Monday, 14 October 2019 20:42

Petition: Reduce Barrett Supervisors to Three

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

Background: There are 15 second-class townships in Monroe County. All of them function with 3 elected supervisors except three: Barrett, Tobyhanna, and Coolbaugh.

Barrett was originally governed by three supervisors. I'm not 100% clear on the timeline, but at some point after 2002, Barrett residents circulated a petition to increase from three supervisors to five.

Shortly after switching to 5 supervisors, according to the Meeting Minutes, pdf Barrett Township Supervisors January 11, 2006 (13 KB) (under Public, letter c), there was a request to switch back to three:

  • Patti Dente asked that she be put on record as stating she would like to see a referendum to reduce the 5 supervisors to three. The supervisors explained that the 5 supervisors would have to be in effect for two years before it could be changed.


Why switch back to three?

Reason #1: Barrett is a small community with a population of approximately 4,100 people. Tobyhanna Township (pop. ~8,400) and Coolbaugh Township (pop. ~20,000) both employ full-time, salaried Township Managers.

Reason #2:  On the 2019 Primary Election ballot, we have an incumbent running, unopposed.

Reason #3: One of our other supervisors resigned last month.



Is Barrett large enough to justify five supervisors?

Is everyone currently interested in being a supervisor already serving as one?

If there are only a total of roughly five people interested in serving as supervisor, shouldn't we be choosing the best three?

Ready to Sign the Petition?

pdfClick here to download a PDF signature sheet. Sign it, have your friends, family, and neighbors sign it, then mail it to:

Barrett Community Portal
attn: Nate Covington
PO Box 403
Mountainhome PA 18342

PS - If you have legitimate reasons to justify staying with five supervisors, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post them in the comments below. Thank you!


How Would it Work?

If I understand correctly:

  1. We would circulate the petition and collect the required ~250 signatures.
  2. I will submit the petition to Monroe County Election Office (late 2019 / early 2020).
  3. There would be a referendum in the 2020 general election (NOT in the upcoming November 2019 election).
  4. Then, assuming everything progresses accordingly, we would vote to elect 3 supervisors in the 2021 municipal election.


For more details, please consult the PA second class township code.


I am including the relevant sections below:


Act of May. 1, 1933, P.L. 103, No. 69 Cl. 73

(Reenacted and amended Nov. 9, 1995, P.L.350, No.60)



(d) In townships in which the electorate has opted for a five-member board, the township shall return to a three-member board of supervisors upon petition of at least five percent of the electors of the township, or under a resolution of the board of supervisors, and upon approval by a majority of electors voting at the next municipal or general election. The referendum petition shall be filed with the county board of elections not later than the thirteenth Tuesday before the next municipal or general election. The county board of elections shall place the question before the electors as provided under the "Pennsylvania Election Code." The form of the question shall be as follows:

Should two additional supervisors be elected to serve in this township? (Yes/No)

The county board of elections shall tabulate and publish the results of the referendum within thirty days of the election. In no event shall the question of reducing the five-member board of supervisors be voted on more than once in any five-year period.

(e) At the first municipal election following approval of the question providing for a return to a three-member board, three supervisors shall be elected to serve from the first Monday of January after the election, when the terms of the officers of the five-member board of supervisors shall cease. The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes for the office of supervisor shall be elected. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall serve for a term of six years. The candidate receiving the second highest number of votes shall serve for a term of four years. The candidate receiving the third highest number of votes shall serve for a term of two years. After that, supervisors shall be elected under section 403.

Last modified on Monday, 14 October 2019 22:30

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

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