Second class township code, the




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Compiler's Note: Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

Section 904.  Completion, Filing and Publication of Annual Township Report and Financial Statement.--(a)  The board of auditors shall complete their audit, settlement and adjustment before the first day of March of each year.

(b)  The board of auditors shall make a report of the affairs of the township, executed copies of which report shall be filed not later than ninety days after the close of the fiscal year by the secretary of the board of auditors with the township secretary, the clerk of the court of the county or the prothonotary under local rules of court, the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Transportation. Each copy of the report shall be signed by at least a majority of the board of auditors and duly verified by the oath of the secretary of the board of auditors. Any secretary of the board of auditors who fails to file the township report or to publish the required financial statement commits a summary offense.

(c)  The township report shall be presented on a uniform form prepared and furnished under section 3203.

(d)  The township report shall contain the names and addresses of the chairman and members of the board of supervisors, the township secretary and the township treasurer, a statement of the receipts of the township from all sources and of all accounts and revenue which may be due and uncollected at the close of the fiscal year, a statement of the disbursements of the township during the fiscal year, a statement of the balance in the township treasury at the beginning of the fiscal year, a statement of the resources and liabilities of the township at the end of the fiscal year, a detailed statement of the indebtedness of the township at the close of the fiscal year and the provisions made for the payment thereof together with the purposes for which it was incurred, a statement of the cost of ownership and operation of each public service industry owned, maintained or operated by the township and other information as may be required in this act.

(e)  On or before the tenth day of March of each year, the board of auditors shall publish once in one newspaper of general circulation in the township a concise financial statement setting forth the balance in the treasury at the beginning of the fiscal year, all revenues received during the fiscal year by major classifications, all expenses paid during the fiscal year by major functions and the current resources and liabilities of the township at the end of the fiscal year, the gross liability and net debt of the township, the amount of the assessed valuation of the township, the assets of the township with the character and value thereof, the date of the last maturity of the respective forms of funded debt and the assets in the sinking fund.

(f)  If any township has a population of less than two hundred, as shown by the latest official census, the board of auditors may post five copies of the financial statement in public places in the township in lieu of publication in a newspaper.

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 301(a)(16) of Act 58 of 1996, which created the Department of Community and Economic Development and abolished the Department of Community Affairs, provided that all other powers and duties delegated to the Department of Community Affairs not otherwise expressly transferrred elsewhere by Act 58 and currently performed by the Department of Community Affairs under section 904 are transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Section 905.  Penalty for Failure to Perform Duty.--Any auditor who fails to comply with this article commits a summary offense.

Section 906.  Employment and Compensation of Attorney.--If a disagreement occurs with the board of auditors and any official it is required to audit, the board of auditors may petition the court of common pleas to appoint an attorney to represent or advise the board of auditors on the matter. The court shall not appoint an attorney unless reasonable effort to reach an agreement has been made and only after the board of auditors has given notice to the official or the board of supervisors of its intent to petition the court for the appointment. The board of auditors, with the agreement of the board of supervisors, shall determine the compensation of the attorney. If the dispute results in litigation or if the board of auditors and the board of supervisors cannot agree upon the compensation to be paid to the attorney, the court shall establish the compensation for the attorney appointed for the board of auditors. The compensation for the attorney shall be paid out of the general township fund.

Section 907.  Surcharge by Auditors.--(a)  The board of auditors shall surcharge any elected or appointed officer for the amount of any loss to the township caused in whole or in part by the officer's act or omission in violation of law or beyond the scope of the officer's authority. If the auditors find an absence of intent to violate the law or exceed the scope of authority and find the result of the officer's act could have been achieved by legal means and authorized procedures, the surcharge imposed shall be limited to the difference between the costs actually incurred by the township and the costs that would have been incurred had legal means and authorized procedures been employed. Provisions of this section which limit the amount of surcharge do not apply to cases involving fraud or collusion on the part of the officers or to any penalty ensuing to the benefit of or payable to the Commonwealth.

(b)  Any balance in any report of the board of auditors against any officer of the township constitutes a surcharge against the officer as fully as if expressly stated in the report to be a surcharge. The board of auditors shall direct the clerk of court of common pleas to certify the amount of every balance or surcharge from which no appeal has been taken under sections 909 and 910 to the court of common pleas, and the prothonotary shall enter the balance or surcharge as a judgment against the officer in favor of the township.

Section 908.  Collection of Surcharge; Bond.--Any auditor, elector or taxpayer of the township may enforce the collection of a judgment entered for a surcharge for the benefit of the township, by any appropriate action or execution, upon filing in the court of common pleas a bond (in the case of an elector or taxpayer), with one or more sureties, conditioned to indemnify the township for all costs which may accrue in the proceedings undertaken, subject, however, to all rights of appeal from the report of the board of auditors.

