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Definitions of Elected Officials

2017 – CHESTER COUNTY

For local positions, look for your township to see if the position is open there.  Go to the Chester County website to get the names of the candidates, and then investigate their activity and background.

The information in this report for Chester County can also be found for Montgomery County at http://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/16764

 

JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT: 1 for a term of 4 years (1 Dem and 1 Rep running from varied counties for 5 positions).

Pennsylvania Supreme Court consists of 7 Justices, each elected to 10-year terms.  The justice with the longest continuous service on the court automatically becomes the Chief Justice.  The court may choose which cases it accepts, with the exception of mandatory death penalty appeals, and certain appeals from the original jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court.  It wields powerful influence on the formation and interpretation of Pennsylvania law.

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT: 4 for terms of 10 years (5 Dems, 5 Reps, several counties).

The Superior Court is one of two intermediate appellate courts.  The Superior Court is the appellate court of general jurisdiction.  Appeal to the Superior Court is generally from final decisions of the Court of Common Pleas.  Pennsylvania has only one Superior Court that sits in three cities.  After serving the 10 year term, the Superior Court Judge may hold his/her seat if s/he wins a retention vote.  They must retire at the age of 70.

 

JUDGE OF THE COMMONWEALTH COURT: 2 for terms of 10 years (6 Dems, 2 Reps, varied counties).

The Commonwealth Court is one of two intermediate appellate courts (the other is Superior Court).  Its work is limited to appeals from final orders of certain state agencies and certain designated cases from the Courts of Common Pleas involving public sector legal questions and government regulation.  It also functions as a trial court in some civil actions by or against the Commonwealth government and cases regarding statewide elections.  Though previously must retire by 70 years of age, that age was extended to 75 in the last election due to ballot wording.

 

TREASURER: 1 for term of 4 years (County, 1 Dem, 1 Rep)

The County Treasurer is the local authority, representing the State, in the sale of various state-controlled licenses; invoices all owners of taxable property, updates individual properties and invoices interim bills; processes, records, and deposits all receipts of cash or checks; is the “Licensing Authority” under Pennsylvania’s Local Option Small Games of Chance Act; responsible for rules and regulations and provides funds to promote tourism within the county’s borders; Reconciles bank statements as an internal accounting control function between the general ledger and various bank statements for Chester County including cash account, payroll, and pension accounts; Reviews, Disburses, and distributes checks written by Accounts Payable for the County.

 

CONTROLLER: 1 for term of 4 years (County, 1 Dem, 1 Rep)

The Controller supervises the fiscal affairs of the county, including accounts, transactions, and related official acts of all officers and persons entrusted with the public funds.    The Controller maintains accounting records, processes, accounts payable and disbursements, manages payroll and retirement benefits, and is responsible for the internal audit.  The Controller provides financial information about county government to residents, government officials, vendors, financial markets, and others.  Ensures that the County’s taxpayers’ funds are spend, administered, and accounted for prudently, lawfully, and efficiently.

 

CLERK OF COURTS: 1 for term of 4 years (County, 1 Dem, 1 Rep)

The Clerk of Courts provides quality, efficient, and professional services to the public, courts system, and related agencies.  The Clerk of Court maintains custody of all court records, supports and attends each court session, provides a repository for trial exhibits, collects and disburses fines, costs, and fees; provides open access to public court records, prepares motor vehicle forms for PennDOT, files road dockets, reports statistical and financial data, dockets all criminal records; maintains constable bonds, licenses private detectives, administer oaths, assembles juries, posts bail.  Does not provide legal advise.

 

CORONER: 1 for term of 4 years (County, 1 Dem, 1 Rep)

The Coroner is required to investigate all sudden, violent, traumatic, or unexpected deaths, for example, death from natural disease that the treating physician has no knowledge of the cause of the sudden death.  Under these circumstances, the Coroner must determine how and why an individual died.  The Coroner assures the individual’s proper identity, and assures that the next of kin are notified. The Coroner and the U. of Pittsburgh are collaborating to provide an ongoing overview of drug death data in CC, available on their site.  The Coroner can provide a Survivors Guide to help survivors with decision making and helpful solutions.

