Every January, township officials across the state gather for their reorganization meeting, and 2019 is no exception. Meetings are required to take place the first Monday of the month, therefore groups will meet today, Monday, Jan. 7.

“An organization meeting is the board of supervisors’ first meeting of the year, and it is where the board elects a chair, vice chair and appoints a secretary and treasurer,” said Holly Fishel, policy and research manager for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS). “The organizational meeting is the first meeting of the year and can be just for organization or can also be a regular meeting.”

The chair and vice chair positions are chosen by the supervisors from among themselves. The secretary and treasurer can either performed by a supervisor or someone else can be appointed to that role.

The supervisors will also decide on the board’s monthly meeting times for the coming year.

Fishel explained that roles can be fulfilled by the same person year after year.

“This is a fairly common practice to ensure continuity, particularly for employee positions, such as secretary,” Fishel said.

All of the organization is chosen by the supervisors, Fishel explained.

“Only the elected supervisors vote in any township meetings, including on organization, but there is opportunity for public comment at every advertised public meeting,” Fishel said.

Fishel expressed people should care about township politics.

“Local politics are more likely to have an impact on the average citizen’s daily life than state or federal politics,” she said. “Municipalities, including townships, are responsible for road and bridge maintenance, emergency management … and ensuring fire and emergency service protection is provided to their residents.”

She continued, “Residents have the ability to have input on township services simply by attending a meeting or making a call or sending an email. Often townships will have opportunities for those wiling to serve on various boards and commissions, where a resident can make a difference.”

Jesse can be contacted at jrice@huntingdondailynews.com.

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