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Our City laws are located at the Code of Ordinances link on our web site. The online Code of Ordinances is updated electronically with the passage of legislation. You can address the body of Council at their Regular Business Meetings held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month and at Public Hearings held to address specific topics. Citizens wishing to address the Council at its regular meetings may do so by giving notice verbally or in writing by providing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed to the City Clerk before 5 PM the day of the meeting.

Citizens can register by calling or by entering their information in this form.

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Citizens may also register by printing their information on the form provided on the speaker podium in Council Chambers after 5 pm and before the start of the meeting. Citizens speaking on agenda issues may speak for up to five minutes at the beginning of the meeting. Those speaking on general matters may speak for up to three minutes after the Council action on the legislative matter is complete. When the City Clerk signals that your time is complete, we ask that you quickly conclude your remarks and be seated. If you cannot print a copy, call the Council Office at to request one and the Council staff will be happy to assist you.

What is the Code of Ethics?

How can I obtain a copy of the Code of Ethics? The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of governmental structure; that public office is not to be used for personal gain; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government.

In recognition of these goals, there is an established Code of Ethics to be administered by the Board of Ethics.

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The purpose of this Code is to establish ethical standards of conduct for all officials and employees of the City of Reading, its agencies and authorities, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, by providing guidelines to clarify actions or inactions which are incompatible with the best interests of the City and by directing disclosure of private, financial or other interests in matters affecting the City. The provisions and purpose of this Code and such rules, regulations, opinions and disciplinary decisions as may be promulgated by the Board Pursuant hereto, and under provisions of Article XII of the Charter, are hereby declared to be in the best interest of the City.

The Code of Ethics is located on the City website. If you would like a bound copy, please contact the Council Office by calling or via e-mail, council readingpa. How can I make a complaint to the Board of Ethics?


Any person may file a complaint about alleged ethics violations of the Reading Code of Ethics or the City Charter. A complaint form may be requested through the Board of Ethics liaison, Michelle Katzenmoyer, by calling , upon request from the Council staff office, or by clicking here. In addition, the Board may initiate proceedings by its own action. All Board proceedings and records relating to an investigation are confidential until a final determination is made by the Board, except as may be required by due process.

The final order is a public record. All other file material must remain confidential. The Board, however, may release the identity of a complainant if it has determined that there has been a wrongful use of the Code of Ethics. What is the Home Rule Charter? How can I obtain a copy of the Charter? It sets the operational rules for our government. Copies of the Home Rule Charter may be acquired through publication provision of the City Council staff office and it is also available online.

What is the Charter Board? How can I make a complaint to the Charter Board? The Charter Board , created under the 1st Amendment to the Home Rule Charter, hears and decides all complaints alleging violations of the Charter and Administrative Code. This Board is also responsible for providing orientation for all elected officials. The Mayor presides over Council meetings but has no additional power. Al these elected officials perform executive duties and direct the city departments. Under the Commission form there is no single or administrative officer to oversee the operations of the City.

The executive, administrative and law enforcement powers of the City are vested in the Mayor. The Mayor shall control and be accountable for the executive branch of City government.

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City Council is the legislative body having all powers of the City not otherwise provided for in this Charter, exercised in a manner to be determined by Council. Council shall provide for the exercise and performance of any such other powers and duties in a manner consistent with the terms of the Charter. All powers of the City shall be exercised as provided by the Charter, or if the Charter makes no provision, as provided by ordinances or resolutions of the City Council. The City of Reading Code of Ordinances has many features in addition to the current city laws.

This book provides references to applicable state and federal legislation.

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The Code of Ordinances also includes a key that provides the disposition of all city streets, improvements, vacations, etc. The key can also provide the researcher with the history and disposition of city ordinances. The Code of Ordinances have been available on-line since , with updates done annually. The office also holds the Journals of Council that include the ordinances and resolutions adopted dating back to Other old records include departmental reports, solicitor's opinions, Board of Health records, tax assessment records, Water Bureau reports, etc.

Unfortunately, record retention and archiving diminished between the 's and Although individual agencies still may agree to release the following information, Pennsylvania courts have ruled that these records are NOT subject to inspection or copying under the Right to Know Act:. Citizen Initiative and Referendum are two ways that citizens not holding political office may present legislation for the City. The two opportunities are as follows:. Initiative: The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to propose ordinances to the Council.

If the Council fails to adopt such an ordinance, the initiative process would place the proposed ordinance before the voters as a referendum at an election, providing the City voters with the opportunity to adopt or reject the ordinance at a City election. Referendum: The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to require reconsideration by the Council of any adopted ordinance. If the Council fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, the Referendum process may be commenced giving the qualified voters of the City the opportunity to approve or reject said ordinance at a City election.

For more detail, please contact the Council Office by calling or e-mail to council readingpa. Can the Council Office help me with a complaint about City Services? The Council Office can take a concern or complaint about City Services, and work with the appropriate City department s to efficiently rectify the problem. In addition, Council members note problematic trends in order to improve upon or implement any additional services that benefit the City. If you have a concern that the City Clerk or City Council can assist with, contact the Council staff office at , via e-mail council readingpa.

In addition, the Board may order the subject to cease and desist from engaging in a specific activity, order specific action to come into compliance, institute civil action, and recommend forfeiture of office to City Council. Please review the Code of Ethics for complete information. Candidates must notify the City of Reading Board of Ethics when a political committee is formed and must submit a form to the Board of Ethics. Please get full details from the Code of Ethics. Candidates must file a Financial Interest Statement and provide a copy to the Board of Ethics and must submit a copy of their State report of receipts and expenditures to the office of the City Clerk along with a written statement signed by the filer swearing that the information is true and correct.

How do I open a business in the City of Reading? What does Reading have to offer my business and why should I move or expand my business to Reading? The advantages to moving your business to Reading are clear; there are million people who have easy access to your business. The City has a skilled and diverse work force.

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What is going on in Reading in terms of economic development? Anyone who is interested in zoning information is encouraged to contact the Zoning Administrator at You must visit the Citizens Service Center in City Hall, room to apply for a new business license. Does this office provide assistance to private landlords? How do I purchase a home if I am a low to moderate income family? How many historic districts are located within the City of Reading?

What is the difference between a National Register Historic District and a locally regulated district? A National Register Historic District is a district that has been designated by the National Park Service as worthy of preservation and therefore has been placed in the National Register of Historic Places, a federal list of historically significant resources. National Register districts may or may not be locally regulated but are afforded some protection by municipality oversight when federal funds are used in a project that may have a negative effect on historic resources.

A locally regulated historic district is a district established by a municipality that may be listed in or is eligible to the National Register of Historic Places. A locally regulated district is governed and protected by the Historic District Ordinance which establishes a review board HARB to review changes to buildings. Listing in the National Register of Historic Places does not necessarily protect buildings within a historic district from being altered or demolished whereas the historical integrity of structures located within a local historic district are provided protection through the Historic District Ordinance.

What are the rules and regulations for properties located within a historic district? The Preservation Officer has been authorized to approve certain in kind building improvements and painting of exterior surfaces.