PA Gov. Ridge Administration Honors Recipients of Governor's Award For Local Government Excellence

State and Local Officials Gather on Local Government Day

To Recognize Innovation, Collaboration and Leadership



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

    HERSHEY, Pa., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the Ridge
 Administration's strong working partnership with local government,
 Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker today joined nearly 1,000 state and local officials to
 celebrate the Commonwealth's fifth annual Local Government Day, and to honor
 this year's recipients of the Governor's Award for Local Government
 Excellence.
     "Today, Local Government Day, we recognize the significant contributions
 made by municipal governments to the economic, social and cultural vitality of
 Pennsylvania communities," said Lt. Gov. Schweiker, a former Bucks County
 Commissioner and Chairman of Gov. Tom Ridge's Local Government Advisory
 Committee.  "We especially honor the people -- elected officers,
 professionals, volunteers and participating citizens -- who make our local
 governments work.  Because of their skill and effort, day-to-day municipal
 matters are resolved, and long-range community visions become reality."
     The Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence is presented annually
 to communities and individuals by the Governor's Center for Local Government
 Services, created by Gov. Ridge within the Department of Community and
 Economic Development to better serve the needs of the state's 2,568 local
 governments.
     Nineteen awards were presented to community organizations for local
 government achievements in five categories:  building community partnerships;
 responding to adversity; innovative community and government initiatives;
 fiscal accountability and best management practices; and innovative planning
 and sound land-use practices.  Six awards were presented to individuals in
 recognition of outstanding local-government service.
     A special Certificate of Service also was presented posthumously to Joseph
 James, a native of Allegheny County.  James served on numerous study
 commissions and task forces; worked as a consultant to government agencies and
 local-government organizations; and brought his pragmatic experience into the
 classroom.  Coauthor of several local-government publications, including the
 "Municipal Secretaries Desktop Reference Manual," James received bachelor's
 and master's degrees in political science from Penn State University, and
 received a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.
     A panel of judges from the Governor's Center for Local Government Services
 reviewed applications submitted by municipal organizations from throughout the
 Commonwealth and selected the award winners.
     The Governor's Center for Local Government Services, which debuted on
 July 1, 1996, serves as a "one-stop shop" for Pennsylvania's local
 governments.  With full-time staff in Harrisburg and six regional offices, the
 center's services include training, planning publications, technical
 assistance and municipal statistics.  It also is the lead office for Gov.
 Ridge's "Growing Smarter" initiative -- a far-reaching agenda bridging local
 and state government to promote sound land-use practices.
 
     Award recipients, listed by county, include:
 
         Adams County
     --  Gettysburg (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for engaging
         in local partnerships to develop the Gettysburg Interpretive Plan, an
         historic-preservation agenda;
 
         Allegheny County
     --  Joseph James (special Certificate of Service award recipient) --
         awarded posthumously for selfless service to local government and
         accepted by Shirley James, his wife;
 
         Allegheny, Westmoreland and Beaver counties
     --  Twin Rivers Council of Governments (Building Community Partnerships
         category) -- for implementing a driver-proficiency course for more
         than 350 police officers in 21 police departments in Allegheny,
         Beaver and Westmoreland counties;
 
         Berks County
     --  Berks Census 2000 Complete Count Committee, Berks County Planning
         Commission (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         promotional initiatives resulting in a 75 percent mail- response
         rate, 5 percent above the state average and 8 percent above the
         national average;
 
         Cambria County
     --  Northern Cambria (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         forming a borough primed for the future by combining the communities
         of Barnesboro and Spangler;
 
         Centre County
     --  State College (Responding to Adversity) -- for instituting alcohol-
         abuse programs, community-oriented policing and field training to
         promote peace and safety at public events;
 
     --  Centre Region Council of Governments (Building Community Partnerships
         category) -- for leading a wide range of community partnerships, such
         as the Regional Fire Protection program, which services a combined
         population of 80,000 in four municipalities;
 
         Chester County
     --  Chester County Board of County Commissioners (Innovative Community
         and Governmental Initiatives category, 2001 Dallas A. Dollase
         Excellence in Planning Award recipient) -- for promoting a common
         vision among local municipalities via a comprehensive plan,
         "Landscapes:  Managing Change in Chester County";
 
         Cumberland County
     --  Lower Allen Township (Innovative Community and Governmental
         Initiatives category) -- for establishing the Volunteer Fire Company
         Assistance Program to attract and retain firefighters;
 
         Delaware County
     --  James W. McGinn, President Commissioner, Township of Aston
         (Individual award recipient);
 
         Erie County
     --  Wesleyville (Innovative Community and Governmental Initiatives
         category) -- for embracing the Commonwealth's "Junior Council Person"
         program with the selection of two high-school students as council
         members;
 
