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How Local Government Works

Spotlight PA State College is working to make local government more accessible to all Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvania has a patchwork system of local government that includes more than 2,500 cities, townships, and boroughs (and one town).

“How Local Government Works” is a series by Local Accountability Reporter Min Xian. This series focuses on issues and trends in Pennsylvania local governments and provides tools for you to hold your local officials accountable.

Our goal is to help you understand how your municipal government functions, the powers it possesses, and what responsibility it has to residents. We also want to provide resources that empower you to obtain information, get involved, and spot when something’s going wrong.

How Local Government Works

Local Government Events

An illustration of five elected officials sitting at a table.
Daniel Fishel for Spotlight PA

“Richest Little City”

Spotlight PA hosted a discussion on the DuBois city manager corruption case and the weak government oversight that allowed the alleged crimes to happen.

How Local Government Works

Learn how to hold elected officials accountable and where you can turn to address issues with municipal services.

Broken Borough

Spotlight PA hosted a panel on Pennsylvania’s local governments, and how their oversight — or lack thereof — impacts residents and governance.

Sign up for Talk of the Town

Top news and notes for North-Central PA from our State College regional bureau.

Local Accountability Coverage

Ask Us Your Questions

What do you want to know about how local government works? Use the form to reach Local Accountability Reporter Min Xian.

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