Center for Excellence in Local Government

The Center for Excellence in Local Government (CELG) connects many of Berks County’s municipal leaders and helps them to support their dynamic communities. The CELG promotes partnership between the public and private sectors and provides education though best practices, legislation,  skills enhancement, relationship building, and citizen education. The Center for Excellence in Local Government was established at Albright College in 1994 and calls Albright’s newest academic facility, John K. Roessner Hall, its home. The center is funded by Albright College as well as municipal and private sponsors. A Community Advisory Board, representing all three sectors, provides direction and oversight, and program guidance is provided by a 20-person Local Government Advisory Council.

Directions to Roessner Hall at Albright College
View our 2014-15 Annual Report
CELG Training Classes and Events
BCW&SA Training Classes and Events


News and Events

CELG and BCW&SA Receive Environmental Award
View the CELG/BCWSA Winter 2019 eNews!
The Municipal Law Forum was held on October 29, 2018.

 

Photo of Paul JanssenPaul Janssen, Director, has served as Director of the Center for Excellence in Local Government since August, 2012. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Bloomsburg University and a Masters in Public Administration from The American University. Prior to coming to the Center, Paul was a Township or City Manager for over 25 years in four municipalities in Pennsylvania. Paul also was a consultant to local government and non-profits over the past six years including a 30 month commitment as an interim Borough Manager. Additionally, Paul has served as the Coordinator for the Consortium of Communities for Montgomery and Chester County.

Photo of Andrea Weist

Andrea Weist has been the Center’s Administrative Assistant since December, 2009. She is responsible for all program promotion and registrations; communication with the Berks County Cooperative Purchasing Council, Berks Municipal Partnership and the Local Government Advisory Council, as well as many other administrative matters.

Andrea is married with three daughters and resides in Muhlenberg Township.

Photo of John KramerJohn Kramer, is Director Emeritus of the Albright College Center for Excellence in Local Government. He founded the Center in September, 1994 and served as its Director until his retirement in August, 2012. John holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Prior to coming to the Center, John held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Syracuse, New York, was a senior planner for the Montgomery County (PA) Planning Commission, and served as supervisor of playgrounds and community centers for the City of Reading.

Berks County Representative

Mr. Kevin S. Barnhardt, Chairman, Community Advisory Board
Commissioner, County of Berks
633 Court Street
Reading, PA 19601

Authority Representative

Mr. Leonard Bilger, II
Chairman, Berks County Water and Sewer Association, Executive Director, Western Berks Water Authority
91 Water Road
Sinking Spring, PA 19608

Judicial Representative

The Honorable Judge James M. Lillis
Berks County Court of Common Pleas
633 Court Street
Reading, PA 19601

City of Reading Representative

The Honorable Wally Scott
Mayor, City of Reading
815 Washington Street
Reading, PA 19601

Borough Representative

John Woodward
Council Member, Wyomissing Borough, President, Berks County Borough’s Assoc,.
22 Reading Blvd,
Wyomissing, PA  19610

First Class Township Representative

Mr. Michael Malinowski
Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Muhlenberg Township, Premier Sponsor, EHD
210 George Street
Reading, PA 19605

Second Class Township Representative

Mark Stitzel
President, Berks County Association of Township Officials, Supervisor, Perry Township
608 Moselem Springs Road
Shoemakersville, PA 19555

Berks County Cooperative Purchasing Council (BCCPC)

Rich Sichler
Chairman BCCPC, Manager, Washington Township
120 Barto Road
Barto, PA 19504

Past Chairpersons

Mr. Terrence Naugle
Great Valley Consultants
75 Commerce Drive,
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Chairman, CELG Berks Municipal Partnership

Mr. Frederick C. Levering
2213 Quarry Drive
West Lawn, PA 19609

CELG Premier Sponsors

Mr. Glenn Kraft, President
Kraft Code Services,
34 East Lancaster Avenue
Shillington, PA 19607

Mr. Brian Kelly, President
Spotts Stevens McCoy
1047 North Park Road
Reading, PA 19610

