The Borough of North East is organized under the Borough Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The term "borough" originates from the political and municipal subdivisions developed in England. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the subdivisions consist of counties, cities, boroughs and townships with the latter three broken down further into classes defined by population.
The Borough of North East was incorporated in 1834 and is governed by a Borough Council made up of six elected members and a mayor and four departments. The day-to-day administration of the borough is under the Borough Manager and consisting of a full-time administrative staff and three departments made up of Streets, Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment. The Police Department under the PA Borough Code is administered by a Police Chief and reports to the Mayor. Other offices that are contracted by the Borough Council are the offices of solicitor, engineer and tax collection.
The Borough also has several Authorities and Commissions that oversee certain aspects of the local government made up of the following; Water Authority, Sewer Authority, Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, Recreation Commission, Zoning Hearing Board and Shade Tree Commission. Additionally a Fire Commissioner is the liaison between the Borough and the two volunteer fire companies: Fuller Hose and Crescent Hose.