About the Municipality and the governing Council body
The Municipality of Bethel Park is a Home Rule Community and is governed by a Council/Manager form of Government. The Municipality is evenly divided, according to census population data, into nine wards, and each ward is represented by a member of Council. Terms of Council are four years; the terms are staggered with even-numbered wards running two years apart from the odd-numbered wards. The Mayor is elected at large and also serves a four-year term. The Municipal Manager is appointed by Municipal Council. A Council Agenda is usually posted before every meeting, and the Council Meeting minutes, or details of what went on in the meeting, are usually posted after. Municipal Council is usually held on the 2nd Monday of each month.
Municipal Council Committee
The Council Committee discusses various topics and may make some final decisions, however, the Regular Council Meeting is where all ordinances, contracts, formal agreements are voted upon by the Council members. A Council Committee Agenda is usually posted before every meeting, and committee meeting minutes, or details of what went on in the meeting, are usually posted after. The Council Committee is usually held on the 4th Monday of every month.
Boards, Authorities, and Commissions
In addition to Municipal Council, there are several volunteer advisory boards which are also appointed by Council.
Bethel Park Planning & Zoning Commission
The planning and zoning commission reviews and discusses subdivision plans, land development, and ordinance amendments in a Planning and Zoning Committee Meeting. The items for voting put forward by the workshop go before the Planning and Zoning Commission regular meeting. A Zoning Commission Agenda is posted before every workshop meeting and voting meeting, and the Planning & Zoning Commission minutes, or details of what went on in the meeting, are posted after. The Planning and Zoning Commission acts in an advisory capacity and makes recommendations to Council on applications filed under Chapter 60, Subdivisions, and Chapter 69, Zoning, as well as amendments to those Chapters, and the Comprehensive Plan.
Shade Tree Commission
The Shade Tree Commission has advisory capacity over all trees on public property or in the public right-of-way. The commission also determines the needs associated with municipal tree planting, maintenance and removal. They keep an inventory of all public trees, and regulate tree protection, preservation and tree replacement specifications. The Shade Tree Commission also assists by making periodic recommendations to Council regarding grant funding and legislation for the program. They rely on a network of volunteers to assist in maintaining designated Shade Tree Districts.
The Shade Tree Commission holds one meeting each quarter, typically the third Wednesday of a particular month at 6:30 PM in the Municipal Caucus Room.
Civil Service Commission
The Civil Service Commission is the civilian advisory board for the Bethel Park Police Department, and only meets when needed. The committee will meet to hear police officer hiring appeals, or to address an important police issue and provide civilian input. They can also hear police discipline appeals, as well participate in the police hiring and promotion process as observers and for oral interviews.
Parks & Recreation Board
Parks & Recreation recommends policies relating to the conduct of all recreational & public leisure activities within the Municipality, including specific rules and regulations. The Board also recommends fees, charges and expenditures. Additionally, the Board advises the Municipality and the Bethel Park School District on matters relating to recreational needs, use of Municipal facilities, and the development of parks in the community. The Parks & Recreation Board typically meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7 PM at the Bethel Park Recreation Center on Park Avenue.