Mr. Daniel P. Becker, Esq.
Managing Partner, Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys
2640 Westview Drive
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Ms. Pamela Shupp, AICP, CEcD,
Executive Vice President,
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance,
606 Court Street

Mr. Christopher J. Hartman, Esq.
Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz
1100 Berkshire Boulevard, Suite 301
P.O. Box 5823
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Mr. Bill Murray
Reading Area Water Authority (RAWA)
1801 Kutztown Road
Reading, PA 19604

Mike Malinowski, EHD
Listed Above

Government Representative

Gary Kraft
Mayor, Borough of Mohnton,
21 North Oneil Street
Mohnton, PA 19540

Albright Representatives

Karen Campbell, Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty
Greg Fulmer, Vice President for Administrative and Financial Services

This information will be updated soon.

Master Planner Certification

The Center holds three courses in cooperation with the Berks County Planning Commission, Berks County Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute (PMPEI) for elected officials, appointed planning and zoning officials, and other individuals interested in the following topics:

  • Zoning Basics
  • Subdivision and Land Development Review
  • Community Planning

Individuals completing all three courses (27 hours) receive their Master Planner Certification from the Center for Excellence in Local Government and the Berks County Planning Commission.

130 + individuals from a variety of municipal and development backgrounds have now been certified since the program began in 2000.


Advanced Master Planner Certification

Individuals completing their MP certification are eligible to pursue Advance Master Planner Certification in accordance the following guidelines.

Purpose and participants:

  • Goal: To assist Master Planners (and other officials) enhance their core knowledge and understanding of planning principles, techniques, and best practices they can apply to promote and sustain smart growth communities.
  • Target audience: The Program is designed initially for officials who have completed the Master Planner Program; other officials who have sufficient knowledge of a given topic may participate in the educational activities but will not receive credit for their work

Expectations:

  • Officials must complete fifteen (15) units of training in at least two core workshops plus additional training activities to fulfill the AMPP requirements
  • Each land use training program offered by the Center will be assigned a specific number of units based on the length of the activity (e.g. a dinner program will be worth one unit; an evening workshop will be worth 2-3 units; and the PA Land Use Institute will be worth 3-5 units)
  • To receive credit, officials will be expected to attend the educational activity and complete the pre-session assignments (on-line or hard copy), where applicable

Content:

  • Core Areas (a minimum of five units required): Officials must complete the required activity for at least two of the following three core areas of training (each activity will be worth two to three units)
    • community planning
    • land use regulation
    • design
  • Optional Training (in addition to the core activities)
  • These activities will include on-going, regularly scheduled programs offered by the Center (e.g. PA Land Use Institute) as well as special initiatives designed to address contemporary topics/issues and best planning practices, site tours, and smart growth efforts
  • Officials also may choose to undertake an independent case study of a specific issue or development in their community; the topic will be pre-approved and the official will present his/her final report to the Center’s Local Government Advisory Council; a maximum of three units will be received following the completion of the study
  • A maximum of three units may be earned through participation in a land use training program(s) offered by another organization.

Format:

  • Activities will be offered in various formats, such as classes/workshops; on-line; tours; dinners, and independent study primarily during evening hours, with some daytime or weekend sessions

Berks County Cooperative Purchasing Council – The Council is an unincorporated association of public entities organized and existing under the applicable provisions of P.L. 526 of April 29, 1937 (53 P.S. section 5431 et seq.), as amended, and Act 57 of May 15, 1998, as amended, (Title 62 Pa C.S. 1902) known as the Commonwealth Procurement Code for the purpose of joint purchases of materials, equipment, supplies, services, and/or construction.

