Local Positions for the 2021 Election
Though it doesn't seem right that a position so integral to the running of a borough would be an elected one, Tax Collectors are elected for a 4-year term in the odd years. The next being 2021. This is the only local elected position with any real compensation when compared to a council member or mayor who receive a mere $500 per year. The Tax Collector is paid 5% of the face value of the tax collected as per the statute, not to exceed a total of $10K in a given year. The Elected Tax Collector for the borough also then serves as the tax collector for the local Garnet Valley School District where they are compensated at the rate of $3 per tax bill. This arrangement can yield $13.5K in income, plus expense reimbursement for all office supplies, postage, training, and software.
With the potential for financial gain and the honor of community service comes quite a bit of responsibility:
Must be resident of the borough for a year prior to the beginning of the term
Cannot hold any other elected office in the borough
They must provide a criminal background check from the PA State Police
File a Statement of Financial Interest annually and at the beginning of the election cycle
Secure a Bond ( Done by CHB on behalf of the tax collector)
Resources for learning more about the duties of the office of A Tax Collector
As required by the Pennsylvania School Code, the Garnet Valley School District is governed by a School Board comprised of nine directors who serve four-year terms. Elections are held every odd-numbered year. Four to five directors are generally elected at any one time.
A primary responsibility of the Board is to set district policy, which is then implemented by the administration. Another major responsibility is to approve the annual budget and set tax rates. The fiscal year covered by the budget runs from July 1 to June 30.
The school board is entirely Republican lead with few Democrats stepping forward to run for these positions that have such a lasting impact in our community, both on our children and financially on our households.
The uniqueness of these positions is that each candidate can cross-file for the primary. Meaning that Republicans and Democrats can appear on both sides of the ballot. With this being the case it is possible that a full slate of Democrats could appear on the Republican side in November, but with REpublicans running unopposed the opposite is most likely to be true.
As required by the Pennsylvania Borough Code, the Borough of Chester Heights is governed by a Council composed of 7 council members who serve four-year terms. Elections are held every odd-numbered year. Three or four council members are generally elected at any one time. Four are up for election in 2021 for the term beginning in January 2022.
An organizational meeting is held the first Monday of January of each even-numbered year where the council elects a president, a vice president, and a pro tem to serve at the pleasure of the council for the coming 2 calendar years.
A primary responsibility of the Council is to set policies regarding:
Borough Finances including the approval of the annual budget and establishing tax rates.
Safety of the Borough Residents
The Zoning, Development, and License and Inspections of residential and business properties in the borough.
These policies are reviewed by committees, approved by the council via ordinance, resolution or a motion, and then implemented by the staff.
Time, Meetings & Compensation: The council meets 2 times per month once for a regular session and once for a work session. Council members also participate in committees. Depending on who is the president of the council they are either assigned a committee or they choose the committee they want to participate on. Committees have a standing meeting once per month that is advertised. In Chester Heights, each council member is compensated at the rate of $500 per year.
A mayor is elected in Chester Heights in odd years with the next election taking place in 2021. The winning candidate will be sworn in for the next four-year term on the first Monday of January 2022. The powers and duties of the Mayor are governed by the PA Borough Code. The Mayor is the head of the Police. Since CHB does not have a police department in the past the Mayor has managed the relationship with our local State Police representatives.
Presides over the organization meetings of the council until it is organized.
Approves or vetoes resolutions and/or ordinances enacted by the council.
Administers oaths and affirmation in borough matters
Declares States of Emergency. This declaration allows the mayor to prohibit activities the mayor reasonably believes should be prohibited to help preserve life, health, property, or the public peace for up to 7 days.
Breaks a tie in a council vote.
The Mayor may:
Perform Marriage Ceremonies (but must advise the council of his/her intention to do so in writing)
Sign papers contract, obligation, and documents required by law.
Collect costs and fees on behalf of the borough
In the past CHB mayors have served on various committees including, but not limited to parks, events, and finance. Currently, the compensation of the Mayor is $500 per year.