Oakmont Borough Council can act on policy matters in one of two ways: by ordinance or resolution. An ordinance is a law, rule, or policy made by the Borough, typically with broad applicability, significant impact, and for an extended duration. Additionally, an ordinance is a local law that regulates persons or property and usually relates to a matter of a general and permanent nature. Ordinances constitute the subject matter of municipal law. The power of municipal governments to enact ordinances is derived from the state constitution, statutes or through the legislative grant of a municipal charter. The charter dictates how much power elected officials have, to regulate actions within the municipality. Each January, Borough staff submits all ordinances enacted by Council in the previous year to be included in Oakmont’s General Codes and Laws. The General Code, encompasses every law (ordinance) that is active and applicable to living, working, or visiting the Borough. All ordinances adopted by the Council is kept in a book maintained in the Borough office and is always available for public inspection. Prior to the adoption of any ordinance, the Borough posts notice of its intention to consider the adoption of the ordinance in the Valley News Dispatch for a period of no less than 30 days prior to the meeting. All notices state the date, time, and location of the meeting at which the proposed ordinance will be considered and advise where copies of all proposed ordinances may be obtained for review. Some of the recent Ordinances adopted by Oakmont Borough Council are: Vacating a Certain Unopened Portion of Paul Street and Woodland Avenue, A Non-Electoral Debt for Capital Projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and other Capital Improvements in the Borough, False Alarms, Civil Service Amendments, OVFD Membership Qualifications Update, and Amendment to Chapter A208 Civil Service Rules and Regulations.
A resolution is a formal expression of opinion, will or intent, voted on by Council, and is generally considered to have a more limited duration than an ordinance. A resolution is a general statement of the Borough’s position or policy on a particular topic, or enacted to handle administrative business. The practice of submitting and voting on resolutions is a typical part of business in Council Meetings. Council use resolutions for two purposes, to express their consensus on matters of public policy, and for internal administrative purposes. Resolutions are not laws; they differ fundamentally in their purpose. However, under certain circumstances resolutions can have the effect of law. Resolutions have two main parts: preambular clauses and operative clauses. Preambular clauses, typically start with the word “whereas,” to provide the background information on why the Borough is passing its resolution. These clauses can refer to recent incidents and developments, local history or community characteristics. Operative clauses, typically start with “be it resolved” which, call upon the legislative body to act. These clauses can contain recommendations for specific actions, statements of opinions, and requests for further consideration or monitoring. Some of the recent resolutions passed by Council are: Authorizing the submission of a Transportation Fund Grant for gas to LED Street Light Conversion, Schedule of Fees, Sale of Property at Block and Lot 363-S-277, Minimal Municipal Obligation for Police and General Employees Pension Plans, and Appointment of Financial Professionals for Debt Financing. For more information on ordinances and resolutions, contact Phyllis J. Anderson, Assistant Borough Manager.