2021 Municipal Elections

2021 Derry Township Municipal Election Ballot

Derry Township Offices on the Ballot for 2021 Municipal Primary Election

Derry Township Supervisor (2 seats available)
Derry Township School Board Director (4 seats available)
Derry Township Tax Collector
Derry Township Auditor

Dauphin County Offices on the Ballot for 2021 Municipal Primary Election

Dauphin County Controller
Dauphin County Prothonotary

Judicial Races on the Ballot for 2021 Municipal Primary Election

Magisterial District 12-3-04 Judge (Derry Township & Hummelstown)
Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas (one open seat)
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (two open seats)
Pennsylvania Superior Court (one open seat)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court (one open seat)

Derry Township & Dauphin County Offices on the Ballot

County Prothonotary

The Dauphin County Prothonotary is elected to a four-year term to record and file all legal papers related to the civil court. These documents may include arbitration hearings, argument court and civil trials, building agreements, change of names, issue of divorce certificates, and landlord/tenant disputes.

County Controller

The Controller is the elected Chief Fiscal Officer of Dauphin County who supervises fiscal affairs, as set forth by the Pennsylvania County Code for Counties of the Third Class. The Controller is required by these Pennsylvania statutes to maintain and keep all fiscal and accounting records and to assure compliance of all financial and fiscal records in accordance with the latest standards and procedures of the accounting profession. The Controller is required by County Code to maintain custody and stewardship of all County contracts. All such documents are recorded to insure that the physical documents are received after they are approved by the Board of Commissioners. The Controller perpetually monitors all contract, agreement and lease payments to ensure that no payment exceeds the limits or terms of those documents.

Derry Township Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors is the Township’s local governmental decision-making body. The Board is comprised of five members elected to serve six year staggered terms. The Board appoints a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary. As the governing body, the Board is responsible for maintaining a fiscally sound, healthy, safe community for the residents of Derry Township through executing legislation, creating policies, levying taxes, authorizing expenditures, and overseeing the management of the township.

Derry Township School Board of Directors

Pennsylvania School Code and the Pennsylvania Department of Education govern the nine-member Board of School Directors for the Derry Township School District.

Directors act as the general agent for the people of the district in the manner of public education. They are charged with being constantly aware of the concerns and desires of the whole community regarding the quality and performance of the school system.

The Board establishes educational goals for district students and governs a program of education designed to meet those goals. The Board is committed to educating all students to the best of their individual abilities. Moreover, the Board assumes an educational leadership role and employs the Superintendent. Additionally, the Board adopts courses of study and textbooks; employs all staff members; and fixes and prescribes their duties, wages and salaries, and terms of employment.

Pennsylvania Court Structure

The Unified Court System of Pennsylvania is built like a pyramid, starting with Magisterial District Courts, then Court of Common Please, next are the Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, and ending with the State Supreme Court at the top.The courts hear important cases affecting all Pennsylvanians.

The Derry Township Democratic Committee will offer petitions for the following judicial candidates:

Magisterial District Judge:
Jaime Wetzel
Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas
LaTasha Williams
PA Commonwealth Court (two open seats on ballot)
David Spurgeon (endorsed by PA Dems)
Amanda Green-Hawkins
Sierra Street
Lori Dumas
PA Supreme Court (one open seat on ballot)
Maria McLaughlin (endorsed by PA Dems)
PA Superior Court (one open seat on ballot)
Timika Lane
Jill Beck
Bryan Neft

What are the responsibilities of the Magisterial District Court?

Magisterial District Justices are part of the minor courts, or special courts, on the first level of Pennsylvania’s judiciary. MDJs do not have to be lawyers, but they are required to pass a qualifying exam. Each court has its own elected judges. Candidates for Magisterial District Court are permitted to cross-file in a primary election in order to appear on the ballots of both parties.

Magisterial district judges serve 6 year terms and can serve an unlimited number of terms until the mandatory retirement age of 75. Small Claims Court cases are handled in Pennsylvania at the Magisterial District Court.
In Magisterial District Court, a party is not required to have an attorney. A plaintiff cannot file a claim for more than $12,000. The plaintiff is required to file a filing fee when filing the complaint. There is also an additional cost for serving the defendant with the claim. If the plaintiff wins, these costs can potentially be recovered from the defendant.

Responsible for:

  • Deciding if serious criminal cases go to the Court of Common Pleas
  • Preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings
  • Setting and accepting bail (except in murder or voluntary manslaughter cases)
  • Emergency protection-from-abuse-orders
  • Small claims cases, for claims under $12,000
  • Landlord – tenant matters
  • Municipal code violations
  • Motor vehicle violations (Philadelphia has a separate traffic court)

Appeals from the Magisterial District Judge go to the Court of Common Pleas.

Click Here for Current Dauphin County MDJ.

What are the responsibilities of the Courts of Common Pleas ?

