HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, on behalf of Governor Tom Corbett, today recognized Philadelphia-area municipalities and local officials for their leadership in using innovative approaches to assist their communities in becoming more efficient and environmentally-friendly.
"As local government officials you hear firsthand the issues of your constituents and it is your responsibility to provide solutions that make your community a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family," Cawley said at the 15th annual Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence. "This celebration is a testament to your hard work and an acknowledgement that your concern for your community and your dedication has not been overlooked."
The following municipalities in the Greater Philadelphia area were recognized:
- The City of Philadelphia was recognized in the category of "innovative planning and sound use practices" for the Philadelphia Water Department's development of the Green City, Clean Waters program. At the close of this 20 year implementation in 2017, this initiative will be the nation's largest green storm water infrastructure program and will capture 80 percent of sewage and storm water that would otherwise flow into portions of rivers and creeks.
- Chester County was recognized in the category of "best management practices" for the commissioners signing a resolution that will develop a strategic plan to address the future of the county. The officials have developed six priorities and have implemented an innovative performance-based budgeting system designed to support increased accountability and performance in county government.
- A cross-disciplinary organization comprised of representatives from the City of Philadelphia Police Department and the four adjoining counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery were recognized in the category of "information technology" for their work in establishing a charter to form the Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Counterterrorism Task Force. The task force developed an information system that promotes the integration of local police department crime records that allow law enforcement officials to gain near-real-time access to local, state and federal police records. Through the implementation of information technology, officers are now better equipped to protect the public and increase safety.
- The Berks County Solid Waste Authority was recognized in the category of "innovative environmental partnerships" for working together with the Conrad Weiser Area School District, Conrad Weiser Farmers of America, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Cougles Recycling to develop a waste-reduction program. As a result of the program, the school district has seen a 38-percent decrease in the volume of trash and an increased awareness among students and residents of the importance of recycling.
In addition, the following local government official was also recognized:
- Mayor Thomas McMahon has served the City of Reading since 2004. He is an active member on over a dozen Berks County boards including the Berks Economic Partnership, Alvernia College, and the Berks County Chamber of Commerce. He is also the founder of Mentors for Berks Youth Program that matches inner-city youth with adult mentors. He serves on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities as the 2nd Vice President and also chairs the League's statewide committee on Reducing Gun Violence In Pennsylvania's Cities. McMahon received numerous awards over the years including Central Pennsylvania's Entrepreneur of the Year and the World Affairs Council's International Citizen of the Year.
The recognitions were part of the 15th annual Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence. In total, eight local government leaders and 10 communities across the state received awards that were presented today at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
The Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence are presented annually to communities and individuals by the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, an office within the Department of Community and Economic Development that works to assist Pennsylvania's 2,562 local governments.
A panel of judges from the Governor's Center for Local Government Services reviewed applications submitted by municipal organizations from throughout the state and selected the award recipients.
The community awards cover ten categories, including: building community partnerships; promoting community and economic revitalization; innovative community and governmental initiatives; fiscal accountability; innovative planning and sound land use practices; intergovernmental cooperation; responding to adversity; innovative energy conservation; and innovative environmental partnerships. The individual awards are presented to local government officials who have worked to improve their communities.
For more information on the Governor's Center for Local Government Services visit www.newpa.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
For a full list of Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence winners and a further description, visit www.newpa.com/lgawards.
Media contact: Jamie Yates, 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development