News: Lyons Wins Statewide Leadership Award

April 22, 2015

Ginni Linn
PSATS Director of Communications
Cell: (717) 805-3588 (through April 23, 2015)
Office: (717) 763-0930, ext. 127 (after April 23, 2015)

Bucks County Township Supervisor Wins Statewide Leadership Award

Barbara Lyons, chair of the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors in Bucks County, received the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ 26th Annual President’s Leadership Award this morning at the association’s 93rd Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey. Today is the final day for the conference, which has 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.

Lyons, a supervisor for 13 years and the current board chair, is the fourth Doylestown Township official to receive the award, one of the highest honors that PSATS bestows. Other recipients were Manager Stephanie Mason (2011), former manager David R. Jones (1997), and former supervisor John T. Carson (1995).

Honored for spearheading a number of community improvement projects, Lyons has played a major role in developing the township’s recreation system, which includes an award-winning, multimunicipal bike and hike trail and one of the “world’s most unbelievable playgrounds,” according to Red Tricycle, an online parenting guide.

She has also introduced programs that teach school kids about local government and established local outreach and educational efforts to curb drug abuse.

“Her greatest strength is her ability to bring people together,” said Mason, who joined Lyons’ colleagues on the board in nominating the supervisor for the honor. “She has used this ability countless times to improve the lives of Doylestown Township residents.

“For issues she’s involved in,” Mason added, “she leverages her connections and resources for maximum impact.”

Following a string of overdoses and drug-related deaths in the Central Bucks area, Lyons has been focusing her attention on raising community awareness about the signs of drug abuse.

“’It’s not happening somewhere else; it’s here,” Lyons said at a recent township supervisors’ meeting, “and education is the most effective prevention.”

Following her lead, the township featured a documentary about drug use on its government access channel and included related information on its website and in its newsletter. Officials also distributed fliers to assist those with drug and alcohol addictions and their families in finding help. In addition, Lyons and other local leaders have been encouraging residents to drop off unused prescription drugs at the township police department.

Lyons’ interest in education took another form when she partnered with Central Bucks School District officials to include local government in the social studies curriculum. Previously, students only learned about state and federal government.

“This all changed with Barbara Lyons’ influence,” Mason said, adding that the supervisor felt it was important for students to study the government that has the most immediate and direct impact on their lives. “Her leadership in this initiative will create a lasting, widespread change for the next generation.”

Lyons’ influence is also evident at the township’s parks. The supervisor has raised millions of dollars in grants and donations for improvements, including renovations to the Kids Castle play area, which has been called one of the “world’s most unbelievable playgrounds,” the Environmental Education Center, an amphitheater, and bocce courts.

Currently, Lyons is promoting the development of a “sensory trail” that will allow people of all abilities to enjoy the outdoors.

“Barbara Lyons recognizes the significance of building connections and working together to expand the impact of efforts,” Mason said. “This force multiplier is a hallmark of her leadership, which has helped to create a stronger and more vibrant community.”

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Temple Law School, Lyons oversees the Bucks County Mediation and Arbitration Center. She and her husband, Rick, have three children and one grandchild.

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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.