     --  Millcreek Township (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         launching the "Start a Heart Campaign," a privately funded project to
         certify and equip police officers to use life-saving automated
         external defibrillators;
 
         Franklin County
     --  William F. McLaughlin, Council Member, Chambersburg (Individual award
         recipient);
 
         Lancaster County
     --  Elizabethtown Innovative Community and Governmental Initiatives
         category) -- for creating the Citizens College to educate residents
         about local government and help borough officials learn how citizens
         perceive local government;
 
     --  Lancaster Inter-municipal Committee (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for undertaking a regional park
         and greenway planning program, resulting in a 31 percent increase in
         municipal park acreage;
 
         Lebanon County
     --  Lebanon County Planning Department (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for effective land-use
         enforcement;
 
         Lehigh and Northampton counties
     --  City of Bethlehem (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         utilizing the Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP) concept to
         bring city government and citizens together to address issues and
         improve public services;
 
         Luzerne County
     --  City of Hazleton (Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices
         category) -- for completely reversing a condition of financial
         distress, from deficit to surplus in less than a year;
 
         Monroe County
     --  Stroud Area Regional Police Department (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for the merging of three
         municipal police departments to form a more- effective regional
         police service organization;
 
     --  Hamilton Township (Responding to Adversity category) -- for
         eliminating an environmental hazard through the removal of more than
         2,300 tons of tires from a local waste site;
 
         Montgomery County
     --  Catherine M. Harper, Supervisor, Township of Lower Gwynedd
         (Individual award recipient);
 
         Montgomery and Philadelphia counties
     --  City Avenue Special Services District of Philadelphia and Lower
         Merion (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for coordinating
         approaches to community improvement, resulting in more than 400,000
         square feet of newly developed space, 450 new jobs, the creation of
         the City Avenue Streetscape Plan, and a 28 percent decrease in crime;
 
         Montour County
     --  Danville (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         collaborating with public and private stakeholders to accomplish a
         design for the new Danville/Riverside Bridge, which complements the
         borough's historic district;
 
         Somerset County
     --  James M. DeBiase, President of Council, Windber (Individual award
         recipient);
 
         Union County
     --  Harry A. VanSickle, Commissioner, County of Union (Individual award
         recipient); and
 
         Washington County
     --  Stephen N. Major, Secretary/Treasurer, Mon Valley Sewage Authority
         (Individual award recipient).
 
     CONTACT:  Jason Kirsch
               (717) 783-1132
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
    HERSHEY, Pa., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the Ridge
 Administration's strong working partnership with local government,
 Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker today joined nearly 1,000 state and local officials to
 celebrate the Commonwealth's fifth annual Local Government Day, and to honor
 this year's recipients of the Governor's Award for Local Government
 Excellence.
     "Today, Local Government Day, we recognize the significant contributions
 made by municipal governments to the economic, social and cultural vitality of
 Pennsylvania communities," said Lt. Gov. Schweiker, a former Bucks County
 Commissioner and Chairman of Gov. Tom Ridge's Local Government Advisory
 Committee.  "We especially honor the people -- elected officers,
 professionals, volunteers and participating citizens -- who make our local
 governments work.  Because of their skill and effort, day-to-day municipal
 matters are resolved, and long-range community visions become reality."
     The Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence is presented annually
 to communities and individuals by the Governor's Center for Local Government
 Services, created by Gov. Ridge within the Department of Community and
 Economic Development to better serve the needs of the state's 2,568 local
 governments.
     Nineteen awards were presented to community organizations for local
 government achievements in five categories:  building community partnerships;
 responding to adversity; innovative community and government initiatives;
 fiscal accountability and best management practices; and innovative planning
 and sound land-use practices.  Six awards were presented to individuals in
 recognition of outstanding local-government service.
     A special Certificate of Service also was presented posthumously to Joseph
 James, a native of Allegheny County.  James served on numerous study
 commissions and task forces; worked as a consultant to government agencies and
 local-government organizations; and brought his pragmatic experience into the
 classroom.  Coauthor of several local-government publications, including the
 "Municipal Secretaries Desktop Reference Manual," James received bachelor's
 and master's degrees in political science from Penn State University, and
 received a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.
     A panel of judges from the Governor's Center for Local Government Services
 reviewed applications submitted by municipal organizations from throughout the
 Commonwealth and selected the award winners.
     The Governor's Center for Local Government Services, which debuted on
 July 1, 1996, serves as a "one-stop shop" for Pennsylvania's local
 governments.  With full-time staff in Harrisburg and six regional offices, the
 center's services include training, planning publications, technical
 assistance and municipal statistics.  It also is the lead office for Gov.
 Ridge's "Growing Smarter" initiative -- a far-reaching agenda bridging local
 and state government to promote sound land-use practices.
 
