News Release – 10/10/2023 – City of Franklin Mayor Douglas Baker is The League’s New President


Debbie Bitting, Director of Communications
717-236-9469, ext. *223;

City of Franklin Mayor Douglas Baker is The League’s New President
Officers Also Elected to The Pennsylvania Municipal League Board of Directors

Harrisburg, PA (October 10, 2023) — City of Franklin Mayor Douglas Baker was elected President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (The League) this past weekend, during the association’s Annual Business Meeting held in conjunction with the Municipal Leadership Summit in Bethlehem.   

Mayor Baker has been a valued member of The League’s Board of Directors, serving first as Northwest District Officer in 2012, Legislative Committee Co-Chair in 2020, and Second Vice President in 2022. He most recently served as First Vice President from October 2022 to October 2023.

“The world seems to be a much less predictable place than it was not that long ago, and I believe that makes the resources and services that The League offers that much more valuable,” said Baker. “I would like to commend The League staff, Board of Directors, and membership for their efforts to better serve the communities we represent, and I thank you all for the opportunity to continue my service over the coming year.”     

Baker’s work in public service began more than four decades ago when he decided to pursue a career as a police officer. While employed at the Franklin Police Department, from which he retired in 2003, he held the rank of Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, Detective, and Lieutenant. As a Public Safety Officer, he maintained certifications as a Police Officer, and Emergency Medical Technician, and was trained as a Firefighter.

In early 2004 he was approached by the Franklin Mayor regarding a vacant Council Seat and was appointed and continued to serve there until he was elected Mayor in 2009. He was sworn into office as Mayor in January 2010 and is now in the second year of his fourth term.

Together with many dedicated and talented council members, City staff members and community minded volunteers, Mayor Baker has seen Franklin named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; designation as a Trail Town along the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail; designation of the downtown portion of main street as a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association; development of a Comprehensive Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan to connect the Business District to the Local Recreational Trails and surrounding neighborhoods (Implementation of this plan remains a work in progress.); and development of an “Always Eventful” community mindset and many delightful year-round events.

In addition to the election of League President, Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter, who had currently held the office of Second Vice President, was elected First Vice President, while Centrice Martin, Manager of Ferguson Township, who had currently served as Director-at-Large, was elected Second Vice President. The League officers will each serve a one-year term in their respective positions on the Board.

“We are pleased that Mayor Baker, Mayor Slaughter and Manager Martin have been unanimously elected by our membership as President, First Vice President, and Second Vice President, respectively. Our leadership team for 2024 reflects our talented, bipartisan, and diverse membership, said League Executive Director John Brenner.

“Mayor Baker has a solid background in public safety.  As our new President, his extensive experience in local government and his active engagement with The League will help steer our association forward through our advocacy, training, and member services.” 

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 (on both the state and federal levels), publications designed to educate and inform, inquiry and research, education and training certification programs, consulting-based programs, and group insurance trusts.

Additional members of the Board include: Mayor Matt Tuerk, Allentown; Mayor Matthew Pacifico, Altoona; Mayor J. William Reynolds, Bethlehem; Councilmember Allen Coffman, Borough of Chambersburg; Manager Christopher Christman, Derry Township; Mayor Salvatore Panto, Easton; Council President Doug Tusing, Ebensburg; Councilmember Mary Ann Horne, Borough of Edinboro; Mayor Joseph Schember, Erie; Council Vice President Patricia DeMarco, Forest Hills Borough; Mayor Rita Frealing, Borough of Gettysburg; Mayor Wanda Williams, Harrisburg; Mayor Jeff Cusat, Hazleton; Mayor Danene Sorace, Lancaster; Councilmember Stephen Stevenson, Lock Haven; City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti, New Kensington; Manager Amy Farkas, Patton Township; Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, Philadelphia; Councilmember Brian O’Neill, Philadelphia; Mayor Peter Urscheler, Phoenixville Borough; Mayor Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh; Mayor Michael Lombardo, Pittston; Mayor Eddie Moran, Reading; Mayor Paige Cognetti, Scranton; Mayor Ezra Nanes, State College Borough; Manager Joseph Fleming, St. Marys; Mayor Barbarann Keffer, Upper Darby Township; League Executive Director John Brenner; and Business Leaders Network Representative Ashley Shiwarski, National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program Administered by HomeServe.

Municipal elected and appointed officials from across the state attended the Municipal Leadership Summit, a conference of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association, October 5-8, to connect and network with colleagues, attend informative and educational sessions, discuss issues facing the Commonwealth’s municipalities, share resources and best practices, establish legislative policy, and elect association officers for the coming year.

For more information, please visit Join the conversation on Twitter @PAMunicipalLeag,, and LinkedIn – #MunicipalLeadershipSummit23, #StrengthThroughEngagement.

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