Contemplating Governing

What is it like to serve in local office?

Contemplating Governing is an introduction to serving in local government. Recent interest in the national elections may have captured your attention — can you make a difference through public service? To answer that question, you need information about what it's like to serve.

Contemplating Governing is not political training — instead, it focuses on the tasks and issues facing local government in the 21st century. Municipalities sit at the crossroads of many issues that affect daily life. Responsible campaigns by well-informed candidates are essential to build public trust. If you are running for local office, are you confident in your knowledge of the duties you seek?

This program provides citizens the chance to consider the opportunities, challenges, requirements and reasons to serve in local elected office. Topics include: 

  • Understanding the Pennsylvania local government environment, including powers and duties of various boards and commissions, such as city and borough councils, township commissioners or supervisors and school boards. 
  • Overcoming obstacles to running and meeting legal requirements. 
  • Determining what is a responsible campaign pledge. 
  • Understanding local government taxation and services. 
  • Measuring board effectiveness. 
  • Local government’s important role in community sustainability. 

About Contemplating Governing 

Cultivating leadership – Both elected officials and the general public should be on the lookout for future community leaders. Succession planning is an ongoing consideration for all organizations, both public and private. Municipal officials, are you encouraging citizens to step up and get involved in their communities? By encouraging them to consider elected office, you are performing a valuable service to your constituents. 

Certificate of Achievement – Participants’ time and effort will be recognized at the end of the course. Those completing the entire course will receive a certificate of achievement. 

Pledge to Excellence – Candidates for local office are encouraged to sign the Academy’s Pledge to Excellence, demonstrating their commitment to good government and their pursuit of excellence while in office. Candidates – click here for more information and to sign the Pledge to Excellence. To see a list of candidates who have signed the Pledge to Excellence in 2015, go to the Candidates List. 

After the Election – LGA will be here to support candidates transition to office after the general election through the Newly Elected Officials Course. This one-of-a kind course, unique in Pennsylvania for its scope and content, is held following every local election. The Newly Elected Officials Course provides a comprehensive review of the basic duties of municipal officials, taught by experts in their fields. 

Registration is now open. 

This year, LGA is offering Contemplating Governing at three different dates and times:

All sessions have been cancelled

  • Carnegie Municipal Building | Thursday 4/13/2017 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Community College of Beaver County | Thursday 4/20/2017 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Community College of Beaver County | Saturday 4/22/2017 | 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Speakers and panelists include:

  • Michael Foreman | Local Government Policy Specialist | Governor's Center for Local Government Services
  • Marita Garrett | Council Vice President | Wilkinsburg Borough
  • Ray Jurewicz | Council Vice President | Churchill Borough
  • Michael Silvestri | Former Township Manager | Peters Township
  • Patricia DeMarco | Council Member | Forest Hills Borough
  • Julie Bastianini | Borough Manager | Edgewood Borough
  • Paul Lauer | Township Manager | Peters Township
  • Harlan Stone | Principal | Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.
  • Chris Voltz | Attorney | Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
  • Rebecca Matsco | Supervisor | Potter Township
  • Merry Smith | Supervisor/Road Master | Greene Township
  • Jeremy Angus | Former School Director | Ambridge Borough
  • Roylin Petties | Council Vice President| Midland Borough
  • Larry Morley | Former Borough Manager | New Brighton Borough

Click here to access the LGAonline catalog. Add "2017 Contemplating Governing" to your cart ($40) then select the session you'd like to attend.


Stay Up to Date!

The Local Government Academy features ongoing classes and programs, including special events around all of southwestern Pennsylvania. Keep up to date on news and plans by signing up for our newsletter.

Local Government Aca

North Huntingdon Township is looking for a Communications and Technology Coordinator. More info:

1501 Preble Avenue, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15233