  • Berks County Cooperative Purchasing Council – The Council is an unincorporated association of public entities organized and existing under the applicable provisions of P.L. 526 of April 29, 1937 (53 P.S. section 5431 et seq.), as amended, and Act 57 of May 15, 1998, as amended, (Title 62 Pa C.S. 1902) known as the Commonwealth Procurement Code for the purpose of joint purchases of materials, equipment, supplies, services, and/or construction.
  • Berks Municipal Partnership – The Partnership was established by the Center for Excellence in Local Government as a forum for discussing common issues that can be addressed on a regional level or county-wide basis, obtaining local officials’ comments on proposed cooperative initiatives; providing a focal point for communication between regions of the county and county government; fostering pilot projects on a regional level; and linking regions to resources.
  • Governor Mifflin Area Coordinating Council – the Council was established by the Center and the participating public entities to foster on-going communication among the five municipalities (three boroughs and two townships) and the School District on issues of common interest.
  • Berks County Policy Study
  • Berks Municipal Partnership

Premier Sponsors

Berks County Commissioner’s Office

EHD is already a trusted partner for more than 50 public entities

EHD offers an expert depth of knowledge to governments and authorities. Our Public Entity Division partners with administrative leaders to provide budgeting advice for your insurance program and training and development programs for your staff. We also provide extensive risk control and claims management services to support your safety committee and accident and illness prevention program.

Because limited insurance markets exist for your public entity, EHD will find the right fit for you — one that provides optimum coverage and protection while ensuring that total indirect costs as well as direct premium costs are managed as closely as possible.

Our tailored insurance programs include guidance and placement on the following:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Public Law 477 (Heart and Lung Act)
  • Public liability
  • Commercial auto, including school bus fleets
  • Public officials liability
  • Employment practices liability
  • Law enforcement legal liability
  • Crime and bonding for public officials
  • Builders’ risk programs

To learn more about our partnership and programs for public entities, please contact:
Michael S. Malinowski, Vice President & Public Entity Practice Group Leader
610-374-4893
msmalinowski@ehd-ins.com

Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz performs services in nearly every field of law actively practiced in our community.

Our attorneys have developed individual areas of concentration, because today’s complex legal system requires lawyers to be specialized to properly advise their clients.

We have committed to the use of the most advanced modern technology and methods, but we strive to retain the professionalism, seriousness and integrity that we believe our clients have the right to expect.

Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) was formed as a result of a strategic alignment of three existing business organizations serving Berks County: Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Greater Reading Economic Partnership; Greater Berks Development Fund. The primary mission of the GRCA is to encourage business attraction, business expansion, job creation and business investment in an effort to foster and promote a thriving economy throughout Berks County.

Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys

Kozloff Stoudt’s experienced lawyers represent clients in a wide array of transactional and litigation matters. For over 70 years, our practice has fought to protect the rights of the people of Berks County, Central and Southeastern PA. Our diversified practice enables us to provide a comprehensive array of legal services to almost every potential client. Our firm’s commitment to our clients drives us to work hard to safeguard clients from being taken advantage of by others.

Kraft Code Services, LLC

Kraft Code Services, LLC is certified by the PA Department of Labor & Industry as a third party inspection agency to provide code enforcement services in accordance with the Uniform Construction Code.

We also offer inspection and administrative services related to property maintenance, rental inspection programs and zoning.

Kraft Code Services provides:

  • Building Inspectors
  • Zoning Officers
  • Code Enforcement Officers
  • Construction Observation
  • Third Party Electrical Inspections

We make compliance a more effective process by taking the time to educate and explain.

SSM Group, Inc.

Spotts, Stevens and McCoy is a family-owned regional engineering, environmental, and surveying firm serving local and global clients. Our work touches everyday life; from the water you drink, to the air you breathe, to the buildings and communities where you live, work and play. Everything we do begins with a client’s need or vision to make part of the world better: cleaner, safer, healthier, faster, smarter, closer, more modern, more efficient, or otherwise more useful.

Reading Area Water Authority

OUR MISSION
Is to provide customers with the highest quality water at an affordable price with the highest level of service, around the clock assistance, and a concern to any problem from our entire organization. Our goal is to deliver dependable, quality, affordable water to our customers.


Gold Sponsors

Comcast Financial Services

Comcast is working to shape the future of media and technology. We strive to create the best content and constantly pursue innovation to delight our customers.

