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Sewickley, Leetsdale recognized as 'Banner Communities'

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Sewickley and Leetsdale boroughs have been named two of the top communities in the regional Banner Communities initiative.

“Our communities and elected officials have some very impressive things going on in their municipalities,” said Leetsdale Mayor Pete Poninsky, who also serves as chairman of the Allegheny League of Municipalities — a nonprofit organization working with municipalities across western Pennsylvania.

“The Banner Communities program is intended to highlight those efforts and to set a standard we believe all of our municipalities can meet.”

Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe said the honor is “very important because it brings credibility and validity” to the borough's operations.

“There are no winners and losers in this,” Jeffe said.

“It's a way for those communities to perhaps have other communities reach out. I've always thought our council and borough did a good job, but it's nice to get that recognition from the country.”

To be considered in the Banner Communities program, a municipality must meet a series of criteria, including participating in various government-related enrichment programs and offer regular communication with residents through newsletters and websites.

Among other communities receiving the honor include Cranberry, Moon, North Fayette, Ohio Township, Ross Township and Upper St. Clair.

“These 21 municipalities have a significant amount of intergovernmental cooperation efforts in place, as well as community activities, and mentoring and educational programs taking place, too,” Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.

Allegheny League of Municipalities Executive Director Richard Hadley said the communities “meet the spirit and intent” of the initiative by “delivering services to their communities effectively.”

“They are a diverse group of municipalities in size and demographics, but they all exhibit the characteristics of leadership and sound local government principals,” he said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or

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