The first presentation on local government was from Tom Wagner, Esq.; Solicitor for the City of St. Marys. He showed the group how they can make an impact on the different levels of local government from boroughs, townships, and counties. Tom spoke of his many experiences and board meetings throughout his professional career.
After this presentation, the Leadership group divided in half for a simulated City Counsel board meeting. Half of the group played the part of the public led by Attorney Rick Brown, while the other half played the part of city council led by Tom Wagner. The groups were then flipped for the second part for a mock School Board meeting with Dr. Clythera Hornung. Dr. Hornung walked us through the current issues presented to the St. Marys School Board. The group playing the public presented several hypothetical situations for the school board to debate over. This experience helped LEC participants to gain a better understanding of the policies and procedures that elected officials must follow as well as the challenges that they face
Once the mock board meetings adjourned, the group went to break with a delicious lunch of soup, salad, and various wraps sponsored and provided by Gunners Restaurant.
Following lunch the group traveled to Ridgway for a tour of the Elk County 911 center with Mike McAllister, Director of Emergency Management. He discussed the original construction plans for the site and how they were scrapped for their current center on Montmorenci Rd. Mr. McAllister also went over the various emergencies they’ve encountered since he has been there like the Ridgway Flood and missing people reports. He explained the expanded role of the 911 center as a regional center and the different areas they can provide assistance.
Jury Duty was the next topic covered on Government Day. This was presented to the group by Marti Masson, District Court Administrator for Elk and Cameron Counties. She explained the process by which they select jurors. A surprisingly low number of participants in the group have served on jury duty in the past. Mrs. Masson also went over the common misconceptions about being selected for jury duty. Many LEC participants were surprised to find that those who aren’t registered voters can still be selected for duty because there are three public records sources the court pulls from.
The last presentation of the day covered the electoral process and different authorities and county offices. Presenters were Kimberly Frey, Director of Elections for Elk County and Janis Kemmer and Matt Quesenberry, Commissioners from Elk County. Participants were encouraged to serve their community to the best of their abilities.
The Leadership Elk County Program is offered in partnership with the Community Education Center (CEC) and the St. Marys and Ridgway-Elk County Chambers of Commerce. Applications for next year’s program will be available in April. For more information, visit www.leadershipelkcounty.com or contact the CEC at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 781-3437.
2016 Leadership Elk County Participants include: Sharon Barbazzeni, Tina Clancy, Charlene Fledderman, Jason Gabler, Tiffany Gausman, Kathy Geer, Mike Herzing, Jr., Emily King, Marcie Lynch, Steve Maginell, Charistina McClelland, Mary McGrath, Denise Michalowski, Drew Nedzinski, Michelle Smith, Ashley Steele, and Tracey Williams.