1Amending the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), entitled,
2as amended, "An act relating to counties of the first, third,
3fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes; amending,
4revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating
5thereto; relating to imposition of excise taxes by counties,
6including authorizing imposition of an excise tax on the
7rental of motor vehicles by counties of the first class; and
8providing for regional renaissance initiatives," further
9providing for vacancy in the office of county commissioner.

10The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
11hereby enacts as follows:

12Section 1. Section 501 of the act of August 9, 1955
13(P.L.323, No.130), known as The County Code, is amended to read:

14Section 501. Election[; Vacancies].--[(a)] Three county
15commissioners shall be elected in each county in the year one
16thousand nine hundred and fifty-five, and every fourth year
17thereafter. In the election of commissioners, each qualified
18elector shall vote for no more than two persons. The three
19persons having the highest number of votes shall be elected.

20[(b) Any casual vacancy in the office of county
21commissioners shall be filled, for the balance of the unexpired

1term, by the court of common pleas of the county in which such
2vacancy shall occur by the appointment of a registered elector
3of the county who was a member of the same political party as
4the commissioner whose place is to be filled at the time the
5commissioner was elected.]

6Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

7Section 501.1. Vacancies.--(a) If any vacancy shall occur
8in the office of county commissioner by death, resignation,
9removal from the county or by failure to take the required oath
10or to give bond as provided by law or ordinance or in any other
11manner, the following shall apply:

12(1) The two remaining commissioners shall direct the chief
13clerk to request that the county committee of the political
14party or political body of the vacated commissioner at the time
15the vacated commissioner was elected submit a list of three
16names to be chosen through a conference process or any other
17process as provided in the bylaws of the political party or
18political body. The committee shall submit the names within
19thirty days of the vacancy and may rank them in order of
20preference. The names provided in accordance with this paragraph
21shall constitute the exclusive candidates for appointment to
22fill the vacancy by the two remaining commissioners, the vacancy
23board and the court. As used in this paragraph, the terms
24"political party" or "political body" shall have the meanings
25given to them in section 801 of the act of June 3, 1937
26(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code."

27(2) The two remaining county commissioners shall appoint a
28successor within forty-five days after the vacancy occurs. If
29the two remaining county commissioners fail to make the
30appointment within forty-five days, the appointment shall be

1made by the vacancy board within fifteen days after the
2expiration of the forty-five day period. The vacancy board shall
3consist of the two remaining county commissioners and the one
4elector of the county, who shall be appointed by the county
5commissioners at the board's first meeting each calendar year or
6as soon after that is practical and who shall act as chairperson
7of the vacancy board. If the vacancy board fails to fill the
8position within fifteen days after the expiration of the forty-
9five day period, the chairperson or, if there is a vacancy in
10the position of chairperson, the remaining members of the
11vacancy board shall petition the court of common pleas to fill
12the vacancy.

13(3) If two or more vacancies exist in the office of county
14commissioner, the court of common pleas shall fill the vacancies
15upon presentation of a petition signed by not less than fifteen
16electors of the county. Upon receipt of the petition, the court
17shall request names from the appropriate county committee as
18provided under paragraph (1).

19(b) If a county committee has not provided names in
20accordance with subsection (a), or if the commissioner whose
21office is vacant is not a member of a political party or a
22political body, any successor qualified under subsection (c) may
23be appointed to fill the vacancy.

24(c) A successor appointed to fill a vacancy in accordance
25with this section shall:

26(1) Be at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the
27United States and a resident of the county.

28(2) Have resided within the county for one year next
29preceding the successor's appointment.

30(3) Be a registered elector of the county and a member of

1the same political party or political body as the commissioner
2whose place is to be filled at the time the commissioner was
3elected. If the commissioner vacating office was independent of
4any political affiliation or was affiliated with any political
5organization other than a political party or political body, the
6successor shall be of the same affiliation if an available
7candidate is otherwise qualified under this subsection.

8(4) Hold the office for the balance of the unexpired term.

9Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.