Over Thirty Years of Success
Thirty years after its organization, the Bucks County Consortium of Communities continues to demonstrate the value of regional cooperation in local government through the successful operation of a wide variety of inter-municipal programs.
Through the Consortium, member townships utilize a joint bidding program. This program allows vendors to submit one bid to service multiple townships, cutting down on waste and duplicated efforts. Joint bidding is generally used for the procurement of road salt, heating oil, gasoline/diesel, and road materials.
Drug Testing Program
Through the Consortium, member townships may contract with one provider to service all the communities. This allows all member communities to stay in compliance with federal law mandating drug tests of all CDL operators, while saving taxpayer money.
State and Federal Mandates
When the state or federal government mandates actions by local municipalities, it often comes with a lot of work and expense, and no direct funding. By working as a unit, consortium members can reduce the work hours to come into compliance and cooperate to address regional issues.
Personnel & Labor Relations
Personnel & Labor
One of the most important functions of the Consortium is a shared database of personnel information such as salaries and benefits for similar positions, and the sharing of labor contracts. The consolidation of this information in one place, has proved to be one of the most crucial and beneficial purposes of the Consortium.
A History of the Consortium
In May 1980, a small group of municipal officials met at the Warminster Township municipal building to discuss the need for improved communication and cooperation among local governments in the Bucks County. The representatives in attendance were:
- Stanley Gawel, Manager, Warminster Township
- John O. Danenberger, Manager, Upper Southampton Township
- Robert M. Pellegrino, Assistant Manager, Borough of Doylestown
- D. Bruce Townsend, Manager Northampton Township
- Richard Simmons, Assistant Manager, Warrington Township
- Robert Bender, Manager, New Britain Township
Following a lively discussion about the many areas of common interest among municipalities, the group agreed to meet monthly and share information about personnel policies and practices, collective bargaining issues, roadway maintenance, pension plan administration, finances, taxation, unfunded legislative mandates, and the nature of development activities.
The group also agreed to take advantage of the bulk purchasing power of local government and jointly purchase rock salt, with Doylestown Borough serving as coordinator for the bidding and contract administration. Upper Southampton agreed to bid traffic line paint, Warrington would bid storm sewer piping materials, and New Britain would bid road materials.
Since the initial meeting of those six municipalities, the Bucks County Consortium has grown to include 38 communities. Beginning as an informal gathering of local government leaders, it has become a forum for intergovernmental cooperation and communication among many of the 52 incorporated municipalities in the County.
Today the Consortium operates under Articles of Agreement adopted by the membership.
Monthly meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of each month in the Central Bucks County area and include expert presentations on a wide variety of timely and informative subjects relevant to local government.
Any local government or municipal authority in Bucks County is eligible to participate in Consortium programs or projects by resolution of the governing body of that entity.
Partnership Pays Off
Years of Regional Cooperation
Articles of Agreement
Articles of Agreement
(Last revised February 6, 2020)
We, the representatives of units of municipal governments in Bucks County hereby join together in a voluntary organization to be known as the Bucks County Consortium, for the purpose of meeting at regular intervals to discuss and study community challenges of mutual interest and concern, and to develop policy and action recommendations for ratification and implementation by member municipal governments.
As a voluntary organization of municipal governments, the members seek, by mutual agreement, solutions to mutual problems for mutual benefit. Our goal is to combine our total resources to meet regional challenges that may transcend individual capabilities, while retaining and strengthening our local autonomy in all other government matters.
The Bucks County Consortium shall be a voluntary organization of municipal governments and authorities thereof in Bucks County whose purpose is to foster a cooperative effort in resolving problems, and developing policies and plans that are common and regional. The purpose of this organization is:
To serve as a mutual forum to identify, discuss, study, and bring into focus regional challenges and opportunities.
To foster, develop and review policies, plans, and priorities for regional growth, development and conservation.
To provide continuing organizational machinery to insure effective communication and coordination among governments and agencies.
To facilitate agreements and cooperative action proposals among other governments for specific projects or other interrelated developmental needs.
To serve as a vehicle for the collection and exchange of information of regional interest.
