The Association

The question concerning the “why” of the relationship between the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of PA and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs is often asked. The answer is important because it impacts the “how” and “with what authority” we govern. When a question arises as to the role of the mayor, the answer is most likely to be found in the Borough Code.

The two groups have a long history. In 1911, borough officials began to gather on an annual basis to discuss common concerns. By 1915, the General Assembly authorized PSAB to represent the collective interests of borough governments in Harrisburg. In addition, PSAB was charged with providing education, training, and other services to borough officials across the Commonwealth.

As populations grew, borough mayors needed to address the problems and concerns of their office specifically. Established in 1955, the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania developed to support those who held the office of “mayor” of a state borough.

One of the most important factors in the relationship between the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of PA and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs is the Pennsylvania Borough Code. Our “affiliation” with PSAB is important because we are all part of the government comprised of state boroughs. We are all bound by the Borough Code and in order to address the many borough specific issues, we work with those who function under that same Pennsylvania Borough Code. As PSAB has become a resource through their extensive organization, our Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania, Inc. endeavors to help the association’s members with problems unique to borough mayors by focusing on their role as defined by the code.

Being a Borough Mayor is a specific office of a specific type of municipality. This is a very important distinction. We are not a “city”, nor a “township” nor an entity with a “home rule” charter. All members of the Borough Council, be they council members or mayors, are constrained by the Pennsylvania Borough Code. We have only “the powers that are expressly granted to us by the state legislature, those powers that are necessarily implied from that grant of power and those that are essential to the municipality’s existence and functioning.” In contrast, other types of governments have their own rules. Cities are governed by city codes, and home rule municipalities potentially have the power to self-govern and can act anywhere except where they are specifically limited by state law.

PSAB and AMBP have the primary objective of providing legislative/regulatory representation at both the state and federal levels; to promote constructive and cooperative relationships among boroughs and between PSAB and other levels of government; to deliver training and technical assistance to borough officials; and to provide cost-effective programs and services. The executive committee, the solicitor for our Association, the secretary and the PSAB are here to help you in anyway that we can with your questions as you strive to serve your borough constituents.