The Court of Common Pleas is located in the Dauphin County Courthouse, at the corner of Front and Market Streets, in Harrisburg. The function of the Court of Common Pleas, is the administration of the judicial system in Dauphin County, insuring that the legal rights of all are protected and preserved. The Court of Common Pleas handles the full gamut of legal cases including:

  • Jury trials for criminal and civil matters
  • Juvenile hearings
  • Spousal and child support hearings
  • Custody hearings
  • Divorces
  • Adoption hearings
  • Estate matters
  • Guardianship hearings
  • Land use disputes
  • Name changes
  • License suspension appeals
  • Emergency matters such as injunctions.

Each full time judge is assigned to one or more of the court divisions, which are the Criminal/Juvenile Division, the combined Civil/Motion/Family Court Division and the Orphans’ Court Division.

Judicial Candidates are elected in odd years. Candidates for Common Pleas Court are permitted to crossfile in a primary election in order to appear on the ballots of both parties. Terms are ten years and the merit retention provision of Pennsylvania’s constitution allows judges to be retained with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without ballot reference to political affiliation. This provision was designed to remove judges from political pressure once they begin their first term of office. Judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 75. 

For more information on Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judges, click here

What are the responsibilities of the Commonwealth Court?

The Commonwealth Court is one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts. The Commonwealth Court is primarily responsible for matters involving state and local governments and regulatory agencies. It also acts as a trial court when lawsuits are filed by or against the Commonwealth. The court is made up of nine judges who serve 10-year terms. The president judge is chosen by his or her colleagues for a five-year term. Cases are generally heard by panels of three judges in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, although, on occasion, they may choose to hold court in other locations. Cases may also be heard by a single judge or by en banc panels of seven judges. Terms are ten years and the merit retention provision of Pennsylvania’s constitution allows judges to be retained with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without ballot reference to political affiliation. This provision was designed to remove judges from political pressure once they begin their first term of office. Judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 75. Yearly salary $199,114. President Judge of the Commonwealth Court salary $205,253.

Responsible for:

  • Original civil actions brought by and against the Commonwealth,
  • Appeals from decisions made by state agencies and the Courts of Common Pleas
  • Environmental impact cases
  • Natural gas regulation challenges
  • Challenges to voting district lines

To view the current PA Commonwealth Court Judges, click here.

What are the responsibilities of the Superior Court?

The Superior Court is one of Pennsylvania’s two statewide intermediate appellate courts. The Superior Court is often the final arbiter of criminal and most civil cases from the Court of Common Pleas. Cases are usually heard by panels of three judges sitting in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh, but may also be heard en banc by nine judges. The Superior Court often travels to locations throughout Pennsylvania to hear cases. The superior court consists of 15 judges who serve 10-year terms. After the initial 10-year term, the merit retention provision of Pennsylvania’s constitution allows judges to be retained with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without ballot reference to political affiliation. This provision was designed to remove judges from political pressure once they begin their first term of office. Judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 75.   Yearly salary is $199,114. President Judge of the Superior Court salary $205,253.

Responsible for:

  • Appeals in criminal and most civil cases from the Courts of Common Pleas
  • Appeals on matters involving children and families
  • Review and decide on wiretapping applications presented by the state’s attorney general and district attorneys under Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act

For Current Superior Court Judges, Click Here.

What are the responsibilities of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven elected judges. The Supreme Court’s administrative powers and jurisdictional responsibilities are vested with the seven-member court by the Pennsylvania State Constitution and a collection of statutes known as the Judicial Code. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears discretionary appeals from the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, and it hears certain direct appeals from the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over direct appeals in felonious homicide, right to public office, Probate or Orphans’ Courts matters, contempt cases an questions of constitutionality of a statute. Other appeals are discretionary. The court can assume jurisdiction over any case in the Pennsylvania court system at any state of the proceedings, if it is a question of immediate public importance. Administratively, all the courts within the Unified Judicial System are largely responsible for organizing their own staff and dockets; however, the Supreme Court has several committees and boards responsible for writing and enforcing rules for judges, attorneys, and litigants to ensure an efficient and fair judicial review. Terms are ten years and the merit retention provision of Pennsylvania’s constitution allows judges to be retained with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without ballot reference to political affiliation. This provision was designed to remove judges from political pressure once they begin their first term of office. Judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 75. Yearly salary $211,02, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court salary $217,168.

The Supreme Court has Juristiction Over Cases Involving:

  • Habeas corpus — determination if a prisoner is legally detained
  • Mandamus — compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly
  • Quo Warranto — used to challenge another’s right to either public or corporate office or to challenge the legality of a corporation’s charter
  • Requests for discretionary appeals from the Commonwealth Court and Superior Court
  • Certain direct Appeals from the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, including when a sentence of death is issued
  • Requests to intervene in a lower court’s proceedings
  • The court can assume jurisdiction over any case in the Pennsylvania court system
  • Other appeals are discretionary

Annually, the seven justices receive over 3,000 requests for appellate review.

For Current PA Supreme Court, please click here.