2022 Municipality Reorganization Meeting Tips
January 3, 2022 is the day municipalities are required by law to meet for reorganization. Here are a few tips for the meeting:
Advertise the reorganization meeting date and time.
The reorganization meeting must be held on the first Monday of each January unless that date is an official holiday in which case it must be held the first day after the holiday. The meeting may be held at anytime that day. The meeting must be advertised in the newspaper and notice posted at the municipal offices at least three days prior to the meeting. The advertisement can be done alone or as part of the notice for all regular meetings to be held in the upcoming year. Second Class Townships must reorganize every year. Boroughs are only required to reorganize in even-numbered years.
The reorganization meeting can be your regular meeting for the month.
Municipalities are required to meet at least once per month. The reorganization meeting can be your regular meeting for January. We recommend the meeting be advertised as a reorganization meeting and regular business meeting if you plan to conduct other business at the meeting. Remember also that the new agenda requirements will still apply so you must post an agenda with all action items for the meeting at least 24 hours in advance.
Make sure all new or re-elected public officials that will participate in the meeting have been sworn-in ahead of time.
Newly-elected or re-elected or appointed public officials must take an oath of office prior to serving. The oath may be administered by a notary, district justice or judge. In Boroughs, the Mayor must take the oath of office and may then administer the oath to other elected or appointed officials. The Township Secretary must keep on file a copy of the oath or affirmation of each official.
Establish bond amounts for your bonded public officials.
The Township Treasurer and Manager must be bonded. The bonds should be set each year at reorganization. Depository banks should also be set at the meeting.
Have your appointments list, wages and fees ready for approval.
All municipal appointments for the coming year should be made at the reorganization meeting. These can be done individually with a motion on each appointment or as one resolution or motion with a list of appointments attached to the minutes. Wages must also be set each year by resolution or motion if not previously included in or set by the adopted budget. A comprehensive schedule of fees should also be approved each year. If your municipality has a policy to allow Supervisors to participate in insurance plans, remember that a Supervisor wishing to participate must submit a written letter requesting enrollment prior to the start of a new term or else they must wait until the next term to participate.
Know what to do if there is a contested election for your chairman.
There is no legally-required method to run a meeting. Most municipalities try to follow Robert Rules of Order. The first order of business at each reorganization meeting must always be the election of a chairman. The meeting may be called to order by the Township Manager or Solicitor who can then take nominations for a temporary Chairman who must be from the Board of Supervisors. Once elected, the temporary Chairman can take nominations for Chairman. Nominations do not require a second. Once all nominations are received, the Chairman should conduct a vote on each nominee in order received until a nominee receives a majority of votes. A nominee may vote for himself or herself. Once a Chairman is elected, the Chairman takes the gavel and will lead the meeting, including the election of the Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. A five-member Board may also wish to elect a President Pro Tem who would be third in line to chair a meeting if the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are both absent.
PSATS publishes an annual cheat sheet for reorganization meetings, which you may find helpful as well.
If you have other specific questions about reorganization, please don’t hesitate to call (717-845-1524) or email James Sanders, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andy Miller (email@example.com) or Doug Myers (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or comments.