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Lt. Gov. Cawley Honored with PSATS Founders Award


April 23, 2014

Contact: Ginni Linn
Director of Communications
(717) 763-0930

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Honored with Highest Award from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley was awarded the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ Founder’s Award at the organization’s 92nd Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey in April.

Named for the association’s founder, H.A. “Cappy” Thomson, the award recognizes individuals or groups whose outstanding efforts on behalf of local governments have resulted in significant benefits to townships. This is PSATS’ highest honor and is only presented when someone is deserving of it. Past recipients have included the late Sen. John Heinz, Govs. Dick Thornburgh, Robert P. Casey, and Tom Ridge, and Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker.

Cawley was included in this elite group because as a former local government official, he understands the challenges that municipalities face and has worked closely with PSATS and Pennsylvania’s other local government associations to overcome them. 

“Since becoming lieutenant governor, you haven’t forgotten your roots,” PSATS Executive Board Chairman Shirl Barnhart told Cawley during the presentation. “We know that when we call, you will listen. The number of times you’ve helped and advised our association, its members, and others are too many to count.

“You have been our cabinet-level senior voice,” he added.

Equally important to Pennsylvania’s municipalities, Cawley re-energized and now chairs the Governor’s Local Government Advisory Committee, which meets several times a year to discuss current and proposed legislation and the impact on local governments. The group also provides a forum for local leaders to discuss shared challenges and solutions.

In addition, Cawley played a critical role in the passage of significant pieces of local government legislation, including the natural gas impact fee law and, more recently, the transportation funding package.

“Thanks to the hard work of people like Jim Cawley, these new resources are providing unprecedented revenues to improve Pennsylvania and its municipalities,” PSATS Executive Director David M. Sanko said. “Ultimately, though, the biggest winners are Pennsylvanians.”

This year, for instance, the commonwealth expects to collect a record-setting $224.5 million in impact fees, which will benefit municipalities in the Marcellus Shale region and beyond. The funding has enabled townships to undertake projects that, without the additional revenues, would be beyond their reach, including buying playground equipment, hiring new police officers, helping volunteer fire companies stay afloat, and updating infrastructure with new storm pipes and repaved roads.

A determined advocate for the fee, Cawley earned national recognition for his Marcellus Shale work when he received the 2012 Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship Award from General Electric in partnership with the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

Cawley, along with Gov. Tom Corbett, also supported Pennsylvania’s comprehensive transportation funding package, which will eventually deliver $2.3 billion a year to upgrade state and local roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have been recognized by PSATS with this award,” Cawley said. “In knowing firsthand the importance that local government plays in the lives of Pennsylvanians, it will always have a special place with me.

“I’m optimistic about what we can accomplish going forward as we partner with associations such as PSATS as well local officials from across the state.”

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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.