 958 boroughs and 56 cities in Pennsylvania. [2] Many home rule municipalities remain classified as boroughs or townships for certain purposes even if the state's Borough and Township Codes no longer apply to them.

A home rule municipality in Pennsylvania is one incorporated under its own unique charter, created pursuant to the state's Home Rule and Optional Plans Law and approved by referendum. "Local governments without home rule can only act where specifically authorized by state law; home rule municipalities can act anywhere except where they are specifically limited by state law". Although many such municipalities have retained the word "Township" or "Borough" in their official names, the Pennsylvania Township and Borough Codes no longer apply to them. All three types of municipalities may become a home rule municipality.

See also

Borough (United States) administrative division at the local government level in the United States

A borough in some U.S. states is a unit of local government or other administrative division below the level of the state. The term is currently used in six states:

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County (United States) Subdivision used by most states in the United States of America

In the United States, a county is an administrative or political subdivision of a state that consists of a geographic region with specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs, respectively.

Clarion County, Pennsylvania U.S. county in Pennsylvania

Clarion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,988. Its county seat is Clarion. The county was formed on March 11, 1839, from parts of Venango and Armstrong counties. Clarion County is entirely defined as part of the Pittsburgh media market.

McCandless, Pennsylvania Home Rule Municipality in Pennsylvania, United States

McCandless is a township with home rule status in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,457 at the 2010 census. It obtained a home rule charter on January 1, 1975, and changed its name from "McCandless Township" to "Town of McCandless". Though McCandless no longer operates under the First Class Township Code, it is classified as a first-class township for certain purposes.

A civil township is a widely used unit of local government in the United States that is subordinate to a county. The term town is used in New England, New York, and Wisconsin to refer to the equivalent of the civil township in these states. Specific responsibilities and the degree of autonomy vary based on each state. Civil townships are distinct from survey townships, but in states that have both, the boundaries often coincide and may completely geographically subdivide a county. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies civil townships as minor civil divisions. Currently, there are 20 states with civil townships.

Administrative divisions of New York (state) territorial entity in New York, USA used for administration

The administrative divisions of New York are the various units of government that provide local services, "local" meaning "not statewide", in the State of New York. The New York State Constitution standardized the names and functions of these statewide.

A township in the United States is a small geographic area.

Local government in the United States governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state

Local government in the United States refers to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states and territories have at least two tiers of local government: counties and municipalities. In some states, counties are divided into townships. There are several different types of jurisdictions at the municipal level, including the city, town, borough, and village. The types and nature of these municipal entities vary from state to state.

New England town Basic unit of local government in each of the six New England federated states of the United States

The New England town, generally referred to in New England simply as a town, is the basic unit of local government and local division of state authority in each of the six New England states and without a direct counterpart in most other U.S. states. New England towns overlay the entire area of a state, similar to civil townships in other states where they exist, but they are fully functioning municipal corporations, possessing powers similar to cities in other states. New Jersey's system of equally powerful townships, boroughs, towns, and cities is the system which is most similar to that of New England. New England towns are often governed by a town meeting legislative body. The great majority of municipal corporations in New England are based on the town model; statutory forms based on the concept of a compact populated place are uncommon, though they are prevalent elsewhere in the U.S. County government in New England states is typically weak at best, and in some states nonexistent. Connecticut, for example, has no county governments, nor does Rhode Island. Both of those states retain counties only as geographic subdivisions with no governmental authority, while Massachusetts has abolished eight of fourteen county governments so far. With few exceptions, counties serve mostly as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems.

Boroughitis the creation in the 1890s, usually by referendum, of large numbers of small boroughs in the American state of New Jersey, particularly in Bergen County

Boroughitis was the creation in the 1890s, usually by referendum, of large numbers of small boroughs in the American state of New Jersey, particularly in Bergen County. Attempts by the New Jersey Legislature to reform local government and the school systems led to the breakup of most of Bergen County's townships into small boroughs, communities that still balkanize the state's political map. This occurred following the development of commuter suburbs in New Jersey, residents of which wanted more government services than did the long-time rural population.

Local government in Connecticut

The primary unit of local government in the U.S. state of Connecticut is its 169 towns. Each of these towns may contain incorporated cities or boroughs, as well as unincorporated villages.

Village (United States) administrative division at the local government level in the United States

In the United States, the meaning of "village" varies by geographic area and legal jurisdiction. In many areas, "village" is a term, sometimes informal, for a type of administrative division at the local government level. Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from legislating on local government, the states are free to have political subdivisions called "villages" or not to and to define the word in many ways. Typically, a village is a type of municipality, although it can also be a special district or an unincorporated area. It may or may not be recognized for governmental purposes.

Local government in Pennsylvania is government below the state level in Pennsylvania. There are six types of local governments listed in the Pennsylvania Constitution: county, township, borough, town, city, and school district. All of Pennsylvania is included in one of the state's 67 counties, which are in total subdivided into 2,561 municipalities. There are currently no independent cities or unincorporated territories within Pennsylvania.

A clerk is a senior official of many municipal governments in the English-speaking world. In some communities, including most in the United States, the position is elected, but in many others, the clerk is appointed to their post. In almost all cases, the actual title of the clerk reflects the type of municipality he or she works for, thus, instead of simply being known as the clerk, the position is generally referred to as the town clerk, township clerk, city clerk, village clerk, borough clerk, board secretary, or county clerk. Other titles also exist, such as recorder. The office has existed for centuries, though in some places it is now being merged with other positions.

References

  1. 1 2 Trostle, Sharon, ed. (2009). The Pennsylvania Manual. 119. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. p. 6-61. ISBN   978-0-8182-0334-3.
  2. 1 2 Trostle (2009), p. 6-3.