News Release – 10/5/2023 – Elected and Appointed Officials from the Pennsylvania Municipal League, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association Convene in Bethlehem for the 2023 Municipal Leadership Summit

This Year’s Theme is: Connect; Learn; Engage

Bethlehem, PA (October 5, 2023) – League President Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo is presiding over the Municipal Leadership Summit, a conference of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (The League), the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners (PSATC) and the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association, which started today and runs through Sunday at the Wind Creek Hotel in Bethlehem.

“Local government leaders from cities, boroughs and townships have come together for the Municipal Leadership Summit in Bethlehem. The City of Bethlehem offers attendees a first-hand look at community and economic revitalization in a core community of our Commonwealth.  Mayor Reynolds and his talented team will highlight their recent efforts to improve housing, foster economic development and build stronger neighborhoods. Timely topics on public safety technology and services, enhancing municipal finance, and planning for successful infrastructure projects are on the agenda. Business Leaders will offer cost-saving solutions,” said League Executive Director John Brenner. “A special session this year will include state and federal funding partners to discuss the various resources available to local government including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Various state officials have been invited. This year’s Keynote Address is presented by Mr. Tim Shriver entitled, ‘The Call to Unite.’ The League is honored to partner with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association for this great event.” 

Officials taking part in the Municipal Leadership Summit will share resources and innovative ideas, discuss issues of mutual concern, and participate in a wide array of educational and professional development sessions designed to address the ways and means of meeting the pressing challenges of municipal management and good governance. 

“The annual Municipal Leadership Summit provides an opportunity for League, PSATC and Career Fire Chief Association members and guests to connect, exchange ideas and participate in a variety of educational sessions developed to enhance our capacities in various municipal roles,” said League President Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo. “Additionally, the Summit allows The League to showcase municipal progress in the Commonwealth and this year’s conference will certainly deliver as attendees get to witness the wonderful City of Bethlehem. Severing as The League’s president this past year has been a tremendous honor and I am committing to continued engagement as we welcome Mayor Baker to the helm. Thank you all for your support and engagement in The League.”

“I welcome all of our delegates to our annual joint Municipal Leadership Summit in Bethlehem,” said Sam Juliano, PSATC President and North Versailles Township Commissioner. “This Summit is an invaluable opportunity to come together and learn from one another as well as from knowledgeable speakers, in order to better serve those in our respective communities. I also thank our many sponsors who have helped to make this event possible.”  

“It is a great privilege for the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association to be able to partner with The League and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners at this year’s Municipal Leadership Summit,” said Association President Chambersburg FD Chief Dustin Ulrich. “With over 125 career fire service leaders throughout Pennsylvania that are active in the Association, the transference of knowledge between our members and those in attendance is essential to ensure that everyone is apprised of issues facing the public safety field. With each of our represented municipality’s safety and growth at the forefront of every vision that we have, it is events as such where this collaboration brings those visions to reality.”

The Summit kicked off this week with a playground build at Fairview Park, October 2-4, where The League partnered with KABOOM!, The City of Bethlehem, and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), as well as sponsors Infradapt, Bethlehem Parking Authority, Highmark, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Giant Foods and Peron Development to create a kid-inspired, state-of-the-art new playground for hundreds of neighborhood children at Fairview Park in Bethlehem to enjoy. This is the 14th playground project The League has organized for Pennsylvania communities since 2010.

“Bethlehem is honored to host the 2023 Municipal Leadership Summit.  We look forward to sharing our rich history and story of economic rebirth with government leaders from across the state. Since taking office in 2022, my administration has sought to right the systemic inequities laid bare by the pandemic. We are eager to discuss the ways in which we are building a Bethlehem for all of our citizens, said Mayor J. William Reynolds.

“While here, we hope our visitors get a chance to soak in all that our two downtowns offer. From the Moravian history, historical homes, and fine dining on the north to our arts district, eclectic eateries, and industrial history on the Southside.”

This morning started with a Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association session and The League’s Board meeting as well as a special session on Funding for Your Community and the PSATC Executive Committee Meeting, followed by the Opening Ceremony where League President Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, PSATC President North Versailles Commissioner Sam Juliano, Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association President Chambersburg FD Chief Dustin Ulrich, and Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds welcomed and addressed Summit delegates. We were also pleased to hear from Tim Shriver, Co-Founder and CEO, UNITE – The Dignity Index, who presented a moving Keynote Session – The Call to Unite.

In addition to networking opportunities, sessions today include How to Become Sustainable PA Certified and Its Benefits; Safety and Security in Your Community; Creating Revenue with Your Wastewater Treatment Plant; and Roundtables with Commonwealth, Grant Writers, and Financial Expert.

At tomorrow morning’s Awards Ceremony, we will present the 2023 Community Partnership Award to one of The League’s Business Leaders Network members, announce the winners of the John A. Garner, Jr. Civic Engagement Essay Scholarship Contest, announce the 2023 Sustainable PA Certified Communities and present the Easton Voting Award to the City of Monongahela, who won with a 62.91% voting percentage and is a third time winner of this award.

Also on tomorrow’s agenda, we have the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association Business Meeting, The League’s Resolutions Committee Meeting, the PSATC Annual Business Meeting, and an exhibit hall where Summit attendees can talk to business professionals about products, services, and solutions for municipal needs. Additional sessions will also be presented including Revitalizing and Transforming Communities: Bethlehem’s Story; Social Worker: Working Hand-in-Hand with Police – Community Intervention; and Managers and Elected Officials Working Together to Improve Your Community.

Members of The League’s Business Leaders Network will also present informative sessions, including Energy Solutions for Your Community; Municipal Accounting & Finance Administration: Hiring, Outsourcing & Automation; Let’s Talk Broadband; Get Ready: Complying with PA’s New Data Breach Law; Evolving Best Practices in Bid Management; FirstNet Update; and Best Practices for Grants Administration.   

Saturday will kick off with breakfast, followed by The League’s Annual Business Meeting, where Legislative priorities will be established for the coming year and officers will be elected to serve on the League Board of Directors. Auditor General Timothy DeFoor will address delegates during a general session and additional educational sessions will include Talk with an Architect & Grant Writer/Finance Expert About Your Challenges Financing Your Municipal Projects; Hiring and Retaining Law Enforcement; Affordable Housing for Your Community; and State and Federal Legislative Updates.

The Summit will wrap up on Sunday with a farewell breakfast.

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About The Pennsylvania Municipal League
The mission of the Pennsylvania Municipal League is to strengthen, empower and advocate for effective local government. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1900 as an advocate for Pennsylvania’s 3rd class cities. Today, The League represents Pennsylvania cities, boroughs, townships, and home rule communities that all share their municipal policy interests. The Board of Directors oversees the administration of a wide array of municipal services including legislative advocacy, publications, education/training, consulting-based programs, and group insurance trusts. For more information, please visit Join the conversation on Twitter @PAMunicipalLeag,, and LinkedIn – #MunicipalLeadershipSummit23, #StrengthThroughEngagement. 

About The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners
The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners (PSATC) represents Pennsylvania’s first class townships and their elected governing officials before the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Commonwealth’s various agencies. PSATC was founded in 1925 to distinguish itself from the second class townships which are much larger in number. First class townships are generally regarded as the “urban ring” around Pennsylvania’s cities. Many of our first class townships face issues similar to those of our Commonwealth’s cities and urban boroughs, thereby making the association’s affiliation with the Pennsylvania Municipal League a natural fit. The League has been providing advocacy services to the PSATC for 40 years.  For more information, please visit

The Municipal Leadership Summit program book can be accessed in the Resources section at