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On behalf of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, officers, Board of Directors and general membership, including more than 70 communities throughout the Commonwealth, it is a pleasure to welcome you to “Civics and You: Your Key to PA Local Government.” This e book is designed to help you learn about the important role of local government in Pennsylvania, the duties and responsibilities of local officials and how you can get involved in the closest form of democracy to you- right in your own community.

Pennsylvania includes 2,562 cities, townships and boroughs that constitute local government in our state. These local entities, chartered by the Commonwealth, provide you and your family with local services including, public safety, wastewater treatment, parks, and infrastructure maintenance. Many of our own residents and certainly numerous visitors to our state are often confused about the role and responsibility of local government and its leaders. This text will help explain the history, purpose and resources available to local government.

We would like to thank League Executive Director Emeritus John A. Garner, Jr., Former ICMA Executive Director William J. Hansel, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Department of Community and Economic Development, and The Civic Research Alliance, LLC for helping to conceptualize the project and move it forward to completion. A special thank you to our Director of Training, Gail Markovitz, for her untiring efforts to make the project a reality.

It is our hope that this book will connect you with your local municipality and the incredible public servants—both elected and appointed—that serve every community of our great Commonwealth.

Please enjoy the book and the many links to resources that will help all of use appreciate the value and importance of local government in Pennsylvania.


Richard J. Schuettler

Richard J. Schuettler
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Municipal League