724.265.3680

Charter Commission Public Meeting… PLEASE ATTEND!

The current West Deer Township Charter was approved at a referendum in 1974, and became effective over forty years ago in 1976.

While the existing Charter worked well in 1976, forty-one years of community growth and the increased complexity of society has created the need to review the Charter and bring it up-to-date.

To this end, a commission was established by the Board of Supervisors to review the Charter and consider relevant changes. This is by no means an easy task.  The Commission has been meeting for over six months and has arrived at a point where it needs additional input from the people of West Deer Township before the it makes its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and, ultimately, the voters through the required referendum.

One difficult recommendation concerns the number of supervisors and the possibility of creating districts that individual supervisors would represent.  The current Board of Supervisors consists of seven members, all elected “at-large.”  At-large means they can be from anywhere in the community, so all seven members could possibly live in one area of the Township – or even on the same street.

It is the consensus opinion of the Commission that a board consisting of five supervisors would offer an improved method of accomplishing Township business.  Where those five supervisors should come from is not as clear-cut.  Therefore the Commission is asking for your assistance by letting them know which of the following options you would prefer.  Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and should be considered carefully.

 

Option 1.  The election of five supervisors from five equally populated districts

The current election districts will be combined to form five districts of approximately the same population.  Where you vote will not change, you will use the same polling location.  One supervisor will be elected from each district and will represent that district.

Pros:             The entire Township will be represented, eliminating the perception that one area receives special treatment while others are ignored.  Also, some people who may have decided not to run in the past because they felt the votes were skewed toward certain areas within the Township would now be encouraged to do so.

Con:              If no one from the almost 3,000 residents in each district decides to run, it could leave a vacant position which will have to be filled by appointment.

 

Option 2. The election of four supervisors by district and one elected at-large

The current election districts will be combined to form four districts consisting of approximately the same population.  Where you vote will not change, you will use the same polling location.  One supervisor will be elected from each district and will represent that district and one supervisor will be elected at-large from anywhere in the Township. The at-large candidate will be voted for by the entire Township.

Pros:             As with the last option, the entire Township will be represented, eliminating the perception that one area receives special treatment while others are ignored.  Also, the at-large candidate could act as a deciding vote for specific issues.

Cons:            As above, if no one from the almost 3,000 residents in each district decides to run, it could leave a vacant position which will have to be filled by appointment.

 

Option 3. The election of five supervisors at-large

The current election districts will remain as they are.  All supervisors will be elected at-large by the entire Township.

Pros:             This is the system we currently use, and people are understand it.  Also, the likelihood of not getting enough candidates to run is substantially lessened.

Con:              This option has the greatest chance – of the five-member options – of consolidating attention in one area and creating the perception of special treatment.

 

Option 4.  The election of seven supervisors at-large (current method)

The procedure for electing the supervisors will remain exactly as it currently is.  The current election districts will remain as they are.  All supervisors will be elected at-large.

Pros:             This is the exact system and number of supervisors we currently have, and people are understand it.  Also, the likelihood of not getting enough candidates to run is substantially diminished.

Cons:            The Commission feels that a board of seven members causes too much argument and not enough action.  With a small support staff and the growing complexity of society and laws, efficiency is hampered by having too many members.  Also, this option has the greatest chance of consolidating attention in one area, creating the perception of special treatment.

 

Your input is very important to the Commission would be greatly appreciated, as their recommendation could form the basis of the election procedures for decades to come.  Town Hall type meetings at the West Deer Township Municipal Building are scheduled for the following dates:

July 27th at 7:00pm

August 2nd at 7:00pm

A third meeting, if determined necessary by the Charter Commission, would be held on August 22nd at 7:00pm

 

 

 

 

West Deer Township

109 East Union Road
Cheswick, PA 15024

Township Office
Phone: 724.265.3680
Fax: 724.265.2228

info@westdeertownship.com

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Emergencies: 911
Police Office: 724.265.1100

Office Hours:
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