Two local public servants and Butler County itself were honored Wednesday in Harrisburg for their efforts to make the community better.
Zelienople Mayor Thomas Oliverio, Municipal Water Authority of Adams Township Manager Matthew Cranmer and the county were recognized as part of the 23rd annual Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence. The awards were announced Wednesday by Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development.
“With all the attention paid to federal and state politics, it's easy to overlook that the level of government that has the greatest impact on an individual's day-to-day life is on the local level,” Davin said. “The purpose of these awards is to commend those municipalities and individuals that showed incredible service to their communities.”
Oliverio and Cranmer were both recognized “for their dedication to public service and their communities,” according to information from the department.
Oliverio was nominated by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. He has served Zelienople for more than 40 years, joining council in 1978. He became mayor in 1990, and has served in that position ever since.
During his tenure, he was named Mayor of the Year in 2011 by the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania. He has also served as president of that organization as well as the Butler County Boroughs Association.
Oliverio was in Harrisburg for Wednesday's ceremony and could not be reached for comment.
Cranmer, who was nominated by the PA Municipal Authorities Association, has been with the authority since it began putting down water lines in 2001.
He said in that time, he has seen the authority and community grow. He said he, the authority board and the township have a good working relationship, which has helped the authority meet the needs associated with that growth.
Cranmer was quick to point out that while the award honored him, all involved parties deserve praise for the success.
“It's not just the things that I do, it is the efforts of everybody involved,” he said.
Cranmer was unable to attend Wednesday's ceremony, but a representative from the board attended in his place.
Meanwhile, Butler County, along with Mercer, Lawrence and Venango counties, were recognized for their work on information technology. The counties partnered to jointly purchase a Computer Aided Dispatch system for their respective 911 centers.
Previously, each county had its own CAD system, and those systems were unable to communicate with one another. The joint system enables the systems to interact, eliminating duplication of calls. The new system has a host site in Butler County and a disaster recovery site in Lawrence County.
Butler County Emergency Services Director Steve Bicehouse attended Wednesday's ceremony.
Butler County Commissioner Leslie Osche said the project helps the region as a whole respond with resiliency to any emergency. She added it shows that all involved parties saw the benefit of working together and the positive outcomes that were possible.
“It speaks to the fact that everybody recognizes the efficiencies and what can be saved in terms of cost,” she said.