Section 909.  Appeals from Report.--The board of supervisors or any elector or taxpayer of the township or any officer whose account is settled or audited by the board of auditors may appeal from any settlement or audit of the board of auditors to the court of common pleas within forty-five days after the settlement has been filed in the court of common pleas.

Section 910.  Taxpayer's Appeal; Bond.--No appeal by an elector, taxpayer or officer shall be allowed unless the appellant enters into recognizance to prosecute the appeal with effect, and to pay all costs accruing thereon, in case, if the appellant is an elector or taxpayer, he fails to obtain a final decision more favorable to the township than that awarded by the board of auditors or, if the appellant is an officer, he fails to obtain a final decision more favorable to the officer than that awarded by the board of auditors.

Section 911.  Consolidation of Appeals.--When more than one appeal from the report of the board of auditors is taken, whether by the board of supervisors, by an officer thereof or by an elector or taxpayer, the court may direct that the several appeals be consolidated.

Section 912.  Report; Prima Facie Evidence; Burden of Proof.--The accounts of the officer in question may be investigated de novo. The figures and facts found and stated by the auditors in their report of audit shall be taken as prima facie correct as against any officer, and the burden shall be upon each officer whose accounts are in question to establish the validity of the credits which he claims.

Section 913.  Findings; Judgment.--After hearing, the court shall file findings of fact and law and enter judgment, and the judgment so entered may be enforced by appropriate proceedings by any auditor, officer, elector or taxpayer of the township.

Section 914.  Costs.--In all cases of appeal from the report or audit of the board of auditors to the court of common pleas, the costs shall be determined by the court.

Section 915.  Attorney Fees.--Upon final determination of an appeal taken under section 909 from any report, audit or settlement of the account of any township officer, attorney fees shall be awarded as follows:

(1)  If in the opinion of the court the final determination is more favorable to the township officer involved than that awarded by the board of auditors, the township shall pay reasonable attorney fees, or under paragraph (3) a portion of reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the officer in connection with the surcharge proceeding.

(2)  In the case of an appeal taken by the township, an elector or a taxpayer, if in the opinion of the court the final determination is more favorable to the township than that awarded by the board of auditors, the township officer who is the subject of the surcharge proceeding shall pay reasonable attorney fees, or under paragraph (3) a portion of reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the township, elector or taxpayer in connection with the surcharge proceeding.

(3)  If in the opinion of the court the final determination is in part more favorable to the township and in part more favorable to the township officer involved in the surcharge proceeding than that awarded by the board of auditors, the court may order the township to pay a portion of reasonable attorney fees incurred by the officer in connection with the surcharge proceeding, or it may order the township officer who is the subject of the surcharge proceeding to pay a portion of reasonable attorney fees incurred by the township, elector or taxpayer in connection with the surcharge proceeding.

Section 916.  Interest in Township Transactions.--Any auditor who is financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any township transaction commits a summary offense. The auditor shall forfeit the office and forfeit to the township any financial benefit derived from the transaction.

Section 917.  Appointment of Accountant.--(a)  The board of supervisors may contract with a certified or competent public accountant or a firm of certified or competent public accountants, either of which shall be registered in this Commonwealth, to be appointed by the court of common pleas at least thirty days before the close of the fiscal year to audit the accounts of the township and the township officers if a petition has been presented to the supervisors by at least twenty-five taxpayers of the township asking for the appointment. The amount paid to the accountant or firm in any year shall not exceed the maximum allowed by law to be paid to the board of auditors in any year unless the payment of an additional amount is approved by the court.

(b)  (1)  Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2), at its annual organization meeting, or anytime thereafter, the board of supervisors may by resolution appoint a certified or competent public accountant or a firm of certified or competent public accountants, either of which shall be registered in this Commonwealth, to make an examination of all the accounts of the township for the fiscal year stated in the resolution. The board of supervisors shall determine the compensation of the appointed accountant.

(2)  At least thirty days prior to the organizational meeting or thirty days prior to any vote to appoint a certified or competent public accountant or a firm of certified or competent public accountants to replace the elected auditors, the board of supervisors shall advertise in a newspaper of general circulation the intent to appoint a certified or competent public accountant or a firm of certified or competent public accountants to replace the elected auditors.

