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Describe the organization of the borough. Name the officers and state briefly the duties of each. What judicial functions does the chief burgess perform by virtue of his office?
How many members in a borough council? What name is given to the laws passed by a council? Wherein are the corporate powers of a borough vested?
Is there a local board of health in this borough? What is it doing for the public health ?
What is a city? Distinguish between a borough and a city.
Specify the classes into which the cities of this Commonwealth are by law divided.
Name the officers of the city government. What are their respective duties?
What is the title of the chief executive officer of a city? How is he chosen? What are his duties?
What is the length of the mayor's term of office?
How do justices of the peace and police magistrates receive their offices?
What is the title of the legislative body of a city ? Of how many branches is it composed ?
How is a city governed? How is the mayor chosen ? What are his duties and functions?
What are the duties of the city council? How are the members chosen? What is the title of the highest executive officer of a city?
What does a city do in management of the criminal classes? Describe the municipal courts.
Why are special city courts necessary or desirable?
How is a city divided for purposes of organization and administration ?
What provision does the city make for recreation ?
What are the functions of the police department? What special need does it meet? State its form and organization.
Upon what grounds would you justify an ordinance forbidding the building of wooden houses in the center of a city?
How is a pure and adequate water supply obtained?
Describe the form, organization, and activities of the health department.
What care is taken of the morals of the community ?
How does the city respond to the need for protection of life and property?
How does the city provide for the needs of transportation and communication ?
In what way have cities affected the advance of democracy?
Name a few of the influences which tend to destroy the political morality of a city.
What does Mayor Guthrie set forth as "the city beautiful”?
What are some of the problems and dangers menacing great cities? How may the well-being of cities be secured ?
What agencies may work for the improvement of the government of a city ?
Where are the corporate powers of cities set forth?
Compare briefly the governments of a borough, a small city, and a large city.
Name some of the subjects concerning which ordinances may be enacted. Name two ways in which a proposed ordinance may fail to “pass.”
How can city officers be removed from office if necessary to the public interest? How are vacancies filled ?
What regulations are made to prevent fires? What provisions are made for extinguishing them? How many public parks are there in your city ?
What can you do to make yours a model city—the “city beautiful” ?
Number and Area of Counties. The State is divided into sixty-seven counties varying in area from Montour with 130 square miles, to Lycoming with 1,195 square miles. In population they range from Cameron with 7,644, to Philadelphia with 1,549,008 inhabitants. The three original counties, Chester, Philadelphia, and Bucks, were organized in 1682. The youngest county is Lackawanna, organized in 1878.
County Seats.—Each county has a town as its seat of local government. At this place, known as the county seat, are erected the court house and offices for the several county officers. This town stands in the same relation to the county that the capital city does to the State. Certain officers are required to have their offices in the county seat (175).
The constitution specifies (171) that no new county shall be established which shall reduce any county to less than 400 square miles, or to less than 20,000 inhabitants; nor shall any county be formed of less area or containing a less population; nor shall any of its lines pass within ten miles of the county seat of any county proposed to be divided. The ten miles must be measured from the borough or city limits, not from the courthouse.
County Officers.—In the county we see a distinct tendency toward the threefold division of sovereign power that
the Anglo-Saxon race insists shall pervade all government, namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial functions.
The officers of the county (172) are commissioners, sheriff, prothonotary, clerk of the courts, register of wills, recorder of deeds, clerk of the orphans' court, district attorney, treasurer, auditors or controller, coroner, solicitor, mercantile appraiser, surveyor, county superintendent of schools, directors of the poor, jury commissioners, county judge; and in some counties, associate judges and prison inspectors.
Who may be County Officers.-In order to be eligible to a county office (174), a person must have been a citizen and an inhabitant of the county one year next before his election. County officers are chosen (173) at the municipal election, and hold office for four years.
Salaries.—In counties having a population of less than 150,000 inhabitants, the salary of each officer consists of fees fixed by law (176). In the other counties, the fees are paid into the State treasury or into the county treasury as the law may direct, and a specified salary is paid. In no case can the salary be greater than the amount of fees collected (176). The law fixes several grades of salaries according to the population of the county.
The Commissioners.--The officers who conduct the general county business are the commissioners, and they are vested with all the powers which the county possesses as a body corporate and politic. Among these are the power to acquire, hold, and dispose of property; to enter into contracts; to be a party to suits at law. The commissioners levy the county taxes; provide for the erection, repair, and furnishing of the courthouse, jail, and other
official buildings; construct and keep in repair roads and bridges which in cost and importance pass beyond the sphere of the township officers. In order to accomplish such purposes, they may borrow money on the credit of the county, and issue onds for the same. They are required to set forth annually an account of the receipts and expenditures. If new public buildings are required, the commissioners must obtain the approval of two successive grand juries and of the court of quarter sessions before the buildings can be erected. The commissioners meet as a board to transact the business of the county, and two are necessary to the taking of any action. In addition to the duties already enumerated, the commissioners perform important duties in connection with elections. They provide voting rooms, voting booths, ballots, cards of instruction, lists of voters, etc.
Commissioners are elected in each county every fourth year; and in order to secure representation on the board for more than one political party, no elector is allowed to vote for more than two such candidates at the same time (178).
Any casual vacancy in the office of county commissioner is filled by the court of common pleas of the county in which the vacancy occurs.
The Sheriff.--The sheriff is the executive officer of the county and of its courts. He is the conservator of the public peace, and to that end he has the power to make arrests. He may call to his aid any citizens of the county, thus forming what is known in law as the posse comitatus. A citizen cannot lawfully refuse to aid him in making an arrest. In order to quell riots and disturbances, he may call upon the Governor for assistance. When a man is arrested for crime, it is the State which arrests him by the hand of the sheriff, its agent in the county. In this sense the sheriff becomes a