Filling Tredyffrin’s Interim Supervisor Vacancy

Tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting agenda is now available online.  In reviewing the agenda, I have a couple of questions.

At the last Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, December 20, former township supervisor Warren Kampf tendered his letter of resignation at the end of the meeting.  Because of the November’s election results and Kampf’s election to the State House, his supervisor resignation was no surprise.  Anticipating his resignation, a notice on the township website asked those interested in the position to submit their resumes to Township Manager Mimi Gleason; I wrote of the notification on December 3. 

I understood from the Home Rule Charter that the Board of Supervisors has 30 days to name an interim supervisor.  My understanding was that the 30 days would commence from the announcement date of the vacancy (December 20).  However, on tonight’s supervisors meting agenda, I noted an item ‘announcing the vacancy’.  Understanding it is semantics, I assumed that the clock started ticking on December 20 rather than 2 weeks later, on January 3.

Below is the section in the Home Rule Charter that deals with supervisors vacancies.  Reading HRC 205.C.2 confuses me – one way that I read it agrees with my theory that the clock started ticking from December 20 but it could also be interpreted that the clock starts at the next supervisor meeting after the vacancy is announced – which would be today, January 3.

I have another question about the vacancy process as based on the Home Rule Charter. If I understand the process, those interested in the supervisor position were to send their resumes to the township manager.  The township manager would then pass the resumes to the supervisors for their review and appointment decision.  The identity and resumes of those applying for the vacancy are not provided to the public . . . correct?  Am I interpreting the Home Rule Charter correctly . . . the decision of the interim supervisor appointment is the choice of the Board of Supervisors.

I could use some help with interpreting the Home Rule Charter.  If there are any municipal legal authorities reading this post, I welcome your comments.

205. VACANCIES.

A. The office of a Supervisor shall become vacant upon death, resignation, removal of place of residence from the Township (or, in the case of a District Supervisor, from a District represented), legal certification of mental disability, or forfeiture of office as authorized by law or this Charter. 

B. The office of Supervisor shall be forfeited if he is declared by any Court of this Commonwealth to lack any qualifications for the office as prescribed by law or is convicted of any crime classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree or higher under the laws of this Commonwealth, or is convicted of any comparable crime under the laws of any state or of the United States.

C. Whenever a vacancy exists in the office of Supervisor, the vacancy shall be filled under the following procedures:

1. At the next election, primary, municipal or general, which takes place sixty days or more after such vacancy occurs, a special election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term will be held. The special election shall be conducted in accordance with election laws of this Commonwealth. The person elected to fill the vacancy shall assume the office on the day following certification of the election results.

2. The Board shall, at its first regular or special public meeting after the vacancy occurs, give notice that a vacancy exists and shall state that it will make an interim appointment to fill the vacancy at its next public meeting which occurs not less that thirty days from the meeting at which the vacancy is announced. Following such notice, the Board by a majority vote of its remaining membership shall appoint a qualified elector of the Township, and in the case of a vacancy in the office of District Supervisor, a qualified elector of the District in which the vacancy exists, to fill the vacancy until a duly elected successor is sworn into office.

3. If the Board shall fail to fill a vacancy within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, upon petition of any individual Supervisor, or upon petition of ten or more qualified electors of the Township, shall make the interim appointment to fill the vacancy until a duly elected successor is sworn into office.

4. In the event that sufficient vacancies exist so that the Board lacks a quorum necessary to do business, the remaining members of the Board shall immediately make an interim appointment or appointments to fill sufficient vacancies in the position of Supervisor from the Township at large to form a quorum. Thereafter, the remaining vacancies shall be filled as otherwise provided herein.

5. In the event that all of the positions on the Board should become vacant, the Court of Common Pleas shall immediately, upon petition of ten or more registered voters of the Township, make interim appointments to fill the offices of Supervisor from the Township at large. Thereafter, the remaining vacancies shall be filled as otherwise provided herein.

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