The basis of any democratic government is its citizens. In the United States, the essence of democracy is embodied in the Constitution, which begins, “We the People. . . .” This wording establishes democracy as not only a right, but also a responsibility, and establishes the foundation for citizen involvement in governance.
The right and responsibility of citizenship unfolds in many ways: citizen involvement in governance encompasses not only citizen participation (through mechanisms such as public hearings) but also citizen decision-making, information sharing, and voting.
Citizen involvement is important for local governments worldwide because it increases legitimacy, efficiency, and accountability, and because it distributes the burden of good governance among all citizens, not just local government officials.
The methods of citizen involvement range from dissemination of information through electronic networks, newsletters, and public meetings, to engaged and participatory processes (such as strategic planning, task forces, public meetings, and focus groups) that encourage all citizens to be active players in decisions made for their community.
The Borough Council appoints a number of citizens each year to Borough Authorities, Boards, Commissions, & Committees (the “ABCs”). These bodies serve as advisory groups, and offer advice and guidance on important policy decisions for the Borough. Each group serves an important purpose. Below is a brief description of each body and its function.
Applications are accepted year-round and will remain on file for one year after date of submittal. If you are interested in serving, please fill out our CITIZEN APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT.
The ABCs we currently have in Mount Pocono are:
Mount Pocono Municipal Authority — The Municipal Authority is an independent body with members appointed by the Borough Council for four year terms. It is responsible for our municipal sewer and wastewater system, collection, and treatment. Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month @ 7:00 P.M.
Mount Pocono Planning Commission — The Planning Commission is a seven-member body, appointed by Borough Council, to advise the Council on matters of community growth and development. At the direction of Council, the Planning Commission may be required to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for the Borough, to prepare and make recommendations on an official map and/or to prepare, review, or comment on proposed Land Use Control Ordinances including Zoning Ordinances and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances. The PC meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm.
Parks & Recreation Board — Parks & Rec is a five-member advisory committee appointed by Borough Council. The Board is responsible for recommending Parks & Rec facilities, maintenance, and activities to the Council. They meet on the third Thursday of the month, at 7pm.
Zoning Hearing Board — The Zoning Hearing Board acts as a quasi-judicial body, or “local court”, for zoning matters. The five-member board hears various appeals from the determinations of the zoning officer, may grant relief from the literal terms of the ordinance in certain hardship situations, hears challenges to the validity of the ordinance, and reviews applications for “special exception uses”, which are permitted uses requiring a review. Zoning Hearing Board members are appointed by the Borough Council for five year terms, with one term expiring each year. Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday @ 7:00 P.M. when needed