With the end of the year around the corner, here are a few tips and reminders for getting the ball rolling for 2018.
In 2018, the statutory Organization Meeting for both Townships and Boroughs must be held on Tuesday January 2nd (as the first Monday falls on a holiday). In addition to authorizing the advertisement for the meeting, take stock of the open board/committee positions up for appointment, confirm your volunteers’ continuing interest, or interview other potential appointees. The Org Meeting is also an ideal time to review your fee schedule. Should any new fees be added? Old fees eliminated or adjusted? Check in with your treasurer, zoning officer, engineer and solicitor to get their recommendations based on issues that they’ve encountered over the past year.
2018 Regular Meetings
Don’t forget about the advertisement for the regular meetings of the various municipal boards and commissions. Per the Sunshine Act, at least three days’ public notice is required before the first regular meeting of an agency. While they still have time to discuss at their upcoming meetings, ask around to your various committee and board chairs about whether their meeting schedule will remain unchanged in 2018.
If your township or borough appoints an outside firm to conduct the audit, gather proposals now and check with your solicitor as to whether additional steps must be taken before one is engaged. In some circumstances, such as in Second Class Townships, a twenty day notice is required before acting on a resolution to appoint an outside auditor.
While the budgets must be approved by December 31st, remember that notice of the budget availability is required to be advertised before the budget can be adopted (20 days for 2nd Class Townships and 10 days for Boroughs). Once advertised, some modifications are permitted, but consult with your solicitor as to the parameters for doing so. Further, with 2018 being a municipal election year, the Borough and Second Class Township Codes set out a process for the “new” board or council to amend the budget in January, with a final budget required to be adopted by February 15th.
After the dust settles from the election, November and December are ideal for elected officials – old and new – to attend training to learn more about their roles as elected officials. PSATS, PSAB and many county associations provide a range of training seminars, and, as our office provides, check with your solicitor about hosting educational seminars for elected officials. These waning months of 2017 are also an opportune time for the newly elected officers to meet with the various professional consultants, so that they can hit the ground in lock step in 2018.
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