Contemplating Government

What is it like to serve in local office?

Contemplating Governing is an introduction to serving in local government. These sessions will help individuals decide if local government service is right for them and encourage responsible campaigning. Contemplating Governing is not political training. Instead, it focuses on the tasks and issues facing local government in the 21st century. 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.

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, go to Candidates List.

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.

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.

Speakers & Panelists Include

Council Vice President

Marita Garrett

Wilkinsburg Borough


Harlan Stone

Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.


Chris Voltz

Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

Council Vice President

Roylin Petties

Midland Borough


Rebecca Matsco

Potter Township

Supervisor/Road Master

Merry Smith

Greene Township

Former School Director

Jeremy Angus

Ambridge Borough

Council Member

Patricia DeMarco

Forest Hills Borough

Township Manager

Paul Lauer

Peters Township

Paul Lauer is the Township Manager for Peters Township and serves as the Township’s finance director. Paul is also a reviewer for the Government Finance Officer’s Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Program.

Council Vice President

Ray Jurewicz

Churchill Borough

RAY JUREWICZ, currently serving as Vice President of Churchill Borough council, is an LGA Newly Elected Officials Course graduate. He works as a physical therapist specializing in electrophysiologic testing. Ray and his wife Diane have three adult children, and are proud grandparents of three grandchildren.

Local Government Policy Specialist

Michael Foreman

Governor's Center for Local Government Services

Michael Foreman is a local government policy specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Center for Local Government Services, in the southwest regional office. Formerly, Foreman served as a municipal finance consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Local Government Services since 1988 until its consolidation with the Department of Commerce in July of 1996.

Borough Manager

Julie Bastianini

Edgewood Borough

Julie Bastianini is the Borough Manager in Edgewood Borough. Prior to holding this position, Julie was Edgewood Borough’s Assistant Manager for three years. She is a graduate of John Carroll University, and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She currently is an Advisory Council member for Municipal Benefits Services serves a member of the MRM Loss Control Committee, and is active in the LGA’s Rising Professionals in Local Government group.

Former Borough Manager

Larry Morley

New Brighton Borough

LARRY R. MORLEY is the former Manager for New Brighton Borough. He served in that position for 34 years before retiring in 2017. Larry was previously employed by Oil City and the City of Pittsburgh.

Larry earned his BA in Urban Affairs from California University of PA in 1974, then received his Master of Public Administration from GSPIA – University of Pittsburgh in 1976. He was the chairperson of the ten member Beaver County Rivertown Partnership from 2000-2017. Larry also chaired the Beaver County Tax Collection Committee from 2012-2017.

As the Manager for New Brighton Borough, Larry oversaw the fiscal recovery of the community in the 1980’s and maintained a balanced budget every year. He helped redevelop an abandoned industrial riverfront into “Big Rock Park” and “Fish Park”. Larry funded a $3 million downtown streetscape entirely with grants in addition to making significant upgrades to the New Brighton Public Works operation and infrastructure.

Former Township Manager

Michael Silvestri

Peters Township

MICHAEL A. SILVESTRI is a professional management and land use consultant. Most recently he retired from a 40 year career with Peters Township as the Township Manager. A home rule community with a strong manager/council system, Michael was responsible for all operations of the Township including collective bargaining, budgeting, hiring, and supervision of all departments comprising of 105 permanent employees and a $20 million+ budget.

Michael obtained his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh 1976. He is also a past Vice President of Association of Pennsylvania Municipal Management and a recipient of the 2016 Joseph A. James award.

Supporters of Contemplating Governing

Local Government Academy recognizes and thanks these Advocates for Good Government