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Governing Documents

Legal Documents
Pennsylvania Borough Code
In Pennsylvania, each type of municipality is created by a municipal code, which contains the form of government, delegates certain mandatory responsibilities to that municipality, and provides municipal officials with the authority to offer optional services and to enact certain regulations. The municipal codes provide the rules that the municipality must follow.  As a Borough, Myerstown operates under the Borough Code, which establishes borough council as the governing body and charges council with the governance of the borough, including hiring employees, adopting a budget, approving expenses, and adopting ordinances or local laws.

Myerstown Borough Code of Ordinances

All municipalities in Pennsylvania operate through local laws, called ordinances, which are adopted by the governing body and enforced to provide for the public health, safety, and welfare of its residents.  Examples of ordinances include the removal of public nuisances; rules (called codes) for an improved quality of life (weed control, removal of non-registered vehicles, animal control, and noise abatement are examples); and aesthetic improvements such as land development and zoning ordinances.  Local 

Myerstown Borough's current Code of Ordinances was prepared by Keystate Publishers, Inc., and adopted by Borough Council on December 10, 2013, by Ord. 818.

The Code contains four parts which are:
  1. The valid current ordinances of the Borough of Myerstown contained in Chapters 1 through 27.
  2. The Appendix, which lists by abstracted title all ordinances of a temporary or “one time” nature.
  3. The Table to the disposition of each ordinance ever enacted by the Borough of Myerstown.
  4. The Index, which is an alphabetical arrangement of subjects.
The Appendix consists of several general categories containing a chronological listing of short subject descriptions along with a reference to the original ordinance and its date of enactment, if known.

The Table to the disposition indicates what action has been taken by the Borough of Myerstown Borough Council with regard to every ordinance ever enacted.  An ordinance has either been:
  1. Specifically repealed,
  2. Superseded by another ordinance,
  3. Is located in a Chapter of the Code book, or
  4. Is located in the Appendix. 
Annual tax rate and budget ordinances are located only in the Table.  The Table is a cross reference to the original ordinance books of the Borough of Myerstown, and to the location within the Code of each ordinance by number.

The Myerstown Borough Code of Ordinances are codified online by the American Legal Publishing Corporation

Pennsylvania Constitution, State Statutes, and State Regulations
Pennsylvania Constitution.  The Pennsylvania Constitution is the foundation of our state government. Our first Constitution was adopted in 1776 and was a framework for the U.S. Constitution, which did not take effect until 1789.

Unconsolidated Statutes.  The Laws of Pennsylvania, also referred to as the Pamphlet Laws, have been recognized as official law since December 1, 1801.  Acts are numbered by the Department of State and published by the Legislative Reference Bureau as separate official documents known as slip laws before publication in bound editions as the Laws of Pennsylvania.  Unconsolidated Statutes

Consolidated Statutes.  The Laws of Pennsylvania contain laws enacted as amendments to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, the official statutory codification established by the General Assembly under the act of November 25, 1970 (P.L.707, No.230). These laws have been incorporated into a separate official publication since 1975.

Pennsylvania Code.  The Pennsylvania Code is an official publication of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It contains regulations and other documents filed with the Legislative Reference Bureau under the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1102, 1201—1208 and 1602) and 45 Pa.C.S. Chapters 5, 7 and 9, known as the Commonwealth Documents Law (CDL). It consists of 55 titles.

Pennsylvania Bulletin.  The Pennsylvania Bulletin Online includes the following: Statewide and local court rules; the Governor's Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; and State agency notices.

Borough Code.  The Pennsylvania Borough Code is the legal document by which boroughs are governed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. Treaties
United States Constitution.  The U.S. Constitution  is the foudnation of our federal government.  It established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens.  It was signed on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Federal Statutes.  Federal Statutes  are laws enacted by the U.S. Congress with (and in some circumstances without) the approval of the President.  Federal statutes are published in three formats:  (1) initially as individual slip laws, (2) in compilations of slip laws known as session laws, and (3) as codified law incorporated into a code.

U.S. Treaties

Supremacy Clause.  Known as the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution states that the U. S. Constitution, Federal statues, and United States treaties are the "supreme law of the land", therefore making them the highest areas of law possible within the legal system of the country.  In other words, if there is conflict between the state and federal law, the federal law is supreme.  In the event of a conflict, state judges are required to follow federal law regardless of what the state law or state constitution declares.

Planning Documents
Comprehensive Plan
Physical planning by municipalities for the future development and redevelopment of their communities has long been accepted as an important function of local government.  Planning is a legal means of deciding how best to provide a proper arrangement of land uses, efficient circulation, desirable environmental features, and general amenities of community life.

In many communities throughout Pennsylvania, the vision for future growth and development is outlined in a Comprehensive Plan.  Comprehensive Plans are the backbone of any community planning effort.  They outline challenges facing the community, identify solutions, and provide guidance to appointed and elected officials on planning-related decisions. 

Myerstown Borough published a "Mini-Comprehensive Plan" in 2012, funded in-part by a grant from the Lebanon County Commissioners. 
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