     Award recipients, listed by county, include:
 
         Adams County
     --  Gettysburg (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for engaging
         in local partnerships to develop the Gettysburg Interpretive Plan, an
         historic-preservation agenda;
 
         Allegheny County
     --  Joseph James (special Certificate of Service award recipient) --
         awarded posthumously for selfless service to local government and
         accepted by Shirley James, his wife;
 
         Allegheny, Westmoreland and Beaver counties
     --  Twin Rivers Council of Governments (Building Community Partnerships
         category) -- for implementing a driver-proficiency course for more
         than 350 police officers in 21 police departments in Allegheny,
         Beaver and Westmoreland counties;
 
         Berks County
     --  Berks Census 2000 Complete Count Committee, Berks County Planning
         Commission (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         promotional initiatives resulting in a 75 percent mail- response
         rate, 5 percent above the state average and 8 percent above the
         national average;
 
         Cambria County
     --  Northern Cambria (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         forming a borough primed for the future by combining the communities
         of Barnesboro and Spangler;
 
         Centre County
     --  State College (Responding to Adversity) -- for instituting alcohol-
         abuse programs, community-oriented policing and field training to
         promote peace and safety at public events;
 
     --  Centre Region Council of Governments (Building Community Partnerships
         category) -- for leading a wide range of community partnerships, such
         as the Regional Fire Protection program, which services a combined
         population of 80,000 in four municipalities;
 
         Chester County
     --  Chester County Board of County Commissioners (Innovative Community
         and Governmental Initiatives category, 2001 Dallas A. Dollase
         Excellence in Planning Award recipient) -- for promoting a common
         vision among local municipalities via a comprehensive plan,
         "Landscapes:  Managing Change in Chester County";
 
         Cumberland County
     --  Lower Allen Township (Innovative Community and Governmental
         Initiatives category) -- for establishing the Volunteer Fire Company
         Assistance Program to attract and retain firefighters;
 
         Delaware County
     --  James W. McGinn, President Commissioner, Township of Aston
         (Individual award recipient);
 
         Erie County
     --  Wesleyville (Innovative Community and Governmental Initiatives
         category) -- for embracing the Commonwealth's "Junior Council Person"
         program with the selection of two high-school students as council
         members;
 
     --  Millcreek Township (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         launching the "Start a Heart Campaign," a privately funded project to
         certify and equip police officers to use life-saving automated
         external defibrillators;
 
         Franklin County
     --  William F. McLaughlin, Council Member, Chambersburg (Individual award
         recipient);
 
         Lancaster County
     --  Elizabethtown Innovative Community and Governmental Initiatives
         category) -- for creating the Citizens College to educate residents
         about local government and help borough officials learn how citizens
         perceive local government;
 
     --  Lancaster Inter-municipal Committee (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for undertaking a regional park
         and greenway planning program, resulting in a 31 percent increase in
         municipal park acreage;
 
         Lebanon County
     --  Lebanon County Planning Department (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for effective land-use
         enforcement;
 
         Lehigh and Northampton counties
     --  City of Bethlehem (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         utilizing the Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP) concept to
         bring city government and citizens together to address issues and
         improve public services;
 
         Luzerne County
     --  City of Hazleton (Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices
         category) -- for completely reversing a condition of financial
         distress, from deficit to surplus in less than a year;
 
         Monroe County
     --  Stroud Area Regional Police Department (Innovative Community and
         Governmental Initiatives category) -- for the merging of three
         municipal police departments to form a more- effective regional
         police service organization;
 
     --  Hamilton Township (Responding to Adversity category) -- for
         eliminating an environmental hazard through the removal of more than
         2,300 tons of tires from a local waste site;
 
         Montgomery County
     --  Catherine M. Harper, Supervisor, Township of Lower Gwynedd
         (Individual award recipient);
 
         Montgomery and Philadelphia counties
     --  City Avenue Special Services District of Philadelphia and Lower
         Merion (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for coordinating
         approaches to community improvement, resulting in more than 400,000
         square feet of newly developed space, 450 new jobs, the creation of
         the City Avenue Streetscape Plan, and a 28 percent decrease in crime;
 
         Montour County
     --  Danville (Building Community Partnerships category) -- for
         collaborating with public and private stakeholders to accomplish a
         design for the new Danville/Riverside Bridge, which complements the
         borough's historic district;
 
         Somerset County
     --  James M. DeBiase, President of Council, Windber (Individual award
         recipient);
 
         Union County
     --  Harry A. VanSickle, Commissioner, County of Union (Individual award
         recipient); and
 
         Washington County
     --  Stephen N. Major, Secretary/Treasurer, Mon Valley Sewage Authority
         (Individual award recipient).
 
     CONTACT:  Jason Kirsch
               (717) 783-1132
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development