Local government in the Huntingdon area, like most of Pennsylvania, consists of counties, boroughs and townships. Huntingdon County has 18 boroughs and 30 townships. Local school districts and various appointed municipal authorities are also important parts of local government.
Huntingdon Borough, founded in 1767, is the County Seat of Huntingdon County which was founded in 1787. The Huntingdon County Courthouse, built in 1883, is a prominent local landmark designed in French Renaissance style. In addition to serving as an agent to the state, counties have been granted powers of self-government. Huntingdon County’s three elected commissioners are responsible for voter registration and elections, assessment of property, human services, appointment of county personnel and fiscal management.
County services are delivered by various “row offices” as well as by several county departments. The row offices consist of elected Auditors, Treasurer, Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts, Register of Deeds and Recorder of Wills, District Attorney, Sheriff, Coroner, Judge, Jury Commissioners and District Justices. Appointed county departments consist of theTax Assessment Office, Planning and Development Department, Human Service Department, Children’s Services, Emergency Management, Veterans Affairs, Domestic Relations, Court Administrator and Probation.
County municipal authorities and boards are either appointed by the County Commissioners or are composed of the County Commissioners themselves. They include a county housing authority, industrial development authority, general authority, prison board, conservation district, mental health and retardation board, county planning commission and Area Agency on Aging.
The Huntingdon Area consists of eight of Huntingdon County’s forty eight municipalities: Alexandria and Huntingdon Boroughs; Henderson, Juniata, Oneida, Porter, Smithfield and Walker Townships. These municipalities comprise the political and economic heart of Huntingdon County, a county of 44,164 persons.
The borough form of government consists of an elected mayor and council. The chief elected official of a borough is the president of council who presides over meetings of the borough council. In Pennsylvania, the borough mayor has no veto power and is placed in charge of police and fire departments. Huntingdon Borough employs a professional borough manager to oversee day-to-day operation of municipal services. Alexandria Borough employs a borough secretary to keep records and carry out the direction of the council.
Local townships are governed by three elected township supervisors, who serve in both an administrative and legislative capacity. Townships employ a township secretary to keep records and carry out the directions of the supervisors.