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Lancaster County

Lancaster County Government

Lancaster County was formed on May 10, 1729 making it the fourth county in Pennsylvania. It is located in south central Pennsylvania approximately 60 miles west of Philadelphia and 240 miles east of Pittsburgh. The County is bounded to the north by Lebanon County, to the northeast by Berks County, and to the east by Chester County (the southeastern boundary with Chester County is formed by Octoraro Creek). To the south are Cecil and Hartford counties and Maryland (across the Mason-Dixon line). To the west is York County (the boundary is the western shore of the Susquehanna River). To the northwest is Dauphin County (the boundary is formed by the Conewago Creek).

The County has been a third class county since 1962 and occupies a land area of 946 square miles. It consists of 60 municipal divisions including the City of Lancaster, 18 boroughs, and 41 townships. Home to approximately 523,594 people, it is the sixth most populous county in the state trailing only Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties.

The County of Lancaster acts as an agent of the Commonwealth for those functions which are specified by State law. To carry out those functions, three county commissioners are elected every four years and may be re-elected. The County Code stipulates that each party may put up no more than two candidates and that each voter may cast a ballot for only two commissioner candidates. The three receiving the highest number of votes are elected. This ensures that the commissioners are not all from the same political party.  In addition to having limited legislative powers, the commissioners serve as the managers and administrators of county government, name residents to boards, commissions, and authorize and award contracts.

To assist the commissioners with their administrative duties, they appoint a Chief Clerk who keeps the books and accounts of the Board of County Commissioners, records and files their proceedings and papers, attests all orders and voucher checks issued by them, and performs all other duties pertaining to the office of Chief Clerk. They also appoint a Human Services Lead who is responsible for all the County Human service agencies and service providers.

County of Lancaster PA, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Year Ended 12/31/2015

Lancaster County Government Website