Boroughs are governed by an elected council. Election to a governing body conveys a great deal of power and responsibility. This power is granted by various laws and codes vesting certain corporate and specific powers in council. Corporate powers legalize the action of the borough and provide elected officials authority to act on behalf of the borough.
The Borough Code invests the corporate power of the municipality in council. The Code further delineates other powers enabling council to function in the best interest of the borough. Specific powers provide authority to council to enact legislation and are intended to provide council with the capability needed to legislate for the benefit of the municipality and its citizens.
The Code authorizes the governing body to make and adopt all ordinances, bylaws, rules and regulations deemed necessary for the proper management and control of the borough in order to maintain good government and protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. Any legislation must not be in conflict with the Constitution and the laws of the commonwealth. The general grant of power authorizes any legal action on the part of council to maintain the peace, good government and welfare of the borough and to protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of its inhabitants.
The Borough Code requires council to meet at least once a month.
- Presides at council meetings
- Signs ordinances, resolutions and contracts
- Votes, unless he/she has a conflict of interest
- Serves as Mayor if the Mayor is incapacitated (at this time the Council President votes as Mayor, not as a Council Member)
- Presides over council meetings in the absence of the Council President
- Serves as Mayor if both Mayor and Council President are incapacitated
- Administers Oaths of Office
- Presides over the mandatory organizational meeting
- Only votes to break tie votes of Council (cannot vote on hiring or firing Police Personnel, or if he/she has a conflict of interest)
- May take part in Council discussions
- May call an emergency and regulate certain actions during this time
- Administers the Police Department
- May perform marriages
- Signs all ordinances unless he/she vetoes the ordinance. The Mayor has until the next regularly scheduled meeting to make a decision concerning the ordinance. If desired, the Mayor signs the ordinance and it becomes law. If desired, the Mayor vetoes the ordinance. The ordinance goes back to Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Council may choose to vote again. In order to override the Mayor's veto, a majority plus one is needed. If the Mayor ignores the ordinance, it becomes law at the next regularly scheduled meeting without the Mayor's signature.