Tarentum Borough Council
Tarentum is governed by the Borough Council which consists of 7 members. The three voting wards in the borough are represented by two council members each, and one council person is elected at-large representing the entire borough. In order to provide continuity, one representative from each ward is elected every two years. All members serve 4-year terms.
Functions of Council:
The Borough Code places the general supervision of the affairs of the borough in the hands of Borough Council. As such, council members are required to assume many of the roles found in separate branches or levels of state and federal governments. Specifically, council members serve in legislative, executive, and administrative capacities.
Council serves as the legislative body of the borough, setting policy, enacting ordinances and resolutions, adopting budgets and levying taxes. Council members also represent the borough and its concerns before other municipal governments, the state and federal governments, and private sector entities.
Council also performs executive functions, including preparation of the annual budget, proclaiming municipal events, hiring employees, and appointing members to borough authorities, boards, and commissions. Certain executive functions, such as representing the borough at official functions, are often performed by the President of Council.
Council members also play a role in the administrative activities of municipal governments, overseeing day-to-day borough operations. In this capacity, council members provide for enforcement of local laws and regulations, management of personnel, and purchase of equipment, materials, supplies, and services. Council members, as administrators, are actively involved in the financial management of the borough, and are responsible not only for collection of monies earned through taxes, service charges, and grants, but also for seeing that municipal funds are spent in accordance with approved municipal budgets.
A number of boroughs in Pennsylvania, including Tarentum, have hired a professional borough manager to direct operations on behalf of Borough Council.
Council members also possess many other duties. Some examples are:
- Meet with residents to obtain input on borough programs and policies.
- Meet with other elected officials and borough staff on issues of general governance.
- Review technical reports from engineers, planners, and other professionals.
- Attend county association and Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs meetings and conferences.
- Participate in the inspection of problems or review of proposals that have been identified by residents.
- Report on the status of local government affairs to concerned residents.
Delegation of Functions.
The administration of boroughs and other forms of municipal government have become very complex. As such, Council delegates some administrative responsibilities to appointed officials. The Borough Code allows Council to appoint individuals who possess a specific expertise to employed administrative positions. Boroughs may appoint a Manager, Solicitor, Engineer, Department Director, and Secretary, although appointment of other professionals is also permitted.
Borough Council directs the activities of the borough through the appointed Borough Manager, who in turn supervises all departments except the Police Department (the Mayor directs the activities of the Police Department through the Chief of Police).
The borough code and other state legislation also permit Council to enlist its citizenry through formation of authorities, boards and commissions. Such bodies allow the governing body to draw upon citizen expertise and directly involve citizens in their government. Some of the more common authorities, boards, and commissions operating in Tarentum Borough are the sewage authority, planning commission, recreation board, zoning hearing board, and civil service commission.
On the first Monday of January in each even numbered year, the Borough Council conducts a reorganization meeting where they elect a President and Vice President of Council.
Unless otherwise advertised, council agenda meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month and regular council meetings are held on the following Thursday.
Agendas, Minutes, attachments and other council meeting information is available here.