We have extraordinary businesses and game-changing products – but we are at our best when we are using our collective strength to make the world a better place.

Masano-Bradley Attorneys at Law

The lawyers at Masano Bradley possess wide ranging expertise in different areas of the law.  You will find us to be experienced, thorough, responsive and cost effective.  You can become comfortable with us as both people and professionals as we strive to handle both business and personal matters with compassion and as counselors at law.

Great Valley Consultants was founded in 1991 to provide quality professional consulting services in the disciplines of Engineering, Architecture, Planning, Consulting and Surveying. We provide engineering services to local governments and other public-sector entities in eastern and central Pennsylvania.  We also offer comprehensive architectural and engineering services for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects.


Silver Sponsors

Fox Rothschild, LLP

Fox Rothschild has grown to a 900-lawyer national law firm with 27 offices by focusing on client service and responsiveness, and by attracting bright and creative lawyers who know how to deliver.

Individuals and businesses – public, private and nonprofit; startup, family-run and multinational – receive our unwavering commitment to client satisfaction.

Georgeadis-Setley, Attorneys and Advisors

The Firm is a full-service law firm, known for our practice in Municipal Law, Corporate and Municipal Finance, Real Estate, Commercial and Municipal Finance, Zoning and Land Use, Business and Commercial Law, Civil Litigation, Estate Planning and Estate Administration, and Family Law.

Met-Ed

We are a forward-thinking electric utility powered by a diverse team of employees committed to making customers’ lives brighter, the environment better and our communities stronger.

Barry Isett & Associates is a multi-discipline firm that can provide single-source engineering and start-to-finish project involvement in the design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and replacement of facilities.


Bronze Sponsors

McMahon Associates

Since 1976, McMahon Associates has specialized in delivering innovative engineering, planning, design, and technology transportation solutions to our clients.

Gilmore & Associates, Inc. is one of the region’s most dynamic civil engineering firms, offering a diverse yet complementary portfolio of professional consulting services.

Boyer Engineering is one of the leading firms in our region. Having over 30 years of experience with subdivision and land development, civil engineering, environmental services and project management.

Kraft Engineering and Surveying, Inc. has the professional staffing, knowledge, and experience to perform computer aided civil engineering design and planning services utilizing an extensive library of engineering and related disciplines.


Entry Level Sponsors

Entry E. J. Breneman, L. P. Entry
Mogel, Speidel, Bobb and Kershner


Municipal Sponsors

Sustaining Contributors ($5,000 +)
County of BerksBenefactors ($2,500 – $4,999)
City of Reading
Spring Township
Wyomissing BoroughPatrons ($1,000 – $2,499)
Amity Township
Brecknock Township
Cumru Township
Exeter Township
Laureldale Borough
Muhlenberg Township
Robesonia Borough

Donors ($500 – $999)
Bern Township
Kenhorst Borough
Kutztown Borough
Leesport Borough
Longswamp Township
Lower Alsace Township
Lower Heidelberg Township
Perry Township
Saint Lawrence Borough
West Reading Borough

Supporters ($200 – $499)
Alsace Towship
Bethel Township
Birdsboro Borough
Boyertown Borough
Earl Township
Greenwich Township
Heidelberg Township
Hereford Township

Supporters ($200 – $499) (continued)
Jefferson Township
Mohnton Borough
Mount Penn Borough
Penn Township
Robeson Township
Rockland Township
Ruscombmanor Township
Shillington Borough
Tilden Township
Topton Borough
Tulpehocken Township
Upper Tulpehocken Township
Washington Township
Wernerville Borough
Womelsdorf BoroughFriends ($100 – $199)
Bechtelsville Borough
Bernville Borough
Caernarvon Township
Centerport Borough
District Township
Douglass Township
Fleetwood Borough
Hamburg Borough
Marion Township
Maxatawny Township
North Heidelberg Township
Ontelaunee Township
Richmond Township
Shillington Borough
Union TownshipUnder $99
Lyons Borough