Reporter's Guide to Pennsylvania Local Government

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


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Pennsylvania has two classes of townships. All townships are second class unless first class status has been approved by voters.

A general rule is:

Second Class Townships are run by Supervisors (usually three)

First Class Townships are run by Commissioners (usually five)

A second class township with a population density of 300 persons per square mile can become a first class township if voters approve the change by referendum, but many townships meeting the density requirement have remained second class.


Exception: 27 townships in PA operate under home rule charters.


Written by pareporter

April 23, 2010 at 1:00 am

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 4:16 pm

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