Ambler Borough has a Council/Manager form of government, comprised of an elected Borough Council, an elected Mayor and an appointed Borough Manager. Nine elected council members, representing 3 voting districts, are elected at large for four-year overlapping terms. After each general municipal election (i.e., every two years), Borough Council is reorganized and a Council President and Vice President are selected by Council members to preside over Council meetings and other events. Additionally, at this time Council members are assigned to serve on Council committees which include Public Safety, Parks & Recreation, Public Utilities, Finance & Planning, and Salary & Personnel.
The primary duties of Borough Council include adoption of the annual budget, the establishment of policies for the conduct of Borough affairs, the enactment of ordinances and resolutions for the protection of the public, and approval of contracts and bids. Furthermore, Council's responsibilities include the appointment of the Borough Manager and other respective officials, along with members of various municipal boards and commmissions.
The Mayor, elected at large to a four-year term, is primarily responsible for the public safety of the community with emphasis on law enforcement. The Mayor also reviews and signs each ordinance and resolution of a legislative nature enacted by Borough Council. The Mayor serves as spokesperson for the community and represents the Borough at various civic and social activities.
Boroughs are one of the more common forms of government in Pennsylvania, representing 37.5% of all municipal governments. An average of 15 boroughs exist per county and nearly 25% of Pennsylvanians reside in Boroughs. Approximately 33% of all boroughs are within the state's urbanized zones, while another 15% have populations over 2,500 and are regarded as urban communities, while the remailing 52% are classified as rural. The term borough is derived from the Old English word 'burg,' or fortified place. Charles II signed Willliam Penn's Charter is 1681, authorizing the power to erect and incorporate towns into boroughs. The Borough of Ambler was incorporated in 1888.