1Amending the act of July 28, 1953 (P.L.723, No.230), entitled,
2as amended, "An act relating to counties of the second class
3and second class A; amending, revising, consolidating and
4changing the laws relating thereto," further providing for
5vacancy in the office of county commissioner.

6The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
7hereby enacts as follows:

8Section 1. Section 501 of the act of July 28, 1953 (P.L.723,
9No.230), known as the Second Class County Code, is amended to

11Section 501. Election[; Vacancies].--[(a)] Three county
12commissioners shall be elected in the county in the year one
13thousand nine hundred and fifty-five and every fourth year
14thereafter. In the election of commissioners, each qualified
15elector shall vote for no more than two persons. The three
16persons having the highest number of votes shall be elected.

17[(b) Any vacancy in the office of county commissioners shall
18be filled for the balance of the unexpired term by the court of
19common pleas of the county, by the appointment of an elector of

1the county who voted for the commissioner whose place is to be

3Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

4Section 501.1. Vacancies.--(a) If any vacancy shall occur
5in the office of county commissioner by death, resignation,
6removal from the county or by failure to take the required oath
7or to give bond as provided by law or ordinance, or in any other
8manner, the following shall apply:

9(1) The two remaining commissioners shall direct the chief
10clerk to request that the county committee of the political
11party or political body of the vacated commissioner at the time
12the vacated commissioner was elected submit a list of three
13names to be chosen through a conference process or any other
14process as provided in the bylaws of the political party or
15political body. The committee shall submit the names within
16thirty (30) days of the vacancy and may rank them in order of
17preference. The names provided in accordance with this paragraph
18shall constitute the exclusive candidates for appointment to
19fill the vacancy by the two remaining commissioners, the vacancy
20board and the court. As used in this paragraph, the terms
21"political party" or "political body" shall have the meanings
22given to them in section 801 of the act of June 3, 1937
23(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code."

24(2) The two remaining county commissioners shall appoint a
25successor within forty-five (45) days after the vacancy occurs.
26If the two remaining county commissioners fail to make the
27appointment within forty-five (45) days, the appointment shall
28be made by the vacancy board within fifteen (15) days after the
29expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. The vacancy board
30shall consist of the two remaining county commissioners and the

1one elector of the county, who shall be appointed by the county
2commissioners at the board's first meeting each calendar year or
3as soon after that is practical and who shall act as chairperson
4of the vacancy board. If the vacancy board fails to fill the
5position within fifteen (15) days after the expiration of the
6forty-five (45) day period, the chairperson or, if there is a
7vacancy in the position of chairperson, the remaining members of
8the vacancy board shall petition the court of common pleas to
9fill the vacancy.

10(3) If two or more vacancies exist in the office of county
11commissioner, the court of common pleas shall fill the vacancies
12upon presentation of a petition signed by not less than fifteen
13electors of the county. Upon receipt of the petition, the court
14shall request names from the appropriate county committee as
15provided under paragraph (1).

16(b) If a county committee has not provided names in
17accordance with subsection (a), or if the commissioner whose
18office is vacant is not a member of a political party or a
19political body, any successor qualified under subsection (c) may
20be appointed to fill the vacancy.

21(c) A successor appointed to fill a vacancy in accordance
22with this section shall:

23(1) Be at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the
24United States and a resident of the county.

25(2) Have resided within the county for one year next
26preceding the successor's appointment.

27(3) Be a registered elector of the county and a member of
28the same political party or political body as the commissioner
29whose place is to be filled at the time the commissioner was
30elected. If the commissioner vacating office was independent of

1any political affiliation or was affiliated with any political
2organization other than a political party or political body, the
3successor shall be of the same affiliation if an available
4candidate is otherwise qualified under this subsection.

5(4) Hold the office for the balance of the unexpired term.

6Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.