 

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE: 1 for term of 6 years (PA Districts, Chester County Districts: District 15-1-01, 2 Dem/Rep; District 15-5-01, 2 Dems, 2 Rep; District 15-3-04, 5 Dems, 5 Reps; District 15-3-05, 1 Dem/Rep; District 15-3-06, 1 Dem/Rep; District 15-4-01 1 Dem/Rep, 1 Rep; District 15-4-03 1 Dem/Rep.

There are 17 Magisterial District Courts in Chester County, which provide access to justice at the minor judiciary court level, and thus are the first level of judicial authority in Pennsylvania.  These courts process motor vehicle violations, summary offenses, local ordinance violations, landlord/tenant matters and civil claims of <$12,000.  Criminal cases are filed at the appropriate District Court for arraignments and preliminary hearings.

 

SCHOOL DIRECTOR: 4 year terms.

The School Director of a school must ensure that all perspectives are heard, that the policies are enacted, that budgets are adopted, and that other decisions of school boards balance the needs of many constituencies while fulfilling the constitutional mandate to provide education to all children. Each School has its own Board of School Directors.   The School Directors are a legislative body of citizens who make up the school board.   They serve as the governing body of each public school district.  Each board consists of 9 members who serve 4 year terms. They receive no compensation for their work.

The School Director is responsible for Teaching and Learning Supervisor, Pre-K Supervisor and Elementary Coordinator, Compliance Supervisor, Facilities and Transportation Supervisor, Instructional Supports Supervisor, Administrative and Support Services Supervisor, Technology and Testing Supervisor, Food Services Supervisor, Psychological Examiner, SPED Teacher/Diagnostician, Financial Supervisor, Financial Officer-Payroll, Financial Clerk, Staff Secretary, Board of Education Secretary, Special Education Secretary, and School Nutrition Assistant.

The particular positions of each of the School Directors for each region can be found on the relevant website.

  • Avongrove Regions 1, 2, 3 voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, Dems and Reps equally divided;
  • Coatesville Regions 1, 2, 3 voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, 3 Dem/Rep, 4 Dems, 5 Reps;
  • Downingtown Regions 2, 4, 6, 8, voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, 2 Dem/Rep, 3 Dems, 4 Reps;
  • Great Valley Region 1, 2, 3, voting for 1 or 2 terms of 4 years, 2 Dem/Rep, 3 Dems, 4 Reps (Dem Party endorsing Jouin);
  • Kennett Regions A, B, C, voting for 1 or 1 for 4 years, 4 Dem/Rep, 2 Dems, 2 Reps;
  • Octorara Regions 1, 2, 3, voting for 2 for 2 years, voting for 2 for 4 years, 1 Dem/Rep, 6 Dems, 7 Reps;
  • Oxford Regions 1, 3, voting for 1 for 4 years, 3 Dems, 4 Reps;
  • Owen J. Roberts voting for 4 for 4 years, 8 Dems, 7 Reps;
  • Phoenixville, voting for 4 for 4 years, 8 Dems, 7 Reps;
  • Spring-Ford region 3, voting for 2 for 4 years, 3 Dems, 3 Reps;
  • Tredyffrin Easttown Regions 1, 2, 3, voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, 3 Dem/Rep, 4 Dems, 3 Reps;
  • Twin Valley Region 2, 3, voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, voting for 1 for 2 years, 1 Dem/Rep, 3 Dems, 5 Reps;
  • Unionville Chadds Ford Regions A, B, voting for 2 for 4 years, 4 Dem/Rep;
  • West Chester Regions 1, 2, 3, voting for 1 or 2 for 4 years, 2 Dem/Rep, 4 Dems, 2 Reps.

 

MAYOR: term of 4 years.

The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city, borough, or township, who oversees a city’s main departments, including police, fire, education, housing, and transportation.  The mayor officially speaks for both the government and the community as a whole.  The mayor is the presiding officer and a regular member of the city council.  In some city power structures, such as West Chester, the majority of the city power is given to the council members, and the mayor acts as more of a ceremonial leader of the council.