((b) amended Dec. 18, 1996, P.L.1142, No.172)

(c)  When an accountant or firm is appointed under subsection (a) or (b), the board of auditors shall not audit, settle or adjust the accounts audited by the appointee but shall perform the other duties of the office. The accountant or firm has the powers given to the board of auditors under this act, except the audit shall be made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and further provide that the accountant or firm appointed under subsection (a) or (b) shall not have the power to determine compensations, and they are subject to the same penalties as the elected auditors under this act. The report of the accountant or firm is subject to appeals the same as reports of the board of auditors under this act.

(d)  For the purposes of meeting Federal or State requirements, the board of supervisors may contract with an independent certified or competent public accountant to audit the fiscal affairs of the township, independent of that conducted by the elected or appointed auditors.

 

ARTICLE X



TAX COLLECTOR; ASSESSOR

 

Section 1001.  Tax Collector; Powers, Duties and Liabilities.--The tax collector shall collect all county, township, school, institution district and other taxes levied within townships by authorities authorized to levy taxes. The tax collector may also be designated in the tax-levying ordinance or resolution or be employed by the tax-levying authority to collect taxes levied under the act of December 31, 1965 (P.L.1257, No.511), known as "The Local Tax Enabling Act." In addition to the powers, duties and responsibilities under this act, the tax collector shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties and be subject to all the obligations and responsibilities for the collection of taxes as are conferred upon tax collectors by law.



Section 1002.  Assessor; Powers and Duties.--(1002 deleted by amendment Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1473, No.166 and repealed Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1477, No.167)

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 5 of Act 166 of 2006, which amended section 1002, provided that elected assessors in office in townships of the second class as of the effective date of section 5 shall serve the remainder of their unexpired terms. Thereafter, assessors shall neither be elected nor appointed.

 

ARTICLE XI



TOWNSHIP SOLICITOR

 

Section 1101.  Township Solicitor.--The board of supervisors may appoint and determine the compensation of a township solicitor. The township solicitor shall be licensed to practice law in this Commonwealth and may be one person or a law firm, partnership, association or professional corporation. The township solicitor serves at the pleasure of the board of supervisors.



Section 1102.  Solicitor to Have Control of Legal Matters.--The township solicitor shall direct and control the legal matters of the township, and no official or official body of the township, except as otherwise provided under law, shall employ an additional attorney without the assent or ratification of the board of supervisors.

Section 1103.  Duties of Solicitor.--The township solicitor, when directed or requested so to do, shall prepare or approve any bonds, obligations, contracts, leases, conveyances, ordinances and assurances to which the township may be a party. The township solicitor shall commence and prosecute all actions brought by the township for or on account of any of the estates, rights, trusts, privileges, claims or demands, as well as defend the township or any township officer against all actions or suits brought against the township or township officer in which any of the estates, rights, privileges, trusts, ordinances or accounts of the township may be brought in question before any court in this Commonwealth and do every professional act incident to the office which the township solicitor may be authorized or required to do by the board of supervisors or by any resolution. The township solicitor shall furnish the board of supervisors, upon request, with an opinion in writing upon any question of law.

 

ARTICLE XII



TOWNSHIP ENGINEER

 

Section 1201.  Township Engineer.--The board of supervisors may appoint and determine the compensation of a township engineer who shall be a registered professional engineer. The township engineer serves at the pleasure of the board of supervisors.



Section 1202.  Engineer's Duties; Preparation of Plans.--The township engineer shall perform duties as the board of supervisors may direct for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of streets, roads, pavements, sanitary sewers, bridges, culverts and other engineering work. The township engineer shall prepare plans, specifications and estimates of the work undertaken by the township and furnish the board of supervisors with reports, information or estimates on any township engineering work or on questions submitted by the board of supervisors.

Section 1203.  Certificate of Commencement and of Completion of Municipal Improvements.--The township engineer shall certify to the township secretary the date of commencement and of completion of all municipal improvements, the cost of which, in whole or in part, is to be paid by the owners of the abutting property. The certification shall be made a part of the permanent records of the township. The certified time of commencement and completion is conclusive on all parties. The term "certified time of completion" means the time of the completion of the whole contract for the improvement.

 

ARTICLE XIII



TOWNSHIP MANAGER

 

Section 1301.  Township Manager; Appointment, Removal, Powers and Duties; Compensation; Bond.--(a)  The board of supervisors may by ordinance at any time create the office of township manager and may in like manner abolish the office. While the office exists, the board of supervisors shall appoint one person to fill the office. The township manager shall serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors, subject to contractual rights that may arise under an employment agreement that may be entered into in accordance with subsection (a.1).