To maintain liaison with member governments, other governmental units and agencies, and to serve as regional spokesman for member municipal governments, when authorized thereby.
To furnish general and technical aid to member governments, to promote and accomplish Consortium approved agreements, policies and plans, when approved by the member governments participating.
To review and coordinate federal, state and local programs of regional importance, and to make recommendation thereon.
Corporate Member or Member Municipality – Any of the municipalities and authorities thereof within Bucks County, subject to membership requirements herein.
Sponsoring Member – Any individual, firm, or organization that provides services to local governments.
Officers – The officers of the Consortium shall consist of:
a. President- The President shall preside at meetings of the Consortium; see that all rules and policies of the Consortium are understood and observed; appoint any ad hoc committees which from time to time might be necessary; and act as spokesperson and representative of members of the Consortium.
b. Vice President – The Vice President shall also be President-elect and shall succeed the President at the end of the President’s term. In addition, the Vice President shall preside in the absence of the President and carry out definite assignments of the President in conjunction with other officers and committee members, as applicable. The Vice President shall assist the President in the President’s duties and act as a member ex officio of any standing or ad hoc committees.
c. 2nd Vice President – The 2nd Vice President shall be Vice President-elect and shall succeed the Vice President at the end of the Vice President’s term. The duties of the 2nd Vice President will mirror those of the Vice President.
d. Coordinator – The Coordinator shall record and maintain the Minutes of all Consortium meetings; forward records and maintain the Minutes of all consortium meetings; forward any necessary notices and communications to the officers and committee people; and maintain the by-laws and Constitution with current amendments and revisions. In addition, the Coordinator will be responsible for substantive tasks as assigned by the President. The coordinator is a compensated position and is selected by the President and/or Executive Board.
e. Treasurer – The Treasurer shall be responsible for Consortium finances; sign checks, dispense Consortium funds, as approved by the President and general membership; work with officers and any committees; and assist in the preparation of annual financial statements.
Executive Board – The Executive Board shall be comprised of the current officers and former presidents of the Consortium. The Executive Board shall meet quarterly to select meeting locations, format, topics and speakers, and set the official meeting schedule.
Consortium Service Program – A Consortium Service Program shall be any service
provided jointly by two or more members and established by a joint municipal agreement. Only those members entering into such an agreement shall be obligated to contribute to it financially and only such members shall participate and benefit from such a program.
Feasibility Study – A Feasibility Study shall be any study, including but not limited to short duration studies of ways and means to solve problems or problems common to two or more communities, duly undertaken by the general membership and requiring the expenditure of funds. Only those members entering into such a study shall be obligated to contribute to it, financially, and only such members shall participate and benefit from such a program.
The President, Vice President and 2nd Vice President positions shall be limited to Managers, Executives, Assistant Managers or the equivalent.
The Coordinator position shall be limited to Assistant Managers, other professional level positions, or the equivalent.
The initial members of the Bucks County Consortium are as set forth within this document bearing signatures attached hereto. Additional members may be admitted to the Consortium in accordance with the provisions of this Article IV.
There shall be two categories of membership in the Consortium known as Corporate Membership and Sponsoring Membership.
Membership Rights – Both categories of members shall be eligible to receive a membership directory, all meeting materials, and to participate in Consortium- sponsored training activities and programs. Corporate members shall have the additional right to participate in discussions and debate on Consortium business, serve on committees, hold elected or appointed positions, and vote on matters before the Consortium or any of its committees.
Admission – To become members of the Consortium following its formation by the Charter Members applicants shall:
a. Make a request for membership to the Consortium Executive Board and pay the membership fee, which shall be set and reviewed from time to time by the Consortium representatives by way of motion approved at a regular meeting, duly recorded by the Secretary.
b. The applicant must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the voting members to be admitted to the Consortium.
c. The applicant municipality’s governing body must formally adopt by resolution or ordinance, the Articles of Agreement and the Cooperative Purchasing Agreement of the Consortium, and forward a certified copy of said formal adoption to the Coordinator of the Consortium prior to being seated in the Consortium.
Representation – Each member municipality/organization shall be entitled to one representative in the Consortium. For municipalities, that member may be the Manager or another designated representative. Each member municipality shall also be eligible to designate one alternate representative to the Consortium.
