Understanding the Structure of Municipal Government

Structure of Government

A Township is the oldest form of government in the U.S., with decision-making power in the hands of supervisors or commissioners. It is the most decentralized form of government. There are two classes of township, first class and second class. Manheim Township is a first class township which functions under the First Class Township Codes as established by the State of Pennsylvania.

Glasses and Files

Board of Commissioners

The Board of Commissioners, the elected governing body of Manheim Township, is comprised of five members elected by the Township voters.

In accordance with the PA First Class Township Code, the Manheim Township Board of Commissioners is charged with the general governance of the Township, the execution of legislative, executive and administrative powers in order to ensure the sound fiscal management of the Township and securing the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the community.

The Board of Commissioners accomplishes its charge by adopting resolutions and ordinances (laws), hiring staff to provide services, establishing fees and charges, adopting a budget and establishing tax rates, appointing advisory and special purpose boards and commissions to help oversee legislative activities and certain operational functions and services to the community, and performing duties and exercising powers as may be imposed or conferred by law or the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth of PA.

The Manheim Township Board of Commissioners are elected for terms of four (4) years.

View more information regarding the current Board of Commissioners and their meeting dates, agendas and minutes.

Township Manager/Secretary

To facilitate the day to day management of the Township, the Commissioners appoint the Township Manager/Secretary, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Township. The Manager/Secretary is responsible for all Township staff, departments and activities.

View more information regarding the current Manager/Secretary.


The Township's organization has eleven specialized departments, all headed by experienced career professionals selected by the Township Manager and Board of Commissioners on the basis of merit and ability to perform the required responsibilities.

These departments provide an extensive array of services to Township residents and businesses:

The Administration Department is a team of specialized staff responsible for a variety of executive, administrative and specialized functions and services internally for the Township and its departments, as well as externally for Township citizens.

The Code Compliance Department, which administers and enforces the Uniform Construction Code.

The Finance Department is responsible for handling various financial activities for the Township.

Fire Rescue is the Township’s cooperative fire and emergency response system.

The Golf Department is responsible for managing and maintaining all the public golf facilities at the Overlook Golf Course.

The Human Resources Department provides human resource support services, including administering payroll services and employee benefit management.

The Planning and Zoning Department provides the technical support and guidance to the Commissioners and the Planning Commission related to the preparation and enforcement of the Township’s subdivision/land development ordinance, zoning ordinance and other related ordinances.

The Police Department serves the communities of Manheim Township, East Petersburg Borough and Lancaster Township by protecting and serving its citizens and property.

The Public Library, in addition to overseeing the use and operation of the library building, provide a variety of information resources, as well as services and programs for educational, recreational and cultural enrichment.

The Public Works Department is responsible for the construction/development and maintenance of infrastructures and facilities (e.g. roads and parks) for public use.

Recreation and Park Planning designs and coordinates a variety of recreational and leisure programs and activities that take full advantage of the Township's diverse park and recreational facilities throughout the year.

Boards and Commissions

The Board of Commissioners also creates a variety of other Boards and Commissions to assist it with its legal and legislative responsibilities. Other Boards are created with specific decision making authority on Township matters and/or to operate to meet specific requirements of Pennsylvania law. Each Board and Commission has a unique role and is served by volunteer residents of Manheim Township.

View more detailed information about Township boards and commissions.