Pennsylvania has 67 individual governmental units designated as counties. Counties are distinguished into different classes based on their population, ranging from the first class county of Philadelphia to eighth class counties like Cameron, Forest, Fulton, Montour, Potter and Sullivan. Greene County is designated as a sixth class county (population of 45,000 to 94,999). Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and towns.
Unlike most other states, Pennsylvania's counties geographically overlap municipalities such as boroughs, townships and cities, but they provide a different set of services. Therefore, every Pennsylvanian is both a resident of their county and their city, borough or township at the same time.
Greene County is located in the most southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, and is considered the cornerstone of the keystone state. Greene County is made up of 26 municipalities (20 Townships and 6 Boroughs), is 89.2 percent rural; with a population of about 41,000 residents; and a land area of 579 square miles. The county seat is the borough of Waynesburg, located at exit 14 of interstate 79, about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Three County Commissioners constitute the chief governing body of the county; forming the legislative and executive branches of the county; and they are authorized to administer human service programs, conduct land-use planning, and operate the county jail(s). They also pass ordinances, access all real and personal property for tax purposes, register voters, and maintain county buildings. Because of their large size, counties are also able to hand various programs on an areawide basis, such as domestic relations, programs for senior citizens, and training and employment.
The county commissioners are vested with selective policy-making authority to provide certain local services and facilities on a county-wide basis. Our Greene County Board of Commissioners is elected to serve for a term of four years. During this time the Commissioners are responsible for the fiscal affairs of Greene County including the annual budget, levying of real estate taxes and the investment of county funds. Administrative powers and duties of county commissioners encompass registration and elections, assessment of persons and property, human services, veterans' affairs, economic growth & development, appointment of county personnel and fiscal management.
The Board of Commissioners also oversees the entire operation of the County and represents the best interests of the citizens. Other officials are also elected to perform certain functions: the Controller, Treasurer, Coroner, Recorder of Deeds, Prothonotary, Clerk of Courts, the Register of Wills, Sheriff, District Attorney, and Jury Commissioners. Under the direction of these elected officials, the county maintains important legal records such as real estate deeds, marriage licenses, adoption papers, court records, etc.
Through the organizational structure of Greene County the Commissioners approve the employment of the county staff. Daily operations of county government are administrated via five primary departments: Finance & Administration, Law & Order, Human Services, Economic Development, and Recreation. Each of these departments manages a number of offices which provide direct services to the residents of Greene County. County business is conducted at public meetings held in the County Office Building (first floor meeting room) located 93 E. High Street of Waynesburg, PA.