[HOME RULE CHARTER of ALLEGHENY COUNTY: Approved by the Voters of Allegheny County at the election held on May 19, 1998 Effective January 1, 2000]
Administrative Code — See Ch. 5.
HOME RULE CHARTER OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY PREAMBLE
We, the people of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, believe that:
A home rule government will transfer substantial authority over our County government from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the people of Allegheny County;
A home rule government that separates the legislative and executive functions previously vested solely in the Board of County Commissioners will provide checks and balances on the powers of government and protect the rights, privileges and powers reserved or guaranteed to the people by the Constitutions of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
A home rule government will preserve the powers of our cities, boroughs, townships and home rule municipalities;
A home rule government that permits initiative and referendum will respond to the concerns of its citizens; A home rule government with a legislative County Council with Members elected by district and at large will represent the diversity of our County's citizens and provide better access to County government; A home rule government with an elected Chief Executive will foster leadership, vision and accountability;
A home rule government with an appointed professional Manager will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of County government operations;
A home rule government that holds its officers and employees to high standards of conduct and behavior will enhance public trust in County government;
A home rule government, as embodied in this Charter, will protect the taxpayers of Allegheny County by:
limiting taxing powers, preventing the use of the reassessment process to gain windfall real estate tax revenue increases and preventing a change in real estate tax rates except by a vote of at least two-thirds of the County Council: placing reasonable limits on the compensation, staff and expenses of the County Council and the Chief Executive; requiring that no budget appropriation in any given year is assumed automatically to continue into subsequent years; requiring that each County department, agency and function is subject to periodic sunset review, and assessing, to the extent permitted by law, the fair market value of real estate in accordance with accepted assessment standards and providing open access to all public information concerning real estate assessments, taxes and procedures;
A home rule government will enhance cooperation among governments, businesses, labor unions, educational institutions and other community and civic organizations in order to encourage the creation of family-sustaining jobs; and
A home rule government that provides the structure, accountability, leadership, representation, effectiveness and efficiency necessary to improve the delivery of County services will increase economic growth and development and foster a higher quality of life for all County residents.
Therefore, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we adopt this Home Rule Charter of Allegheny County.