(a.1)  The board of supervisors may enter into an employment agreement with the township manager. The employment agreement may set forth the terms and conditions of employment, and the agreement may provide that it shall remain in effect for a specified period terminating no later than two years after the effective date of the agreement or the date of the board of supervisors' organizational meeting following the next municipal election, whichever shall first occur. An employment agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection may specify conditions under which a township manager would be entitled to severance compensation, but in no event shall an employment agreement guarantee employment through the term of the agreement or confer upon the township manager any legal remedy based on specific performance.

(b)  The powers and duties of the township manager shall be established by ordinance. The compensation shall be set by resolution and paid out of the general fund of the township. The board of supervisors may delegate, subject to recall, any of their nonlegislative powers and duties to the township manager. The township manager shall give bond to the township, with sufficient surety, in the amount directed by the board of supervisors, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office.

(c)  The office of township manager is not incompatible with the office of township secretary, township treasurer or any other township office or employment, except that of supervisor, auditor or township police officer.

(1301 amended July 7, 2011, P.L.305, No.74)

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(2)(ii) of Act 167 of 2006 provided that section 1301 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with Act 167.

Compiler's Note:  Section 5 of Act 166 of 2006, which amended section 1301, provided that elected assessors in office in townships of the second class as of the effective date of section 5 shall serve the remainder of their unexpired terms. Thereafter, assessors shall neither be elected nor appointed.

 

ARTICLE XIV



COUNTY AND STATE ASSOCIATIONS

OF TOWNSHIPS

 

Section 1401.  County Associations.--(a)  County associations of township officials may be formed. County associations shall hold annual or semi-annual conventions at places determined by the association to consider and discuss questions and subjects pertaining to improvement of township government, assessment of property, collection of taxes and construction, improvement and maintenance of roads. Associations of two or more adjacent counties may arrange to meet in joint sessions.



(b)  The supervisors, auditors, tax collectors, managers, solicitors, engineers, treasurer and secretary of the board of supervisors shall attend the conventions when possible. ((b) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1473, No.166)

(c)  (1)  Each supervisor, auditor, tax collector, manager, solicitor, engineer, treasurer and secretary attending the convention shall receive a certificate, signed by the secretary of the county association, attesting their presence at the convention. The certificate entitles the official to collect from the township treasurer the sum of fifty dollars ($50) for each day's attendance, expenses which are limited to the registration fee, mileage for use of a personal vehicle or reimbursement of actual transportation expense going to and returning from the meeting plus all other actual expenses that the board of supervisors agrees to pay. Every delegate attending the meeting shall submit to the board of supervisors an itemized account of expenses incurred at the meeting. ((1) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1473, No.166 overlooking Act 2006-106)

(2)  If the meeting is held during township employes' normal work schedule, the board of supervisors may authorize township employes, including supervisors employed by the township, to be compensated at their regular employe rate during their attendance at the meeting, in which case the employe is not entitled to the fifty dollars ($50) mentioned in this section.

(3)  The board of supervisors may authorize a supervisor who is not employed by the township to receive total or partial reimbursement for lost wages or salary while attending the annual meeting, in which case the supervisor is not entitled to the fifty dollars ($50) mentioned in this section, provided that sufficient documentation of such wages or salary is presented to the board of supervisors to justify the reimbursement.

(4)  No supervisor, auditor, tax collector, manager, solicitor, engineer, treasurer or secretary shall be paid for more than two days' attendance in any one year. ((4) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1473, No.166)

(d)  The officers of the association shall consist of a president, one or two vice-presidents, a secretary and a treasurer, all of whom, except the secretary, shall be members of the association and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are chosen. The secretary of the association may be compensated for services an amount determined by the members of the association. Every supervisor, tax collector, manager, secretary, treasurer and auditor attending the convention may vote on policy matters and in the election of officers of the association. ((d) amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1473, No.166)

(d.1)  If a meeting of the officers and members of the executive board of the county association is held during the township employes' normal work schedule, the board of supervisors may authorize a supervisor who is employed by the township to be compensated at the supervisor's regular employe rate and a supervisor who is not employed by the township to receive total or partial reimbursement for lost wages or salary during the supervisor's attendance at the meeting, for up to six days total in a year. A supervisor may not be compensated by the township under this subsection if the supervisor receives any other compensation from the county association for attending the meeting.

(e)  Expenses of each county association convention shall be paid from dues assessed by the association on each member township or from other funds as the members of the county association determine.

(f)  Each county association of township officials may elect one township supervisor, township manager, township treasurer or township secretary for each ten townships, or fraction thereof, within the county, as a voting delegate to each annual meeting of the State association, but each county association is entitled to a minimum of two delegates at each meeting. These delegates' expenses may be paid by the respective county association.

(1401 amended July 7, 2006, P.L.1049, No.106 overlooking Act 2006-101)

 

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