Celebrating Excellence: Pennsylvania’s Local Heroes of 2024

2024 Governor's Awards for Local Government ExcellenceCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

HARRISBURG, PA — The shimmering spotlight of recognition shone brightly on Pennsylvania municipalities yesterday. Secretary Rick Siger of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) honored local government officials for their deep-rooted commitment in bolstering their communities and enhancing their service to residents.

The stage was set during the 28th Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. An impressive tally of 14 communities, three organizations, and nine individuals across the Commonwealth had their extraordinary service acknowledged.

Governor Josh Shapiro had heartfelt words of praise for those contributing to Local Government Week, all Pennsylvania officials and organizations that commit their time, effort, and passion to actual results for their communities. There is a certain magic that happens where the work of local governance meets the needs of the real world. The indomitable spirit of the 2024 award recipients saw them surpass expectations with their dedication, the ability to spark innovation, and an unflinching focus on enhancing their communities.

Governor Shapiro also reflected on their roles, from providing essential services to their community members, using 911 dispatch centers to handle emergencies, to even extending aid to their most vulnerable neighbors during challenging times. The impact of these award winners has profoundly shaped Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth is eager to celebrate such excellence.

Every year, on Pennsylvania Local Government Day, focus is drawn to the necessity of a robust, independent, and active local government within the Commonwealth. It’s an opportunity to highlight the vital contributions made by residents committed to serving their communities.

Recalling his beginning in public service, Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis echoed the sentiment of the importance and significant impact local leaders and officials can make in their communities. He applauded the recipients of the 2024 awards and their efforts to build bridges, rise against adversity, institute health and wellness initiatives, and promote community and economic resurgence through innovative partnerships.

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The DCED’s Governor’s Center for Local Government Services sponsors Local Government Day annually. The occasion is a platform to honor local governments and officials who tirelessly serve their communities and work towards improving their quality of life.

Secretary Rick Siger resonated with the importance of local government as having the most direct influence on our daily lives. He and the Shapiro Administration were delighted to honor the municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals committed to offering the highest level of service to their communities. Recognized were important projects and individuals that truly contribute to making Pennsylvania an ideal place to live, work, and flourish.

A host of local government officials were recognized, including Preston Boop, County Commissioner of Union County; John Jablowski, Councilmember, Wilkes-Barre Township of Luzerne County; Bruce Koller, Finance Director and Deputy Director, Allentown Parking Authority of Lehigh County, amongst others.

Municipalities, organizations, and counties alike were also acknowledged. Their commendable efforts ranged from building community relationships, implementing environmental wellness initiatives, manifesting fiscal accountability and best management practices, to health and wellness initiatives and much more.

These recognitions serve not just as awards but as a testament to how individuals and organizations are capable of effecting change and inspiring development in their communities. The actions of these local officials and those committed to serving their communities are indeed making Pennsylvania a better place to live, work, and thrive each day.

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