Center for Excellence in Local Government
Helping local government leaders meet the changing needs of their communities.
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To maintain and enhance the quality of life in Berks County by assisting municipal leaders in meeting the changing needs of their communities.
The Center will be recognized as the premier municipal leadership development organization in Berks County as a result of its unique public/private/academic partnership. Local officials will be inspired to anticipate, plan, and prepare for community change through the Center’s assistance in:
- learning best practices, legislative authority, and skills for more effectively fulfilling their public responsibilities;
- working cooperatively with other communities and the private sector; and
- enhancing citizens’ understanding of local government organization and operation
A Unique Community Partnership
The Center for Excellence in Local Government was established by Albright College in September, 1994, and is a unique partnership among the academic, public, and private sectors of the community. Oversight of the Center is provided by the Community Advisory Board which is comprised of representatives from all three sectors. Program guidance is provided by the Local Government Advisory Council which consists of approximately 20 local officials. Financial support is provided by Albright College, municipal sponsors, and sponsors from the private sector.
Commissioner, Berks CountyChip Bilger
Western Berks Water Authority
President, BCW&SACarl Godlove
President/CEO SSM Group, Inc.
Premier SponsorChris Hartman, Esq.
Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz, PC
Premier SponsorGary Kraft
Mayor, Mohnton Borough
President, BCBA, CEO, Kraft EngineeringFred Levering
Past CAB Chairman
Council President, Wyomissing BoroughThe Honorable James Lillis, Esq.
Court of Common Pleas
Formerly with Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys
Premier SponsorRay Maillet
AVP, Business Development Officer
First Priority BankMike Malinowski
President, Board of Commissioners
VP, Branch Manager, EHD
Premier SponsorDeborah McCreery
Vice President, AdvancementTerry Naugle
Past CAB Chairman
Asst. Vice President, Great Valley ConsultantsJon Scott
President & CEO
Greater Reading Economic Partnership
Premier SponsorVaughn Spencer
Mayor, City of ReadingJoe Thomas
Vice President, Academic AffairsMembers serving during 2014 and 2015Joni Naugle (2014)
President, Naugle Associates, LLCKevin Conrad (2014)
West Reading Borough CouncilBrian Pinto (2014-15)
Former Leadership Gifts OfficerAlbright College
Andrea Chapdelaine (2014-15)
Manager, Muhlenberg TownshipJack Bittig
Planning Com., Exeter TownshipFrank Deery
Planning Com., BoyertownEdward Evans
Wernersville BoroughJeri Diesinger
Manager, Kenhorst BoroughSandy Green
Mayor, Kutztown BoroughTammy Gore
Mayor, Fleetwood BoroughBarbara Hartford
School Director, Boyertown Area School DistrictFrank Karoly
Planning Com., Longswamp TownshipThomas Keim
Manager, Robeson TownshipFred Levering
Borough Council, Wyomissing BoroughThomas McKeon
Director, Berks County IDAShannon Rossman
Exec. Dir., Berks County Planning Com.Frank Schnee
Council Member, Robesonia BoroughMark Stitzel
Supervisor, Perry TownshipJay Vaughn
Township Manager, Spring TownshipSandy Weiser-Pascavage
Manager, Leesport BoroughPhilip Wert
Council Member, West Reading BoroughMembers serving during 2014 and/or 2015Steve Landes
Manager, Muhlenberg Township
Meet the Staff
Paul 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.
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.
John 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.
Master Planner / Advanced Master Planner Certifications
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 and Purchasing Council (BCCPC)
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.
Intergovernmental Cooperative Initiatives
- 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
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
Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz is strongly committed to civic organizations as part of their contribution to the community. Our attorneys bring commitment, integrity and many years of combined experience in the practice of law. We strive to retain the professionalism and integrity that our clients have the right to expect.
- Boyer Engineering, LLC
- Entry E. J. Breneman, L. P. Entry
- Kraft Engineering Entry
- McMahon Associates, Inc. Entry
- Mogel, Speidel, Bobb and Kershner
- General Information on the Center
- Pennsylvania Municipalities League
- Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB)
- Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
- Berks County Planning Commission (BCP)
- Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP)
- Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Berks County Industrial Development Authority
- Berks County Workforce Development Board
- Berks County Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Greater Berks Development Fund
- Smart Growth Alliance of Berks County
- Berks Municipal Partnership
- 2014-15 Annual Report