Greensburg Laurels & Lances
Lance: To the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County. Facing its biggest challenge in recent memory, the waterworks came up with more excuses than useful service amid filtration problems at a Bell Township treatment plant, which serves more than 120,000 residents. What began with a vague warning to ratepayers evolved into confusion over the areas affected and who should boil water. If anything positive emerges from this experience, it should be better planning and communication by the municipal authority in coping with situations of this scale.
On the “Watch List”: An enviable problem. While many communities struggle to shore up their sagging tax bases, New Stanton officials face a different challenge: planning for new development, both business and residential, that's expected with the completion of an Interstate 70 interchange construction project in 2018. Among considerations, planners say, is that the borough will need to update its land-use policies. The time to start that lengthy process is now.
Laurel: To David McCleary. The Derry Area High School teacher helped start the KIND (Kids In Need In Derry) program, which provides clothing and more to needy families. Today's public school teachers see firsthand the issues that children and young adults cope with. Those who go beyond the job description and reach out to kids in need, by starting similar initiatives or by providing tutoring on their own time, truly earn distinction as teachers.