Government Study Commission

Please take Notice that the following question will appear on the ballot for the Municipal Election to be held on November 2, 2021:

 “Shall a Government Study Commission of eleven members be elected to study the existing form of government of the municipality; to consider the advisability of the adoption of an optional form of government or a home rule charter; to recommend the adoption of an optional form of government, or to draft and recommend a home rule charter?”

Electors will be instructed to vote “yes” or “no” to this question.  In addition, electors will be instructed to vote for no more than eleven (11) candidates to serve as members of the Government Study Commission.

The following is a “Plain English” explanation of the question concerning the creation of a Government Study Commission, which will appear on the November 2, 2021 Municipal Election Ballot.  This “Plain English” explanation is required pursuant to the Pennsylvania Election Code, 25 C.S.A. subsection 2621.1:

The question of creating a Government Study Commission for Washington County will appear on the November 2, 2021 Municipal Election Ballot because an ordinance passed by a majority of the Board of Commissioners requesting the placement of this question on the ballot has been presented to the County Board of Elections.  

The role of the government study commission is to study and evaluate the existing form of County government, and to consider whether it would be advisable to adopt an optional form of government or a home rule charter.

Once elected, the members of the Government Study Commission will examine the current County government, consider alternatives, reach decisions on how the County government might best be run, and present their recommendations to the voters.

After completing its evaluation, the Government Study Commission may recommend that no change should be made in the existing form of government and it should remain in place, or the Commission may recommend the adoption of a different form of government or a home rule charter, which the commission would draft.  In either event, any optional form of government recommended by the Commission or proposed home rule charter would be presented to the voters for approval in a later election.  The Government Study Commission, if it is created, will not have the authority to change County government.  Its purpose is to make recommendations concerning the advisability of adoption of a home rule charter or optional form of government, decisions, which ultimately must be decided by the voters in another election.

If the majority of voters respond “yes” to the ballot question on creating a Government Study Commission, the Commission will be established and it will proceed to study the existing form of County government and consider whether to recommend an optional form of government or the adoption of a home rule charter for the County.  If a majority of voters respond “no” to the question as to whether this commission should be created, there will be no Government Study Commission, and the existing form of government will remain in place.

Whether you vote “yes” or ”no” in response to the question concerning the creation of a Government Study Commission, you should still vote for no more than eleven (11) candidates to serve on that Commission in case the creation of a Government Study Commission is approved by the voters. 

Government Study Commission Pamphlet

Government Study Commission Information Video

For more information and for the duties of a Government Study Commissioner you can visit:
The Pennsylvania General Assembly web site.  Information on a government study commission can be found under Statutes of Pennsylvania, Consolidated Statues, Title 53 - Municipalities Generally, Subpart E - Home Rule and Optional Plan Government.
or
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development web site.  Information on a government study commission can be found under Local Government, Publications and Documents, Library, Home Rule PA