Understanding the Structure of Municipal Government

Kennedy US Flag


A township is the oldest form of government in the U.S., with decision-making power in the hands of supervisors or commissioners. It is the most decentralized form of government. There are two classes of township, first class and second class. Kennedy Township is a first-class township which functions under the First-Class Township Codes as established by the State of Pennsylvania.


The Board of Commissioners, the elected governing body of Kennedy Township, is comprised of five members elected by the Township voters.

In accordance with the PA First Class Township Code, the Kennedy Township Board of Commissioners is charged with the general governance of the Township, the execution of legislation, executive and administrative powers in order to ensure the sound fiscal management of the Township and securing the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the community.

The Board of Commissioners accomplishes its charge by adopting resolutions and ordinances (laws), hiring staff to provide services, establishing fees and charges, adopting a budget and establishing tax rates, appointing advisory and special purpose boards and commissions to help oversee legislative activities and certain operational functions and services to the community, and performing duties and exercising powers as may be imposed or conferred by law or the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth of PA. 


To facilitate the day-to-day management of the Township, the Commissioners appoint the Township Manager/Secretary/Assistant Secretary, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Township.  The Manager/Secretary/Assistant Secretary is responsible for all Township staff, departments, and activities.


The Township’s organization has five departments, all headed by experienced professionals selected by the Township Manager and Board of Commissioners on the basis of merit and ability to perform the required responsibilities.

These departments provide an extensive array of services to Township residents and businesses.

  • The Administration Department is a team of specialized staff responsible for a variety of executive, administrative, and specialized functions and services internally for the Township and its departments, as well as externally for Township citizens.
  • The Finance Department is responsible for handling various financial activities for the Township.
  • The Fire Department is the Township’s cooperative fire and emergency response system.
  • The Police Department serves the community of Kennedy Township by protecting and serving its citizens and property.
  • The Public Works Department is responsible for the construction/development and maintenance of infrastructure and facilities (roads and parks) for public use.


The Board of Commissioners also creates a variety of other Boards and Commissions to assist it with its legal and legislative responsibilities. Other Boards are created within specific decision-making authority on Township matters and/or to operate to meet specific requirements of Pennsylvania law. Each Board and Commission has a unique role and is served by volunteer residents of Kennedy Township.