Halfmoon Township is governed in accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Code of Laws for a Second Class Township.
Section 6 (Local Government) of Volume 115 of the Pennsylvania Manual, states that
“. . . there are four general types of municipalities in Pennsylvania: counties, cities, boroughs, and townships. . .” with those in turn separated into different classes. “Each class of municipality operates under its own code of laws which sets forth the governmental structure as well as the general and specific powers of local government . . . (There are currently a) County Code, Third Class City Code, Borough Code, First Class Township Code, Second Class Township Code and Public School Code.”
Halfmoon Township is defined as a Second Class Township, and is therefore governed in accordance with the PA Second Class Township Code.
“The governing body of second class townships is composed of three supervisors who are elected at-large (i.e., not affiliated with a specific region). Two additional supervisors may be elected if approved by referendum. All are elected at-large for six-year terms.
“Other elected township officials include the tax assessor, tax collector(second class), three auditors or controller, and a treasurer (first class). Appointive officers include the secretary, township manager if desired, chief of police, fire chief, engineer, solicitor and others”
Until the election of November 1995, Halfmoon Township was governed by a three-member Board of Supervisors. At that time, the township voted overwhelmingly to expand the BOS to five members. The new members were elected in November 1996 and began their terms in January 1997.
Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors (BOS) is the governing body of the Township. They are vested with the executive and legislative powers of the Township. Supervisors also annually appoint various advisory boards, Township officers and employees. Board members are elected to staggered six-year terms. The BOS meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. All meetings are held at the Halfmoon Township Community Center meeting room and are open to the public.
The Secretary/Treasurer is appointed by the BOS. He or she carries out the policies of the Board and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Township. The Treasurer is responsible for proper accounting and reporting of all financial activities of the Township. He or she prepares the budget and provides financial information to the Board. The Secretary and Treasurer positions may be combined as one position or appointed as two separate positions.
The Zoning Officer is responsible for enforcing the Township Zoning Ordinance and issuing zoning permits. If you are contemplating any improvements or alterations to your property, contact the Zoning Officer to discuss your plans and determine if any permits are required by the Township.
Zoning Hearing Board
The Zoning Hearing Board is a three-member Board whose function is to hear appeals of the decisions of the Zoning Officer. The Board has the authority to approve exemptions from certain requirements contained in the Zoning Ordinance by granting a variance. Although the Board of Supervisors appoints this Board, the Board’s decisions can be appealed only through the State Courts. The Zoning Hearing Board meets when required by an appeal to the decision made by the Zoning Officer.
Sewage Enforcement Officer
The Sewage Enforcement Officer issues sewage permits for installing or repairing any on-lot sewage disposal system. He or she performs soil and percolation testing to determine if the ground has been found suitable for on-lot sewage disposal. He/she also does cover-up inspections when the construction of an on-lot sewage disposal system is complete.
The Planning Commission is comprised of seven volunteer members from the community. Members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors at the organizational meeting for four-year staggered terms. They are an advisory and review board. The main responsibility of the Planning Commission is the review and approval of Subdivision Plans. They may propose new, review, and make recommendations to Zoning and subdivision Ordinances. The Planning Commission meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at the Halfmoon Township Community Center meeting room and are open to the public.
Open Space Preservation Board
The Open Space Preservation Board is comprised of seven collective members including: five volunteer members; one sitting member of the Board of Supervisors and one sitting member of the Planning Commission. Members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors at the organizational meeting for four-year staggered terms. They are an advisory and review board. The main responsibility of the Open Space Preservation Board is to assist the Board of Supervisors in devising and implementing procedures for preserving open space and for efficient use of funds provided under the open space preservation program. The Open Space Preservation Board meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month. The meetings are held at the Halfmoon Township Community Center meeting room and are open to the public.
Parks and Recreation Board
Townships have the power to provide, improve, maintain and regulate public parks, playgrounds, playing fields and recreation centers. In Halfmoon Township a Parks and Recreation Board was formed to function in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in determining the amounts and kinds of recreation most needed by its citizens. The Board also has the responsibility to equip, operate and maintain recreation facilities. The Parks and Recreation Board meets monthly, with dates determined by the board members.
The Board of Auditors is comprised of three elected members who serve a six-year term. Auditors set the salary of any Township Supervisors employed by the township. The main function of the Board of Auditors is to conduct the audit each year.
The position of Township Engineer is a yearly appointment by the Board of Supervisors. The Engineer performs duties as the Board of Supervisors may direct and reports his/her activities to the Board at their monthly meetings. He/she works closely with the Planning Commission, Zoning Officer, and Roadmaster.
The Tax Collector is an elected official responsible for collecting Real Estate Taxes. The Tax Collector is elected for a four-year term. He/she also collects Real Estate taxes for the School District and County and disperses the correct amount of taxes to them.