Some townships have their own unique home rule charters, which allow for a mayor/council form of government.  Boroughs often have strong and dominant councils, a weak executive, and other elected officers with powers independent of the council.

  • Atglen Borough
  • Downington Borough
  • Elverson Borough
  • Honeybrook Borough
  • Kennett Square Borough
  • Malvern Borough
  • Oxford Borough
  • Parkesburg Borough
  • Phoenixville Borough
  • Spring City Borough
  • West Chester Borough
  • West Grove Borough

 

TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR: Terms of 6 years.

The Township Supervisor is responsible for deciding issues of public safety, spending, growth management, zoning, roads and streets, code enforcement, and environment, and how to pay for it all. They often are not employees, do not have a designated work station, use public spaces to meet with the public, do not clock in at 9am or clock out at 5pm. A supervisor is always available to the residents through email, cell phone, and at public meetings.  Access to the supervisor may be funneled through the township’s administration.

The Township Supervisor’s Handbook, from the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, can be found HERE:

  • Birmingham
  • Charlestown
  • East Bradford
  • East Brandywine
  • East Caln
  • East Coventry
  • East Fallowfield
  • East Goshen
  • East Marlborough
  • East Nantmeal
  • East Nottingham
  • East Pikeland
  • East Vincent
  • East Whiteland
  • Easttown
  • Elk
  • Franklin
  • Highland
  • Honeybrook Kennett
  • London Britain
  • London Grove
  • Londonderry
  • Lower Oxford
  • New Garden
  • New London
  • Newlin
  • North Coventry
  • Penn
  • Pennsbury
  • Pocopson
  • Sadsbury
  • Schuylkill
  • South Coventry
  • Thornburg
  • Tredyffrin 2nd District
  • Tredyffrin
  • Upper Oxford Township
  • Upper Uwchlan
  • Uwchlan
  • Valley
  • Wallace
  • Warwick
  • West Bradford
  • West Brandywine
  • West Caln
  • West Goshen
  • West Marlborough
  • West Nantmeal
  • West Nottingham
  • West Pikeland
  • West Sadsbury
  • West Vincent
  • West Whiteland
  • Westtown
  • Willistown

 

TOWNSHIP COMMISSIONER: 3 for term of 4 years

A Township Commissioner leads the township and is elected by Ward residents. First-class townships are represented by a board of commissioners. A second-class township is governed by a board of supervisors.

  • Caln

 

MEMBER OF COUNCIL of the first-class, second-class township, or home-rule township:  Term of 4 years.

  • Atglen Borough
  • Coatesville 2nd ward, 4th ward, City of Coatesville
  • Downingtown East Ward, West Ward
  • Elverson Borough
  • Honeybrook Borough
  • Kennett Square Borough
  • Malvern Borough
  • Modena Borough
  • Oxford Borough
  • Parkesburg Borough
  • Phoenixville East Ward, Middle Ward, North Ward, West Ward
  • South Coatesville Borough
  • Spring City Borough
  • West Chester 1st Ward, 3rd Ward, 5th Ward, 7th Ward
  • West Grove Borough

 

TAX COLLECTOR: 1 for a term of 4 years.

The Tax Collector determines the tax liability or collects unpaid taxes from people or businesses/corporations according to prescribed laws and regulations.

  • Avondale
  • Caln
  • Charlestown
  • Downingtown
  • East Bradford
  • East Brandywine
  • East Coventry
  • East Nantmeal
  • East Whiteland
  • Elk
  • London Britain
  • London Grove
  • Lower Oxford
  • New Garden
  • North Coventry
  • Oxford
  • Pennsbury
  • Phoenixville Borough
  • Schuylkill
  • Thornbury
  • Upper Uwchlan
  • Uwchlan
  • West Bradford
  • West Brandywine
  • West Goshen
  • West Grove
  • West Marlborough
  • West Nantmeal
  • West Nottingham
  • West Sadsbury
  • West Vincent
  • West Whiteland
  • Westtown
  • Willistown

 

AUDITOR: Term of 6 years.

