Biennial Reorganization Procedures

The Biennial Reorganization Meeting Procedure

According to section 1001 of the Borough Code, borough councils are required to reorganize on the first Monday in January of each even‐numbered year unless it is a holiday. it is the next day (Tuesday).

What is required by law to take place at the organization meeting?

  1. ADVERTISE the AGENDA of the meeting once in a newspaper of general circulation according to the Sunshine Act at least three days in advance of the meeting. Provide a copy of the agenda on the borough’s website 24 hours in advance of the meeting or if there is no website on the door of the meeting room.
  2. MAYOR SWORN IN If a mayor has been newly elected or reelected, he must first present a notarized Affidavit of Residency prior to taking the oath of office. The oath of office is administered by a judge, a notary public, or a justice of the magisterial district. A written copy of the oath and the affidavit shall be filed with the borough secretary and retained in the borough office for six years. Newly elected and reelected council members shall also present a notarized Affidavit of Residency prior to taking the oath of office from the mayor (after he has qualified and has taken the oath), or a notary public or a justice of the magisterial district. Failure to provide the affidavit means the official‐elect cannot take the oath and cannot be seated as a borough official. The official‐elect shall present the mandated affidavit within 10 days to qualify.
  3. MAYOR PRESIDES The mayor presides over the meeting until officers (the president and vice president) are elected. The mayor is deemed to be a member of council for the organization meeting only if his membership is needed to make up a quorum. The mayor only votes at the organization meeting if his vote is needed to break a tie or split vote. If the mayor is absent, then the council members choose one council member to preside over the meeting until officers are elected.
  4. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS The mayor, or presiding council member, accepts nominations for the office of president of council. Nominations do not require a second and the names nominated are voted in the order that the nominations are made. Voting continues until one nominee attains a majority vote. The process is repeated for vice president. Once the officers are elected, the mayor turns the gavel over to the newly elected president. The State Ethics Law applies to the question of whether nominees for president may vote for themselves and only the borough solicitor shall have the authority to render a legal opinion on that question.
  5. OTHER BUSINESS After the new Council is seated, it is able to conduct any other Council business that comes before it at the organization meeting, including reopening the budget if the Council so desires. The chairperson of the Vacancy Board is ordinarily selected at this meeting. Often, Councils will select a president pro term to serve as chair in the absence of the president and vice president. A Council may choose to adopt Rules of Order governing the conduct of Council meetings, including guidelines for compliance with the Sunshine Act. The selection (and advertising) of the upcoming year’s regular Council meetings is often addressed at this meeting. The president may name committee memberships at this meeting. Note that appointments to the Committee is ordinarily the prerogative of the president.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity,” This oath of office was made official and mandatory under Act 76 of 2008.

The above information does not represent legal advice.