Government That Works: DCED Announces Recipients of 2015 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence

Department of Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary Dennis Davin today recognized municipalities and local government officials for their dedication and commitment to strengthen their communities and better serve their residents.

“Today’s events are a celebration of successful local government initiatives that have produced positive impacts within Pennsylvania’s local communities,” Davin said. “Governor Wolf’s budget has proposed significant investments to support community revitalization and growth initiatives. With his support I have no doubt that our communities will continue to thrive and remain shining examples of the government that works initiative.”

Eight communities and eight government officials from across the commonwealth received awards honoring their service today as part of the 19thAnnual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. 

In partnership with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments, PA Chapter of American Planning Association, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners, Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, Pennsylvania Municipal League, and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, DCED’s Center for Local Government Services sponsors Local Government Day annually to honor local governments and officials who serve their communities and improve quality of life. 

The following local government officials were recognized for their dedication to public service and their communities:

  • The Honorable Andrew Boni, Township Supervisor, Perry Township, Fayette County, PA State Association of Township Supervisors
  • The Honorable Kathleen DePuy, Councilmember, Whitehall Borough, Allegheny County, PA State Association of Boroughs
  • Mr. John Palyo, Executive Director, Twin Rivers Council of Governments, Allegheny County, PA Association of Councils of Governments
  • The Honorable H. Edward Black, Commissioner, Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County, PA State Association of Township Commissioners
  • The Honorable Rick Gray, Mayor, Lancaster City, Lancaster County, PA Municipal League
  • The Honorable Christian Leinbach, County Commissioner, Berks County, County Commissioners Association of PA
  • Mr. Paul Vojtek, Chief Executive Officer, Erie Water Works, Erie County, PA Municipal Authorities Association
  • Mr. Kirk Stoner, Director of Planning, Cumberland County Planning, PA Chapter of American Planning Association

For more information on the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services visit or call 1-866-466-3972. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Havens, DCED, 717-783-1132

Editor’s Note:The following municipalities, organizations, and Council of Governments (COG’s) were recognized in the following categories: 

Building Community Partnership: The Borough of Dormont, Allegheny County developed a collaborative partnership between residents and borough council to communicate, demonstrate and address stormwater management issues. The partnership supported community education efforts and increased support of their stormwater management plan.  

Responding to Adversity: Southern York County Emergency Medical Services was created to address public safety needs after advanced life support services were discontinued in a region of York County. Faced with a series of logistical, practical and financial challenges, six municipalities and their local fire and ambulance companies worked together to develop the new emergency medical service.

Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization: Borough of Heidelberg, Allegheny County in partnership with Carnegie Borough and Scott Township, developed a strategic redevelopment initiative to construct a 1.5 mile streetscape project to rebuild their core business districts, some of which were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.

Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives: Township of Collier, Allegheny County through the installation of a new solar roof, now generates enough electricity at their Public Works facility, to sustain the municipal complex before a surplus of energy is sold to a local utility provider for additional revenues.

Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices: Doylestown Township, Bucks County developed a Ways and Means Committee to assist the Township with budget analysis and development by routinely providing reports to the Township officials and the community regarding budgeted versus actual expenditures and budgeting strategies.

Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices: Philadelphia City Planning Commission through the creation and implementation of their Integrated Planning and Zoning Process has developed a comprehensive, long-term strategy consisting of three interrelated components: the reform of Philadelphia’s zoning code, the preparation of a new citywide comprehensive plan, and the creation of the Citizens Planning Institute.

Intergovernmental Cooperation: Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee has demonstrated its commitment to building working partnerships by collaborating with a local educational agency to facilitate multi-municipal endeavors including the regional Stormwater Outfall Mapping project.

Information Technology: Borough of Tarentum, Allegheny County developed a sustainable information system to comprehensively manage and monitor the Borough’s electric and water utility systems. Through the technological upgrades, the Borough has been able to achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and maintenance costs while increasing capabilities of the utility management and information systems.

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