The Auditor acts as a fiscal watchdog for the citizens of the township.  They prepare and examine financial records, ensure that they are accurate, and that taxes are paid properly and on time.  They audit, settle, and adjust the accounts of all elected or appointed officials who received or disbursed funds during the immediate preceding calendar year.  They assess financial operations and work to help ensure that the township runs efficiently. They work under the Office of the County Treasurer.

  • Birmingham
  • East Bradford
  • East Coventry
  • East Goshen
  • East Marlborough
  • East Nantmeal
  • New London
  • Newlin
  • Penn
  • Pennsbury
  • South Coventry
  • Thornbury
  • Uwchlan
  • West Bradford
  • West Goshen
  • West Grove
  • West Marlborough
  • West Nantmeal
  • West Nottingham
  • West Vincent
  • West Whiteland
  • Westtown
  • Willistown

 

JUDGE OF ELECTIONS, 1 for term of 4 years; different districts within these towns

Judges of Elections staff each voting district and must be registered to vote in that precinct.  They explain voting procedure, explain voting equipment, provide ballots, and monitor the conduct of the election. They attend a training session prior to voting, contact the polling place to arrange the access to the building and set up for the election, pick up election day supplies, issue the Oath of Office to all Poll Workers after having been sworn in by the Minority Inspector (prior to the 7am opening of the polls), set up, run, and break down the polling place, make sure the equipment is working properly, protects voters’ privacy, assigns election day tasks to poll workers, oversees the flow of voters, keeps things running smoothly, maintains pay vouchers for poll workers, and is responsible for delivering the returns to the Government Services Center in West Chester. Any dispute during an election is first brought to the Judge of Elections.

  • Atglen
  • Avondale
  • Birmingham
  • East Bradford
  • West Bradford
  • East Brandywine
  • West Brandywine
  • Caln
  • East Caln
  • West Caln
  • Charlestown
  • Coatesville
  • North Coventry
  • East Coventry
  • South Coventry
  • East Downingtown
  • West Downingtown
  • Easttown
  • Elk
  • Elverson
  • Franklin
  • East Goshen
  • West Goshen
  • Honeybrook
  • Kennett Square
  • Kennett Twp
  • London Britain
  • London Grove
  • Malvern
  • East Marlborough
  • West Marlborough
  • East Nantmeal<a/li>
  • West Nantmeal
  • New Garden
  • Newlin
  • East Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Lower Oxford
  • Upper Oxford
  • Parkesburg
  • Pennsbury
  • Phoenixville
  • East Pikeland
  • West Sadsbury
  • Schuylkill
  • Spring City
  • Thornbury
  • Tredyffrin
  • Uwchlan
  • Upper Uwchlan
  • East Vincent
  • West Vincent
  • Warwick
  • West Grove
  • Westtown
  • East Whiteland
  • West Whiteland
  • Willistown
  • West Chester

INSPECTOR OF ELECTIONS: Vote for 1 for a term of 4 years.

Inspector of Elections is a poll worker who conducts assigned duties at a polling site on election Day.  They may issue ballots to register voters, register voters, monitor the voting equipment, and explain how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment.

  • Atglen
  • Avondale
  • Brimingham
  • East Bradford
  • West Bradford
  • Caln
  • East Caln
  • West Caln
  • Charlestown
  • East Coventry
  • South Coventry
  • West Downingtown
  • Easttown
  • Elk
  • Elverson
  • East Goshen
  • West Goshen
  • Kennett Twp
  • London Grove
  • Malvern
  • East Marlborough S Unionville
  • West Marlborough
  • East Nantmeal
  • West Nantmeal
  • New Garden South
  • Newlin
  • EastNottingham
  • West Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Lower and Upper Oxford
  • Parkesburg
  • Penn
  • Pennsbury
  • East Pikeland
  • Pocopson
  • Sadsbury North
  • Schuylkill
  • Tredyffrin
  • Uwchlan
  • Upper Uwchlan
  • Valley North, East Vincent
  • West Vincent
  • Warwick East and West
  • Westtown
  • East Whiteland
  • West Whiteland
  • Willistown
  • West Chester
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