Erie County, Pennsylvania
|Erie County, Pennsylvania|
Erie County Courthouse
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 12, 1800|
1,558 sq mi (4,035 km²)
798.9 sq mi (2,069 km²)
759.1 sq mi (1,966 km²), 48.7%
351.2/sq mi (136/km²)
Erie County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 280,566. Its county seat is the City of Erie. Erie County makes up the entire Erie, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,558 square miles (4,035.2 km2), the largest county in Pennsylvania, of which 798.9 square miles (2,069 km2) is land and 759.1 square miles (1,966 km2) (48.7%) is water. There are only two cities in Erie County: the City of Erie and the City of Corry.
Erie County is bordered on the northeast by Chautauqua County, New York, on the east by Warren County, on the south by Crawford County, and on the west by Ashtabula County, Ohio. Directly north of the county is Lake Erie. This position on the water makes Erie County the only county in Pennsylvania to share a border with Canada, which is located on the far shore of the lake.
It is the only county in the state that occupies a significant amount of land north of the 42nd parallel.
Adjacent counties 
- Lake Erie (north)
- Chautauqua County, New York (northeast)
- Warren County (southeast)
- Crawford County (south)
- Ashtabula County, Ohio (southwest)
Erie County was established on March 12, 1800 from part of Allegheny County, which absorbed the lands of the disputed Erie Triangle in 1792. Prior to 1792, the region was claimed by both New York and Pennsylvania, so no county demarcations were made until the federal government intervened. See interactive Pennsylvania County Formation Maps
Since Erie County and its newly-established neighboring counties of Crawford, Mercer, Venango, and Warren were initially unable to sustain themselves, a five-county administrative organization was established at Crawford County's Meadville to temporarily manage government affairs in the region. Erie elected its own county officials in 1803.
Erie County was part of the Underground Railroad giving slaves the ability to gain freedom through Lake Erie into Canada, East through New York State, or to stay in Erie with the help of abolitionists and the free black community. Today, the Journey to Freedom educational program provides an interactive program on the Underground Railroad experience. 
|United States Census Bureau|
According to the 2010 United States Census, there were 280,566 people, 110,413 households, and 70,196 families residing in the county. The population density was 351.2 inhabitants per square mile (135.6 /km2). There were 119,138 housing units at an average density of 149.1 per square mile (57.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.2 percent White, 7.2 percent Black or African American, 0.2 percent Native American, 1.1 percent Asian, 0.03 percent Pacific Islander, 1.2 percent from other races, and 2.1 percent from two or more races. A further 3.4 percent of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.4% were of German, 12.5% Polish, 12.3% Italian, 10.1% Irish, 6.5% English and 6.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
Of the total number of household, 27.2 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4 percent were married couples living together, 13.2 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4 percent were non-families. 29.3 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.5 percent under the age of 20. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 96.73 males.
Government and politics 
The county seat of government is in Erie, Pennsylvania. The county has a home-rule charter and is run by a county executive. The current County Executive is Barry Grossman. Grossman assumed the office in January 2010 after ousting incumbent Mark DiVecchio in the 2009 Democratic primary and narrowly defeating Republican Mike Kerner. The remaining elected officials of the executive branch are the Erie County Controller, Erie County Coroner, Erie County District Attorney, Erie County Sheriff, and Erie County Clerk. see latest list
Erie County Department of Public Safety and the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) relocated to a new public safety building located near the Erie County Vocational Technical School in Summit Township in January 2008. 9-1-1 dispatcher and HAZMAT operations will be based at the new facility. Seven new communications towers and backup power generation will be features of the new reinforced concrete building, which will be able to withstand a Category F3 tornado. Erie County Department of Corrections operates the Erie County Prison, which is located on Ash Street between East 18th Street and the railroad tracks in Erie.
|Name||Party||Term start||Term end|
|Judith M. Lynch||Democrat||1982||2002|
|Mark A. DiVecchio||Democrat||2006||2010|
County Legislature 
The legislature consists of a county council. The Erie County Council is made up of seven councilmen elected to represent seven geographical districts. see map A chairman and vice chairman are chosen among the councilmen to lead the council.
On November 30, 2012, Councilman Ebert Beeman was removed by Erie County President Judge Ernest J. DiSantis. Beeman had been indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud. He refused to voluntarily step down, though serving a prison sentence while remaining in office. Currently, there is no way to remove a member of County Council except after a criminal conviction of an "infamous crime". Beeman's lawyer has appealed the removal. Erie County Council has until December 30, 2012 to name a replacement. On December 21, 2012, Edward T. DiMattio Jr. was picked to replace and serve until the end of Beeman's term on December 2013.
- Phil Fatica, Democrat (District 1 - west city)
- Joseph F. Giles, Democrat (Chairman, District 2 - city lakefront)
- Fiore Leone, Democrat (District 3 - south central city)
- Ronald Cleaver, Democrat (also known as Whitey Cleaver) (Vice Chairman, District 4 - southeast city)
- Kyle W. Foust, Democrat (District 5 - northeast suburbs)
- Edward T. DiMattio Jr, Republican (District 6 - southeast suburbs)
- Carol J. Loll, Republican (District 7 - west suburbs).
