F: 570-839-0981
1361 Pocono Boulevard, Suite 100
Mount Pocono, PA 18344
1361 Pocono Boulevard, Suite 100
Mount Pocono, PA 18344

Citizen Involvement

Get Involved With The Borough Government

The Borough of Mount Pocono actively encourages our residents to be involved in their Borough Government. 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 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.

Citizen participation at Borough meetings is strongly encouraged. Citizens and local businesses have three ways of participating in public meetings: (i) before action is taken on an agenda item, those in attendance are invited to express their views on the topic, or ask questions of the Council President about the matter; (ii) at the conclusion of each meeting, those in attendance are free to speak on relevant matters of interest during he “Public Participation” portion of the meeting; and (iii) residents and taxpayers in the Borough may request to be placed on the agenda as a “Person to be Heard” for a particular public meeting.

Participation at the public meetings of Borough Council, Authorities, Boards, Commissions & Committees are subject to the Code of Conduct adopted by Borough Council. To ask to be placed on the agenda of a public meeting, simply fill out this Request to be placed on an Agenda and submit it no later than Wednesday, 12:00 P.M. (noon) before the meeting in question.
At the regular December 3, 2018 meeting of Borough Council, Council adopted the following Code of Conduct for public participation at all Borough meetings.  They became effective immediately:

1.   Management of meetings will be under the direction of the presiding member of Borough Council. Any comments made by the public during the meeting will be for the benefit of Borough Council.

2. Persons to Be Heard shall be limited to three (3) to five (5) minutes per individual. Any additional time to make comments shall be at the discretion of the presiding member of Borough Council.

3.   Public Participation shall be limited to one (1) to two (2) minutes per individual. Any additional time to make comments shall be at the discretion of the presiding member of Borough Council.

4.   Management of public participation, including public comments, shall be within the discretion and under the direction and control of the presiding member of Borough Council in accordance with the terms of this code.

5.   Public comment shall be made only by residents or taxpayers of the Borough of Mount Pocono. Said participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation, if any. Recognition of non-residents or taxpayers shall be at the discretion of the presiding member of Borough Council.

6.   Public comment may be made only by a person who has been recognized by the presiding member of Borough Council. If necessary, Borough Council will provide a microphone for use by the public. Parties making a formal presentation to Borough Council must use a microphone and designate one (1) person to speak.

7.   Comments shall be limited to matters of concern, official action, or deliberation which are before the Council.

8.   Public comments shall be conducted in a civil and polite manner. Speaker shall refrain from acting in a threatening and/or intimidating manner. Speaker shall address their comments to Borough Council, and not to members of the audience. Comments which are merely attacks on members of Borough Council, employees of the Borough, members of the audience, or any other individuals will be ruled to be out of order.

9.   The presiding member of Borough Council shall rule out of order any speaker or comments which are defamatory, contentious, scandalous, impertinent, redundant or disruptive. The presiding member of Borough Council may rule out of order any speaker whose comments raise a topic or matter which has been acted upon by the Borough Council in the preceding six (6) months.

10.   In order to address and conduct the business of the Borough, the presiding member of Borough Council may rule out of order any speaker for comments which are solely designed to support or oppose any specific political candidate or party, or which are not, in the discretion of the presiding member, germane to matters as described in paragraph 7 above.

11.   The presiding member of Borough Council may request the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department or security personnel present at meeting to remove individuals from the meeting room who violate the within rules after being requested to cease and desist from such violations.

12.   Placement on the Agenda – Special Requests
To be placed on the Agenda for the night of a scheduled meeting of Borough Council, those with issues that wish to come before Borough Council need to contact the Mount Pocono Borough Secretary and write, fax or E-mail such a request, no later than Thursday, 12:00 P.M. (noon) before the meeting in question and include a brief description (no more than a short paragraph) of the issue in question. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted.

13.   Recording Devices
Meetings of the Borough Council are open and public. As such, citizens have the right to record the proceedings. In fairness to all parties, and in an attempt to lend order to the process, recordings shall be made upon compliance with the following rules: a.   Any individual wishing to record a meeting must state so when the question is asked, “Is anyone taping this meeting via audio and/or video?”

14.  These rules may be temporarily suspended or amended, without prior notice or comments, upon the consent of a majority of the Borough Council, or by the presiding member upon the advice of the Borough Solicitor as may be required in the context of Public Hearing or pursuant to applicable law.

15.   Rulings by the presiding member of the Borough Council shall be final and not subject to appeal. Where any member of the public is aggrieved by such ruling, he or she shall be entitled to submit a concise written statement of his or her comments to the Borough Secretary within three (3) business days following the meeting. The Borough Secretary shall circulate such statement to the Borough Council and a copy of the statement shall be included as a “public comment” addendum to the minutes of the meeting without endorsement or ratification by the Borough Council.
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.
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
Residents, taxpayers, businesses, and organizations located within the Borough of Mount Pocono have the right, and are encouraged, to address the Borough, its Authorities, Boards, and Commissions regarding matters on which they desire to be heard.

The public may be heard at Borough meetings in three ways — (i) public comment is always sought during the hearing before action is taken on an agenda item; (ii) the public is invited to address the meeting during the “Public Participation” portion of the meeting, usually at the conclusion of agenda business; and (iii) the public may request to be placed on the official agenda of a meeting.

On December 3, 2018, the Borough Council adopted a Code of Conduct for such participation, including a procedure for persons who wish to be placed on the official Agenda of a Borough meeting as a "Person to be Heard". If you desire to be placed on an agenda, you will need to
1. Read the Rules for Public Participation at all Borough Meetings.
2. Fill out and Submit the form below.

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All residents of the Borough of Mount Pocono, age 18 or older, are eligible and encouraged to apply to be appointed to the Borough’s Authorities, Boards, Commissions, & Committees [the “Borough ABCs”]. Appointment is made by the Borough Council.

Eligible citizens wishing to be considered may fill out and submit this form. Your Application for Appointment will be held on file for one-year pending any openings. If an opening develops, our Borough Secretary will contact you by email to let you know if Council desires further information or to meet you.

Many, many thanks for your interest!

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