Organizers seek to grow 'G' Conference held in Laurelville
By A.J. Panian
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
The G7 Conference, which took place in April, might be back in a bigger way this year.
Event founder Jeff Landy said he and fellow organizers recently agreed to invite four new area municipalities — Southwest Greensburg, South Greensburg, Dunbar Borough and Uniontown — to take part in the 2014 installment of the annual summit to be scheduled for April 24-26 at the Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mt. Pleasant Township.
The three-day event features workshops on ways to share municipal resources — from snow plows to police presence — in a more cost-effective manner.
“We feel that every community, every municipality has something to offer, especially if they are excited about participating,” Landy said.
“I assume they will opt to join, because they each expressed interest in doing so,” he said
In all, the board reviewed queries from 10 municipalities interested in taking part in the event, Landy said.
“For the most part, the four municipalities we chose to invite are the next contiguous ones, meaning they fall next in line, location-wise with the others which are already members,” he said.
Last year's conference — referred to in its logo as “7 Governments • 1 Alliance” — was the fourth of its kind to be held.
It united leaders from Mt. Pleasant, Scottdale, South Connellsville, Connellsville and Everson, along with new members New Stanton and Youngwood, for three days of informal workshop discussions designed to determine ways to better share information and pool resources of value to each.
“All the previous seven have agreed to stay in,” Landy said.
Diane Derco — Youngwood's secretary/treasurer — said participating in the event was indeed worthwhile.
“It was a very educational experience for those who attended,” said Derco, who also serves as Westmoreland County's representative to the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.
New Stanton Councilman Scott Sistek agreed.
“I think it's a great thing, and I think it's a good opportunity for municipalities to sit down, discuss high points and low points of what they're doing and how they can help one another,” Sistek said.
Now that Landy and the conference's other organizers have pinpointed potential new members for the event's 2014 installment, it's up to the governing bodies in each of those municipalities to take the next step, he said.
“They are to make a motion at the next borough council or city council meetings to accept our invitation to take part in the event,” Landy said.
If that happens, Landy said, the conference's board of directors will vote to officially accept the targeted municipalities as members at its February meeting.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or email@example.com.
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