The judiciary is made up of nine judges serving the Erie County Court of Common Pleas and fifteen magisterial district judges serve the district courts. Court administration is managed by a district court administrator, deputy court administrator, and assistant court administrator. The Erie County Courthouse is located near Perry Square in downtown Erie.
Row officers 
- Clerk of Records, Pat Fetzner, Democrat
- Controller, Mary E. Schaaf, Republican
- Coroner, Lyell Cook, Republican
- District Attorney, Jack Daneri, Republican (Was appointed following the death of Brad Foulk in 2009)
- Sheriff, Bob Merski, Democrat
As of November 2008, there are 185,081 registered voters in Erie County .
Erie County tends to be Democratic-leaning in statewide elections, with all four statewide winners carrying it in 2008. The margins of victory for the Democratic Presidential candidate in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections in Erie County were 9, 8, and 20 percentage points, respectively.
Pennsylvania State Senate 
- Mary Jo White (R), Pennsylvania's 21st Senatorial District
- Sean Wiley (D), Pennsylvania's 49th Senatorial District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives 
- Patrick J. Harkins (D), Pennsylvania's 1st Representative District
- Florindo J. Fabrizio (D), Pennsylvania's 2nd Representative District
- Ryan A. Bizzarro (D), Pennsylvania's 3rd Representative District
- Curtis G. Sonney (R), Pennsylvania's 4th Representative District
- Gregory S. Lucas (R), Pennsylvania's 5th Representative District
United States House of Representatives 
- Mike Kelly (R), Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district
- Glenn "G.T." Thompson (R), Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Erie County:
Census-designated places 
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
Public school districts 
- Corry Area School District
- Erie City School District
- Fairview School District
- Fort LeBoeuf School District
- General McLane School District
- Girard School District
- Harbor Creek School District
- Iroquois School District
- Millcreek Township School District
- North East School District
- Northwestern School District
- Union City Area School District
- Wattsburg Area School District
Approved private schools 
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has 36 Approved Private Schools including the Charter Schools for the Blind and Deaf. Students attending these schools come from across the commonwealth. The private schools are licensed by the State Board of Private Academic Schools. They provide a free appropriate special education for students with severe disabilities. The cost of tuition for these schools is paid 60% by the state and 40% by the local school district where the student is a resident. Pennsylvania currently has four PA chartered and 30 non-charter APSs for which the Department approves funding. These schools provide a program of special education for over 4,000 day and residential students. Parents are not charged for the services at the school. In 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Education budgeted $98 million for tuition of children in approved private schools and $36.8 million for students attending the charter schools for the deaf and blind.
- Erie Bluffs State Park - one of Pennsylvania's newest state parks
- Presque Isle State Park - one of Pennsylvania's oldest state parks
Other parks, preserves and natural areas 
Other parks, preserves and natural areas
- Six Mile Creek Park
- Headwaters Park
- Lake Erie Arboretum/Frontier Park
- Asbury Woods Nature Center
- Asbury Farm Community Park
- Glenwood Park
- Shades Beach Park
- Scott Park
- Harborcreek Community Park
- Zuck Park
Golf courses 
- Lakeview Country Club
- Gospel Hill Golf Course
- Lawrence park Golf Club
- Kahkwa Club
- Erie Golf Club
- Whispering Woods Golf Club
- Green Meadows Golf Course
- Joseph C. Martin Family Golf Center
- Culbertson Hills Golf Course
- Elk Valley Golf Course
- Over Lake Golf Course
- Arrowhead Wine Cellars
- Mazza Vineyards
- Penn Shore Vineyards
- Courtyard Wineries
- Lakeview Wine Cellars
- South Shore Wine Company
- Heritage Wine Cellars
- Presque Isle Wine Cellars
- 6 Mile Cellars
Annual Events 
- Celebrate Erie
- Wine Festival
- Beer on the Bay
- Blues and Jazz Festival
- Roar on the Shore Bike Rally
- Erie Summer Festival of the Arts
- Erie Wild Rib Cook Off & Music Festival
- Buffet on the Bay
- Erie Microbrew Fest
- Panegyri Greek Festival
- Troika Russian Festival
- North East Cherry Festival
- Waterford Heritage Days
- St. Paul’s Italian Festival
- Zabawa Polish Festival
- Erie County Fair
See also 
- List of municipal authorities in Erie County, Pennsylvania
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Erie County, Pennsylvania
- History of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: Warner, Beers and Company, 1884. Volume I, Part II, Chapter I, pg 137
- Meyer, Melinda. “Journey to Freedom.” National Park Service. Erie County Historical Society. November 17, 2010. http://www.nps.gov. (December 6, 2012)
- Erie County Public Defenders Office, Access to Justice, 2006
- Flowers, Kevin (December 1, 2012). "Judge removes Beeman from Erie County Council". Erie Times News / GoErie.com. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Flowers, Kevin (December 22, 2012). "Erie County Council chooses Waterford's DiMattio to replace Beeman". Erie Times News / GoErie.com. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- Approved Private Schools and Chartered Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, Pennsylvania Department of Education website, accessed April 2010.
- Tommasini, John, Assistant Secretary of Education, Testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee Hearing on SB982 of 2010. given April 14, 2010