Understanding local government in PA

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:39

    BLOOMING GROVE - If you are confused about local government in Pennsylvania, you are not alone. Citizens, through local government and its leaders, have a great deal of responsibility for the local decisions that affect them. Because local government plays such an important role in designing the future for our communities, it is essential that all citizens have an understanding of the structure, the tools and the enabling legislation that represent the local government process in Pennsylvania. Equally important is an understanding and appreciation for the many volunteers and elected officials who represent local citizens in this decision making process. On Monday, Oct. 30 at the PPL Environmental Learning Center at Lake Wallenpaupack there will be a meeting for residents of northeastern Pennsylvania interested in learning more about how local government works. The program is designed to provide residents with a better understanding of the process by which local township supervisors and borough council members make decisions about land use changes and issues. Peter Wulfhorst, Penn State Cooperative Extension educator and former county planner, and Carson Helfrich, planning consultant to numerous municipalities throughout Pennsylvania, will be the speakers. The program is free of charge and will explain how local government is structured in Pennsylvania, local government tax structure, local government spending and revenues and duties and responsibilities of local government. In addition, the duties and responsibilities of planning commissions and an overview of the Municipalities Planning Code, the authority by which local governments make the many land use decisions for their communities, will be included in the presentation. The session will also explain several local government planning tools such as comprehensive plans, subdivision and land development ordinances and zoning ordinances. Pike, Monroe and Wayne Counties are currently the three fastest growing counties in the Commonwealth. More and more issues are arising over land use changes taking place in the northeast. . Registration, questions and/or more information on the meeting can be directed to Michele Ulmer, Pike County Conservation District, at 570-226-8220.