Youngwood mayor wins state honor
Ask almost anyone in Youngwood about Mayor Joan Derco and they'll rattle off a list of good deeds the 81-year-old has done for the bustling little town of about 3,000 during the last several decades.
She's everywhere, doing everything she can to keep the town moving ahead — and having a little fun in the process.
So it came as no surprise when Derco recently was named 2013 Mayor of the Year by the Association of the Mayors of Boroughs of Pennsylvania.
“ ... We award people for good deeds and dedicated work for the borough,” said association President Mayor Tom Reenock of Northampton County.
Derco said she was elated when she heard about the award.
“Oh, it's a wonderful feeling,” Derco said. “I felt really honored to be getting the award.”
Derco beams with pride when she talks about her love for the 1.3-square-mile town where she grew up and later raised five children, all on the same street.
It is, in part, because of those children that her history of service to the community began long before she became an elected official.
While her kids were growing up, she ran the gamut from Cub Scout den mother to Girl Scout troop leader to softball coach.
“When you have children, you get involved,” Derco said. “I was born here in Youngwood and I felt I had the opportunity to become involved in everything.”
She served on borough council for eight years before running for mayor and winning.
That was 16 years ago.
“Well, I like talking to people and I like listening to people,” Derco said. “I was born in Youngwood and it's my town, so anything I can do for my town, I will.”
In 1999, she served as co-chair for Youngwood's centennial celebration, marking the start of the town built on land owned by a farmer named John Y. Woods — hence the name Youngwood — that later grew up around a booming rail yard.
But she speaks with special pride about events that bring the town together, in particular the annual Youngwood Community Picnic, which she began more than 20 years ago while serving as a council member.
Derco says that each year, she loves the time she spends serving up food to those attending the picnic.
“It's a wonderful event for the people in the town,” she said.
Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or email@example.com.
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.
- DA wants to use pot evidence in Hempfield slaying trial
- Students learn outside at Westmoreland County’s Envirothon in Hempfield
- Youngwood residents take up cremation site fight
- Ordinance would increase parking fines in Hempfield
- ‘Doc Hope’ eases into retirement from West Newton veterinary clinic
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Rostraver Airport receives federal grant to keep skies above runway clear
- Murrysville woman apologizes for scholarship fund theft
- Westmoreland County municipalities push to clean up litter, dumps
- Traveling amateur organists entertain fellow seniors with oldies music
- Jeannette police say 5 people caught trespassing on grounds