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SCHUYLKILL HAVEN BOROUGH APPEAL. (11/16/55)

November 16, 1955

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN BOROUGH APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 285, Oct. T., 1955, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Schuylkill County, March T., 1955, No. 9, in re appeal of Borough of Schuylkill Haven. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

H. G. Stutzman, with him Calvin J. Friedberg, for appellant.

Ralph M. Bashore, with him Cletus C. Kilker, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 509]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

This appeal is by the Borough of Schuylkill Haven from an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Schuylkill County declaring void an ordinance of the Borough of Schuylkill Haven in so far as it fixes the salary of the borough manager.

On January 10, 1955, the borough council of the Borough of Schuylkill Haven enacted Ordinance No. 368 which provided in section 1 that the borough manager shall be paid an annual salary in the sum of $9,000. On February 7, 1955, three taxpayers of the said borough filed an appeal in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Schuylkill County under section 1010 of "The General Borough Act" of May 4, 1927, P.L. 519, Art. X, as amended by the Act of May 18, 1933, P.L. 818, § 1, and as revised and amended by "The Borough Code" of July 10, 1947, P.L. 1621, § 23, 53 PS § 12900. Appellees, in appealing to the court of quarter sessions, alleged, inter alia, that the salary of $9,000 for the

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 510]

    borough manager as set forth in the ordinance was "grossly excessive in its proportion to the value of the services rendered," and constituted "a gross abuse of the discretion vested in the Borough Council." The court below granted a supersedeas and thus enjoined the payment of any salary to the borough manager. After three hearings before the court, the court below, on June 21, 1955, declared the salary proposed to be paid to the borough manager under section 1 of Ordinance No. 368 to be grossly excessive and therefore illegal, and further that any salary exceeding the sum of $7,500 would be excessive and consequently illegal.

By The Borough Code of July 10, 1947, P.L. 1621, § 23, 53 PS § 12900, section 1010 was reenacted and amended to read as follows:

"Complaint as to the legality of any ordinance or resolution may be made to the court of quarter sessions, upon entering into recognizance with sufficient security to prosecute the same with effect and for the payment of costs, by any person aggrieved, within thirty days after any ordinance or resolution takes effect, and the determination and order of the court thereon shall be conclusive. In cases of ordinances effecting annexation of territory or laying out streets over private lands, the court shall have jurisdiction to review the propriety as well as the legality of the ordinance."

The determinative question on this appeal is whether the court of quarter sessions had jurisdiction of the matter. The jurisdictional question was raised in the supplemental brief of appellant to which appellees replied. It was not originally incorporated in the statement of questions involved. However, the question was raised in the court below which held that it could hear the ...


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