County & Municipal Elections 2019

County and Municipal Elections 2019

In Pennsylvania, we go to the polls twice each year, with a primary in the spring and a general election in November.

The primary election is to select candidates for each party’s ballot—you must be a registered member of a party to vote, and you can only vote to choose the candidates to appear on your party’s ballot in November’s general election. 

Then in November’s general election, you may vote for any candidate regardless of your party affiliation—however you must be registered to vote (you do not have to be affiliated with a party, e.g. you may be registered as an independent to vote in November).

This year, 2019, we have County and Municipal Elections.

Primary is Tuesday May 21, 2019

General Election is Tuesday November 5, 2019

Why County and Municipal Elections are Important

Officials elected in the County and Municipal Elections directly affect the quality of your daily life: They oversee County and Township services including:

Schools

Police

Emergency Services

Streets

Trash & Recycling

Parks & Recreation

Library

Courts

Legal documents (deeds, wills, marriage, business licenses, etc..)

Zoning

Building Permits & Inspection

Local Taxes

Springfield Township School Board: 6 are up for election this year

The School Board is responsible for establishing schoo policies, the annual budget, levying taxes, approving expenditures, setting school calendar, and overseeing curriculum changes.The Board is also responsible for employing the superintendent and approving contracts with teachers as well as other employees of the school district.  

For further information:

https://www.sdst.org/domain/15

Township Commissioners: 4 are up for election this year

The Board of Commissioners of Springfield Township meets on the second Wednesday of every month for the purpose of conducting the general business of the Township including: township budget; hiring police officers and other Township employees; overseeing library, parks & recreation, sanitation, streets, zoning, public works and facilities, community development and public safety. They are elected by ward for 4 year terms.

For further information:

http://www.springfieldmontco.org/board-commissioners

County Commissioners: All 3 up for election in 2019

Three Commissioners govern Montgomery County: they appoint the department heads, all county employees, and most members of the various boards, authorities, and committees. Sitting as the Salary Board with the Controller they establish the salaries of all employees. The Commissioners manage county property; prepare, adopt and execute annual budgets; set property tax rates, both real and personal, for county purposes; ­maintain county roads and bridges; and supervise the Court House and other county ­operated facilities. Commissioners are elected for 4-year terms.  By law, each of the Republican and Democratic political parties must have at least one Commissioner  -- the two of one party receiving the highest and second (or third) highest number of total votes and the one of the other party receiving the third (or second) highest number of total votes become the Commissioners.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/95/County-Commissioners

County Row Officers: All (except Jury Commissioners) are up for reelection in 2019

Every four years Montgomery County voters select officials to serve as the heads of various offices, which are collectively called “the Row Offices.” 

Clerk of Courts maintains and processes all criminal court records; collects bail money and returns it to the surety after court action is completed; assesses and collects court costs and restitution amounts and distributes those funds to the appropriate municipal, county, and state offices and restitution victims; and maintains miscellaneous records relating to election districts and the appointment of election officials, constables, and private detectives.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/307/Clerk-of-Courts

Controller oversees the county government’s finances; processes county payments; prepares and issues financial reports; investigates allegations of fraud; and maintains records and documents concerning county financial transactions.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/320/Controller

Coroner investigates and certifies all unnatural deaths.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/196/Coroner

District Attorney prosecutes criminal activity throughout the county; assists crime victims; and presents public crime prevention programs.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/102/District-Attorney

Prothonotary is responsible for recording all documents relating to civil court cases and other non-criminal matters; issues writs; and processes passport applications for the federal government.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/97/Prothonotary

Recorder of Deeds maintains all recorded documents relating to land transactions and other matters such as powers of attorney, military discharges, and bonds and commissions of various county elected officials; collects and distributes county and state fees and real estate transfer taxes; and administers oaths to notaries public and records their commissions.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/353/Recorder-of-Deeds

Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court has jurisdiction over the admission of Wills and the appointment of executors named in those Wills, and the appointment of administrators in cases where no valid Will exists or the Will does not name an executor; issues the necessary certificates authorizing executors or administrators to act to administer the affairs of deceased persons; collects inheritance taxes on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania; and issues marriage licenses.  Inventories and accounts of administrators, executors and trustees are received in this office for recording and if requested, processing to the Orphans’ Court.  Petitions for adoption are filed here. The office also maintains the docket of cases filed in the Orphans’ Court.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/202/Register-of-Wills

Sheriff assists other law enforcement agencies in their work; serves and enforces all court orders; conducts levies and sales of personal property and real estate; transports prisoners; issues concealed weapons permits; and educates the public on firearms safety.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/397/Sheriffs-Office

Treasurer receives and deposits all payments of county taxes, fees, grants, and other monies due the county; pays the county’s obligations; invests county funds; and sells licenses for hunting, fishing, dogs, bingo, and small games of chance. The Treasurer chairs the County Investment Board, is Director of Tax Claim and the Treasurer of the Employees' Retirement System, and serves on the County Depository Board.

For further information:

https://www.montcopa.org/278/Treasurer

County Judicial System

The 23 Judges of Court of Common Pleas hear all cases filed in Montgomery County, divided into Civil (personal injury, contract, business or  personal disputes alleging damages over $12,000), Criminal, Family (divorces and child custody), Juvenile (criminal cases involving minors), and Orphans (estates, trusts, guardianships and adoptions).

A Judge is first elected for a 10 year term, and thereafter runs for retention (when voters vote “yes” or “no” on whether a Judge should continue in office for another 10-year term). 

To conserve judicial resources, a panel of three lawyers are appointed to serve as arbitrators to hear civil cases where the alleged amount of damages is less than $50,000, any appeals from which are then heard by Judges.

For further information on the county Court of Common Pleas:

https://www.montcopa.org/299/Court-of-Common-Pleas

State-wide Judicial System

Superior Court has 16 judges who, sitting usually in panels of 3, hear appeals from the County Courts of Common Pleas in criminal cases, in civil cases not heard by the Commonwealth Court, and in matters involving children and families. Few appeals are made from Superior Court

The terms of three judges on the Pennsylvania Superior Court are set to expire in January 2020.

• Anne Lazarus, Superior Court (d)

• Judith Olson, Superior Court (r)

• Paula Ott, Superior Court (r)

They must stand for election on November 5, 2019, in order to remain on the bench. A primary is scheduled for May 21, 2019

For further information on the Superior Court:

http://www.pacourts.us/courts/superior-court/

Commonwealth Court has 12 judges, who, sitting usually in panels of 3, hear appeals from the County Courts of Common Pleas in cases involving state and local governments and regulatory agencies; this court also acts as a trial court in cases filed by or against the state. \

The terms of two judges on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court are set to expire in January 2020.

• Kevin Brobson, Commonwealth Court (r)

• Patricia McCullough, Commonwealth Court (r)

They must stand for election on November 5, 2019, in order to remain on the bench. A primary is scheduled for May 21, 2019.

 For further information on the Commonwealth Court:

http://www.pacourts.us/courts/commonwealth-court/s