Reporter's Guide to Pennsylvania Local Government

what you really need to know when they send you to a meeting


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Scranton is Pennsylvania’s only city of the second class A (population 80,000 – 249,000), and therefore has its own state statute. The city adopted its home rule charter in 1974.


The mayor, who is elected, has broad administrative power. He or she can appoint and remove personnel, is responsible for preparing the annual budget, recommends measures for the consideration of council and may veto legislation which may be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the council.

The council — five members elected at large.

City Clerk – appointed by council.

Controller – elected, serves a four-year term.


Council sets compensation of elected officials, but compensation cannot be increased or changed during their elected term of office.

The city charter mandates a personnel system for appointment, promotion and removal of all employees based on merit and fitness.

City employees are members of retirement systems. Retirement for police and firefighters is administered separately from that of other employees.

Scranton’s charter authorizes direct legislative action by voters through initiative and referendum.


Written by pareporter

May 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm

One Response

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  1. “A First Class Township – The Story of Pocono Township” is now available wherever books are sold (, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) I wrote this book after working with a grassroots group of twenty residents of Pocono Township to change our community from a second class to a first class governance in 2013. Unhappy with our leadership, we convinced 63% of our residents to vote for change. It can be done! When the people allow their voices to be heard, remarkable changes can occur. Find out who we had to fight, what we had to do and how we managed this monumental feat. The book is a blueprint and an inspiration for change. A must-read if you and your community are looking for a brighter future. Visit — Jack Swersie

    Jack Swersie

    March 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

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