Withdrawal – A corporate member may withdraw from the Consortium membership at any time. Withdrawal by a municipality from the Bucks County Consortium shall in no way serve to void or lessen any legal or financial obligations incurred by the member municipality while a member or members of the Bucks County Consortium.
a. Any corporate member municipality is eligible to participate in any feasibility study provided the governing body of such municipality approves its participation, in writing; a copy thereof to be filed with the Coordinator of the Consortium.
b. Any corporate member municipality is eligible to participate in any Service Program provided that the governing body of the municipality approves its participation by ordinance or resolution adopting the Joint Municipal Agreement establishing said program; a copy thereof to be filed with the Coordinator of the Consortium.
c. When a corporate member municipality elects to participate in an on-going feasibility study or service program, it thereby obligates its full share of pro-rates costs, as determined by the participating Consortium members.
Dues – The annual dues shall be $150.00 per year for corporate members and $175 per year for sponsoring members until changed by majority vote of the Consortium representatives. The dues shall be paid to the Treasurer of the Consortium by dates designated by the Executive Board. No member shall be responsible to pay additional sums to the Consortium without that member’s consent.
Fees – Each feasibility study and service program, when established and undertaken, will have fee structure for participation established and the fees will be pro-rated to the participants. Any projects undertaken by the Consortium will have a cost schedule established prior to the commencement of the project and the participants will determine the costs to be paid by each participant.
V. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
General Policy Body – The general membership shall consist of all corporate members and shall be the policy body of the Consortium.
Voting – Each Corporate member shall have one vote in the general membership.
Quorum – A quorum of the general membership shall consist of a simple majority of the total voting membership.
Meetings – The general membership shall meet monthly when practical, but at least (8) times per year. Other meetings shall be held in accord with the determination of the general membership or upon call of the President, or by petition of any three (3) voting members of the general membership.
Responsibilities – The responsibilities of the general membership are:
a. To adopt the membership dues schedules.
b. To adopt and amend by-laws.
c. To initiate, advise and aid in the establishment of cooperative arrangements, including inter-local agreements, among local governments in the region.
d. To resolve membership questions.
e. To make recommendations to any local governments or to other appropriate agencies or entities.
f. To annually elect a President, Vice President (who shall also be the President-elect for the next year), 2nd Vice President, and the Treasurer.
The President may appoint committees, as needed, when appropriate for Consortium action.
a. To propose an annual budget and each participating member’s share thereof to the general membership.
b. To nominate a slate of officers to the general membership for approval and election.
c. To propose and recommend feasibility studies.
d. To propose and recommend service programs.
e. To render advice and technical assistance on the request of member governments in regard to local governmental problems having regional impact.
f. To seek and recommend acceptance of contributions and grants-in-aid on approval of corporate member municipalities that agree to participate in programs related thereto.
g. To recommend to the Bucks County Consortium the general operating procedures necessary for the orderly conduct of the affairs of the Consortium.
h. To recommend to the Bucks County Consortium member communities, non-consortium, agencies, individuals and others requesting said information.
All funds, including membership dues, which accrue to the Consortium, for use in furthering the aim and purposes of this voluntary organization, shall be controlled, disbursed, and accounted for in a manner prescribed by the general consortium membership only.
All dues and fees paid to the Consortium shall be placed in an interest-bearing account. The President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Consortium shall be empowered to sign checks and vouchers to satisfy incurred debt, upon approval of the general membership.
The President, Vice President and 2nd Vice President shall serve two one-year terms. In the event a Consortium Officers resigns, the 2nd highest ranking position shall assume the resignor’s position upon a majority vote of the membership. A partial term due to resignation shall not count as a full term of the position, if less than six months.
Amendments to these Articles of Agreement may be recommended from time to time by a majority vote of the General Membership. However, any amendments shall not be effectual until approved by a two-thirds majority of the Bucks County Consortium Members.
The parties hereto have caused this agreement to be signed in the names of the aforesaid communities by the appropriately designated public official, duly attested to by the respective clerks or secretaries, with the corporate seals of the said communities.
Adopted by the membership this 6th day of February 2020.