Boards & Commissions
Our cities, boroughs, and townships face increasingly sophisticated and complex demands for services. Economic conditions require governments to deliver these services with stagnant or declining resources.
It is the responsibility of our local government to do its best to meet the needs and demands of the Carlisle community. The Authorities, Boards, and Commissions (ABCs) serve and advise our government to ensure limited resources are used in the most cost-efficient and effective manner.
Composed of Carlisle residents, the ABCs provide citizens an opportunity to voice their opinions and assist Borough government in meeting modern life’s demands efficiently, fairly and economically.
In 1986, the Sunshine Act was passed by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. This act requires any council, authority, board, or commission to hold all meetings and hearings “held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action,” open to the public so that the public can witness the due process of policy formulation and decision-making of the agencies. The Act also stipulates that citizens shall be notified of all meetings through publication of the place, date, and time of meeting in the local newspaper. The only exception to the public meeting requirement is if an “executive session” is called for. If an executive session is held, the reason for it and its agenda must be announced to the public prior to the meeting. Executive sessions may be used to discuss appointments; employment terms and conditions; performance evaluations or promotions; as well as sessions related to negotiation or arbitration of a collective bargaining agreement; to consider the purchase or lease of real property; to consult with the agency’s attorney or other professional advisor regarding information or strategy in connection with litigation on issues of expected complaints; or to discuss agency business which, if conducted in public, could lead to disclosure of information confidentially protected by law or information that would compromise an investigation.
Although Borough Council meets in executive session relatively often, it is rare that an Authority, Board and/or Commission (ABC) ever does so. Therefore, ABC members should be prepared to deal with the media at all of their meetings. It is quite common for ABC members to be quoted in the media about something they said during a meeting; and, anything a member says during a public session is open to the entire public record.
Pennsylvania State Public Officials Ethics Law
The state of Pennsylvania is of the opinion that public officials elected by the public or appointed by the governing body are acting in the good faith and for the general benefit of the public. Therefore, any public official who seeks personal financial gains through public office other than through lawful compensation, or any public official that misuses any confidential information learned through holding a public office is violating public trust. The Pennsylvania State Ethics Law is an act pertaining to conflicts of interest regarding public officials. The law prohibits public officials (including members of ABC’ s) and employees from engaging in particular activities that create conflicts of interest. It also sets standards of accountability and requires all candidates for public office, elected and certain appointed officials, to file financial disclosure statements.
The Borough provides public officials’ liability insurance coverage for all ABC’s authorized by the Borough. All citizens serving on authorities, boards, and commissions are expected to conduct themselves in the appropriate professional manner, observe customary social etiquette, and act in accordance with the law.
If interested in volunteering please submit a letter of interest and resume to:
Employee Relations/Citizen Participation Committee
Borough of Carlisle
53 West South Street
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013