Citizen’s Guide: Living in a Second Class Township

Barrett is a second-class township.

A second-class township usually has three supervisors, elected at large for six-year terms. A referendum may allow a second-class township's board of supervisors to expand to five members. Some townships have home-rule charters, which allow for a mayor/council form of government.

Source: Wikipedia (Local Government in Pennsylvania)


Act of May 1, 1933 (P.L. 103, No. 69)
Reenacted and amended November 9, 1995 (P.L. 350, No. 60)

Article VI: Township Supervisors -
Section 602: Organization Meeting; Appointment of Secretary and Treasurer. –
(a) The board of supervisors shall meet at a convenient time and place on the first Monday in January of each year. If the first Monday is a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held the following day. The board of supervisors shall elect one member as chairman and another as vice-chairman, and it shall appoint a treasurer and a secretary. The secretary shall be an individual; however, the board of supervisors may select either a trust company, a banking institution or an individual to serve as treasurer, or the board of supervisors may appoint one individual to serve as both secretary and treasurer.

Editor’s Note:  If we allowed a 3rd party trust or banking institution to manage the township’s money, instead of letting the fox guard the henhouse, wouldn’t the concerns of many citizens be immediately alleviated?

Article VI: Township Supervisors -
Section 602.c:
The board of supervisors may appoint a supervisor to be employed as roadmaster, laborer, secretary, treasurer, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer or in any employe capacity not otherwise prohibited by this or any other act.

Editor’s Note: The roadmaster can also be a supervisor.  Who does the roadmaster report to?  The board.  How can this not be considered a blatant conflict of interests?  In New Jersey, this is not allowed anywhere, period.  


You are encouraged to review the entire “PA second class township code” here.



Three Supervisors?  Or five?
Section 402.
(d) In townships in which the electorate has opted for a five-member board, the township shall return to a three-member board of supervisors upon petition of at least five percent of the electors of the township, or under a resolution of the board of supervisors, and upon approval by a majority of electors voting at the next municipal or general election. The referendum petition shall be filed with the county board of elections not later than the thirteenth Tuesday before the next municipal or general election.


Removal for Failure to Perform Duties
Section 503.
If any township officer fails to perform the duties of the office, the court of common pleas upon complaint in writing by five percent of the electors of the township may issue a rule upon the officer to show cause why the office should not be declared vacant. The officer shall respond to the rule within thirty days from its date of issue. Upon hearing, the court may declare the office vacant and require the vacancy to be filled under section 407.(53 P.S. §65503)


Changing Township Name
Section 207.
(a) Upon petition to the court of common pleas of at least ten percent of the electors of a township or upon passage of a resolution by the board of supervisors seeking a change of the name of the township, the court shall order a referendum on the question.


Community Watch Program
Section 1546. The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys toward a neighborhood crime watch program. No township or township official is subject to contractual, tort or other liability as a result of making an appropriation under this section. (53 P.S. §66546)


Hard-to-Find Information

The following information is NOT available from the official township website:

  • Police Reports
  • Treasurer’s Reports
  • Roadmaster Reports
  • Architectural Review Committee
  • Open Space Committee (EAC)



Upcoming Supervisor Meetings

Wed Jan 27, 2021 @ 8:00AM -
Supervisor Meeting (AM) (Open to Public)
Thu Jan 28, 2021 @ 6:00PM - 07:00PM
Pocono Area Recreation Commission
Wed Feb 03, 2021 @ 5:30PM - 06:30PM
Barrett Township Planning Commission Meeting (if needed to discuss submitted plans)
Wed Feb 10, 2021 @ 5:30PM -
Supervisor Meeting (PM) (Open to Public)
Wed Feb 17, 2021 @ 8:00AM -
Supervisor Workshop (Open to Public)
Thu Feb 18, 2021 @ 5:00PM - 06:00PM
Barrett Architectural Review Committee (Open to Public)



Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.


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