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News: Long-Time PSATS Employee Receives Association’s Highest Honor


April 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ginni Linn
Executive Editor/Print Manager
(717) 763-0930, ext. 127
glinn@psats.org'

Long-Time PSATS Employee Receives Association’s Highest Honor

Elam M. Herr, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, received the organization’s highest honor for his work on behalf of local government.

Presented Monday, April 24, at the organization’s 95th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey, the Founder’s Award is only given to those who show exceptional commitment to townships.

Herr, whose career with the Association spans five decades and eight governors, has been a fixture in the State Capitol and had a hand in major pieces of legislation that have benefitted communities statewide. These laws and reforms, dealing with everything from transportation and open records to municipal bidding, advertising, and natural gas drilling, have provided millions of dollars in state funding to improve the quality of life for townships and their residents.

“Elam has been the voice of townships on the Hill longer than any serving House or Senate member,” PSATS President Shirl Barnhart said during the presentation while praising Herr’s commitment to township government. “He has been a tireless and vocal advocate for PSATS members. At times, that has meant advancing legislation and regulations that would benefit municipalities. At other times, that has meant stopping legislation and regulations that would be harmful to our communities.”

When accepting the unexpected honor, Herr didn’t focus on his accomplishments. Instead, he talked about the importance of local government in Pennsylvania.

“I’ve devoted much of my professional life to being an advocate for township government because that’s what matters,” he told the audience of township officials. “You, the commonwealth’s local leaders, work hard every day to better your communities and to touch and improve the lives of many Pennsylvanians. It has been my honor to serve you.”

A resident of East Hempfield Township in Lancaster County, Herr chairs the township’s zoning hearing board. He and his wife, Patti, have two children.

The Founder’s Award recognizes individuals or groups whose outstanding efforts on behalf of local governments have resulted in significant benefits to townships. Past recipients have included Govs. Dick Thornburgh, Robert P. Casey, and Tom Ridge, Lt. Govs. Mark Schweiker and Jim Cawley, and former Cabinet Secretaries Karen Miller and Dennis Wolff.

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The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,454 townships of the second class and is committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class cover 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land mass and represent more residents — 5.5 million — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Elam Herr, center, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, received the organization’s Founder’s Award its 95th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey. He is shown with PSATS President Shirl Barnhart, left, and Executive Board Chair Bill Hawk. The award recognizes individuals or groups whose outstanding efforts on behalf of local governments have resulted in significant benefits to townships.