Township of Upper Providence, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
All powers of the Township, including those powers now in existence or hereafter conferred on the Township by the Constitutions or the laws of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall be exclusively vested in and exercised by the Council subject only to the provisions of this Charter.
Council shall be the legislative body charged with the responsibility and duty to;
A. 
Establish the policies, goals and objectives for the executive, administrative and advisory functions;
B. 
Make and adopt ordinances and resolutions consistent with the Constitutions and laws of the United States of America and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this Charter, and to prescribe fines and penalties for the violation thereof.
The Township Council shall consist of five members. Each Council member shall represent one voting district of the Township. If in fact the voting boundaries are changed in accordance with the provisions set forth by law, it is the intent of this Charter that the number of districts remain at five and the number of Council Members remain at five. Each of the five Council members shall be nominated and elected by the registered electors of his district.
A Council member shall be a citizen of the United States of America, a resident of the voting district which he represents throughout his term of office and, at the time of his nomination, shall have been a resident of the Township for not less than one year and shall be a registered elector. Further, he shall not have been convicted of a felony or embezzlement, bribery, perjury or any crime involving moral turpitude. No Council member shall hold any other elected or appointed public office within the Township. Prior to assuming the position of Council member, a citizen shall affirm by oath that he is qualified for the office and that he shall act in the best interest of the Township.
Council members shall serve for four years, commencing at 8:00 p.m. on the first Monday of January following the year in which they are elected. The terms of Council Members shall be staggered.
No Council member shall serve consecutively more than two full terms, except that a Council member filling a vacancy may serve two full terms following the unexpired term.
A. 
Vacancies. The office of Council member shall become vacant upon death, resignation, legal certification of incompetence, change of residence from the voting district, or removal from office in any manner authorized by law or by this Charter.
B. 
Forfeiture of Office. A Council member shall forfeit his office if he:
(1) 
Is declared by any court of this Commonwealth to lack any qualifications for the office as prescribed by law;
(2) 
Is convicted in any court of record of a felony or embezzlement, bribery, perjury or any crime involving moral turpitude;
(3) 
Violates any express prohibition of this Charter.
The following procedure shall be followed to determine whether a forfeiture has occurred:
(1)
Council shall hold a public hearing to decide whether a petition shall be filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, to determine whether the office of a Council member has been forfeited.
(2)
Notice of such public hearing with the purpose, date, time and place specified shall be advertised once not less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing. Council shall cause such notice to be sent by certified mail to the named Council member not less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing.
(3)
Within five (5) days following the public hearing, Council shall determine, by resolution, whether the said petition shall be filed.
C. 
Filling of Vacancies:
(1) 
The Council shall at its first regular or special public meeting after the vacancy occurs, give notice that a vacancy exists and shall advertise the same at least two times at least thirty (30) days prior to the filling of said vacancy. Said notice shall specify that applications from such persons desiring to fill said vacancy shall be considered. Said notice shall also specify that applications for said vacancy are to be filed no later than ten (10) days prior to the date that said vacancy is to be filled. Further, said notice shall include qualifications necessary to fill said vacancy as set forth in this Charter. Applications shall be in writing and filed with the Township Secretary. To be eligible for selection, an applicant for the vacancy must have made written application and affirmed that he is qualified to fill said vacancy within the meaning of this Charter.
The Council shall make an interim appointment to fill the vacancy at a public meeting which will occur not less than thirty days from the meeting at which the vacancy is announced. Following such notice, the Council, by a majority vote of its remaining membership, shall appoint a registered elector of the voting district in which the vacancy exists to serve until a duly elected successor is sworn into office. At the public meeting filling said vacancy, all applications to fill a vacancy shall be made a part of the public record.
(2) 
If the Council shall fail to fill a vacancy within sixty days after public announcement has been made, the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, upon petition of any individual Council member, or upon petition of ten or more registered electors of the unrepresented district shall make the interim appointment to fill the vacancy until a duly elected successor is sworn into office.
(3) 
Council members appointed by the Council may not continue to serve unless they stand for election for the unexpired term for which they were appointed. An appointee shall be required to stand for election at the next November election which is held not less than ten months after the date of his appointment.
(4) 
In the event that sufficient vacancies exist so that the Council lacks a quorum necessary to do business, the remaining member or members of the Council shall make an appointment or appointments to fill sufficient vacancies to constitute a quorum. Such appointees shall meet all of the qualifications for a Council member as defined in this Charter. Remaining vacancies shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of this Charter.
(5) 
In the event that all of the positions on the Council shall become vacant, the Court of Common Pleas shall immediately, upon petition of ten or more registered electors of each voting district make appointments to fill the vacancies from each voting district within the Township. Thereafter, vacancies shall be filled as otherwise provided herein.
Council members shall be entitled to receive a compensation established by ordinance. The ordinance establishing the compensation for said Council members may not become effective in less than one year from the date of its passage.
Council members shall receive no other compensation either direct or indirect, for the performance of their duties. They shall, however, be entitled to actual, reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as authorized by resolution.
The Township Council shall meet at 8.00 p.m. on the first Monday of January of each year. The purpose of this meeting shall be to elect one of their number as Chairman and one of their number as Vice Chairman. If the first Monday is a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held the first day following the holiday. The Chairman or, in the Chairman's absence, the Vice Chairman, shall preside at Council meetings, shall serve as the Township's Ceremonial Officer and shall be empowered to sign such documents as may be prescribed by this Charter.
A. 
Council shall meet regularly in public at least once every month at the office of the Township or such other location as prescribed and at such time as Council may prescribe by resolution. Special meetings may be held on the call of the Chairman or a majority of Council members with at least twenty-four hours notice to members of Council except for emergency actions authorized by this Charter.
B. 
Council shall conduct no business except in the presence of a quorum.
C. 
Council shall, by ordinance, adopt rules of procedure for its meetings which shall be designed so as to assure full and equal participation in the deliberation of Council by all of its members.
D. 
All meetings of Council must include, as part of the agenda, an element of the meeting dedicated for interested citizens to address Council on matters of general or specific concern. Interested citizens attending special meetings shall limit their comments to the item or items of specific concern.
E. 
Official actions by Council shall be taken only at a public meeting by the adoption of an ordinance, of a resolution or by motion. Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call vote only and a majority of the Council members present and entitled to vote shall be required to make such vote binding upon Council. The adoption of an ordinance by the Council shall require a majority vote of the prescribed members of Council.
F. 
Council shall act in all matters as a body, and it is contrary to this Charter for any member of Council, by virtue of his office, to circumvent established policies, procedures, administrative duties or functions of Township employees.
Council shall make, protect and preserve written minutes and records of its proceedings and voting which shall be entrusted to the care of the Township. Such records shall be readily available for public inspection during regular business hours at the office of the Township.