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Local Government Week Highlights PA County Government’s Role in Daily Life

News Date: Friday, April 7, 2023

“County government, without a doubt, has a significant impact on communities. This is a great time to spotlight how crucial county programs are to every resident, often in ways they don’t realize.”
Have you wondered who answers the phone when you call 9-1-1? Or runs elections? Or even who issues marriage licenses?

While state and federal government issues tend to dominate dinner table discussions, it’s county government that is involved in nearly every aspect of daily life.

April is National County Government Month, and Local Government Week in Pennsylvania runs from April 9-15, which acts as a time to honor the dedication of Pennsylvania's local officials and encourages citizens to learn how local government affects each resident and business in the community.

“County government, without a doubt, has a significant impact on communities. This is a great time to spotlight how crucial county programs are to every resident, often in ways they don’t realize,” said Lisa Schaefer, Executive Director for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, pointing to examples like running elections, maintaining county bridges, providing behavioral health services, running the local courts and prisons, and much more. “But it’s also a good opportunity to show that counties need more help from the state to continue providing those important services.”

April 9-15 is also National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), which includes county 9-1-1 dispatch workers, who provide a 24/7 service to those experiencing a crisis.  9-1-1 funding and reauthorization is the top legislative priority for Pennsylvania Counties in 2023. The current 9-1-1 funding formula is due to expire next year, making this a pivotal time for the state to act.

“Between the funding deadline, evolving technologies and increased costs, we are at a tipping point with one of the important services in the Commonwealth,” said CCAP President and Venango County Commissioner Albert “Chip” Abramovic. “This is not a political issue. When a 9-1-1 dispatcher answers your call, they don’t ask if you are a Democrat or a Republican. We must equip them with the proper resources to continue providing a crucial service that many of us take for granted.”

Learn more about the responsibilities of county government.