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News: Gordon Wins Statewide Leadership Award


April 22, 2014

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

Adams County Township Supervisor Wins Statewide Leadership Award

Robert Gordon, chair of the Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors in Adams County, was presented with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ 25th Annual President’s Leadership Award at the association’s 92nd Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey in April. The conference attracted attendees from every county in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, which has no townships.

Each year, the association presents the award, established in 1990, to a township supervisor and a township administrator, such as a secretary or manager, whose outstanding projects or programs have benefited their communities. Township officials and employees who held office in 2013 were eligible.

Gordon received the award, one of the highest honors that PSATS bestows, for spearheading a number of projects aimed at helping both the township and county improve public safety and services. He has been a Hamiltonban Township supervisor for eight years and the board’s chairman for much of that time.

Although relatively new to local government, Gordon credits the York Jaycees, which he joined in 1957, with fostering his interest in community service.

“That changed my life really,” he said, adding that retirement afforded him the time to devote to public office. He first joined the township’s planning commission, later became an auditor, and then made the move to supervisor. “I ran with the objective of bringing Hamiltonban Township into the 21st century.”

Gordon relied on two strengths, an ability to secure grant funding and build partnerships, to make that happen.

These attributes have enabled the township to preserve thousands of acres of forestland, improve safety for area school children, develop a new 10-acre municipal complex that includes a modern maintenance building, an emergency operations center, and a 24-hour regional fueling station for emergency and other vehicles, and improve public recreational facilities and local roads.

In addition, as president of the four-year-old Adams County Council of Governments, Gordon led a number of cooperative initiatives while advocating the needs of the county’s municipalities and school districts to state legislators.

In particular, Gordon and his fellow COG members are working to improve the financial conditions of the region’s volunteer fire companies, which, like others throughout the state, are struggling to recruit and retain volunteers and raise funds. This led to a ground-breaking COG study that has called on all Adams County municipalities to support a special tax for volunteer emergency services.

Gordon was nominated for the PSATS honor by Coleen Reamer, a fellow Hamiltonban Township supervisor and the board’s vice chair who praised his work ethic and leadership.

“Adams County is not only changing rapidly but is also moving into a ‘new age,’” says Reamer, who is also president of the Adams County Association of Township Officials. “We are fortunate to have Robert Gordon as an advocate for our township, our county, our municipalities, our school districts, and our fire and EMS companies.”

In addition to his work with the township and the Adams County COG, Gordon was an original member of PSATS’ Grassroots Lobbying Network and has been active in a number of other organizations, including the Adams County Association of Township Officials, the Southwest Adams County Joint Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, the Adams County Economic Development Corporation Board, and the Adams County Transportation Planning Organization.

A graduate of Littlestown High School and York Business College, Gordon and his wife, Joyce, have been married for 58 years. They have five children and 11 grandchildren.

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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.