Millvale, Castle Shannon 2014 Banner Communities designation
Millvale is small — with a population of 3,744 as of the 2010 census — but it doesn't let its size limit what it can offer residents, its manager said.
In the past year, the borough started a new website, a quarterly newsletter and a junior council program, and it continued educational training for elected officials, borough Manager Amy Rockwell said.
Those initiatives helped the borough become one of 31 municipalities designated last week as 2014 Banner Communities by the Allegheny League of Municipalities and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
The program, in its second year, recognizes towns that implement best practices in operations and collaborate with residents, the county said.
Richard Hadley, executive director of the Allegheny League of Municipalities, said he modeled the program after one in Maryland.
“The idea is to … recognize those communities for the good work they do. And allow them by this designation to communicate back to their residents that they are recognized as a Banner Community, as one that is looking out for the interests of their residents,” he said.
Millvale and Castle Shannon are among 13 communities that received the honor for the first time. Eighteen communities, including Wilkins and Richland, had been recognized before.
Municipalities must meet a variety of requirements to be considered. They include participating in at least one shared municipal service, establishing newsletters or websites, and participating in training programs for leaders through the league or other organizations.
Effective communication with constituents is key to government agencies functioning effectively, officials said.
“We are a small, tight-knit community. I think that in the past we've relied on word of mouth just to get information out and we're just trying to streamline what we're distributing,” Rockwell said of Millvale.
Castle Shannon is small, too, but it works collaboratively with partners, such as the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corp., on initiatives that maximize benefits for residents, said Michael Warhold, vice president of the borough council.
“We're honored to be recognized by Allegheny County. We're a smaller community … and we fly under the radar,” said Warhold, who is president of the revitalization corporation.
All five of Wilkins' commissioners, its manager and its property maintenance officer continually attend training at the Local Government Academy, which helps them stay abreast of legislative changes and other public sector issues, Manager Rebecca Bradley said.
“If you don't attend the training classes, you really don't get a good handle on (what's going on). And it's also a good way to network,” she said.
Government often cast in a bad light, so the Banner Communities program is a welcome acknowledgement of the productive, necessary work it does, especially by volunteers who serve on zoning hearing boards, planning commissions and other boards, said Dean Bastianini, Richland's manager.
“I think we do these things routinely. Sometimes we don't even give them a second thought,” he said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- More fear ‘tackle’ football too risky for kids
- Mt. Lebanon history center project gets OK
- eReader books also available to borrow at local libraries
- Teens elevate Western Pa. communities with Eagle Scout projects
- Museum’s ‘Carnegie Trees’ exhibit shows ‘Winter Wonders’
- 50 years later, Vietnam vet gets his degree at Westminster
- Decorated World War II veteran gets visit, gift from ex-Steeler
- YMCA program helps people with mobility issues regain movement