PSATS Northeast 2023 Regional Forum - 9/27/23 - Tannersville

Includes a Live In-Person Event on 09/27/2023 at 9:00 AM (EDT)

PSATS’ Regional Forums are back! This series of full-day educational sessions is scheduled for multiple locations statewide. Learn more about issues that matter to your community, discuss common interests with other local leaders, earn PMGA and other professional credits, and attend specialized workshops designed for township officials. This educational event will be the perfect opportunity to hear from experts on the local issues that matter to you and your municipality.

Eligible for 5 PMGA points

Eligible for 2 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits


8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

David M. Sanko, Executive Director, PSATS, and Scott E. Coburn, Esquire, Education Director & Counsel, PSATS


9:10 - 10:05 a.m. (choose one)

*Bridging the Gap Between Townships and Consultants: Tips for Engaging Consultants and Leveraging Partnerships for Funding (1 PMGA Public Works Point)

The American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) will provide resources and information on various topics, including best practices for working with consultants, drafting high-quality RFPs/RFQs, maximizing grant funding opportunities, and other resources and information needed and used by PSATS members.

Kevin Chatary, Operations Manager, HRV

* The Grant Process - From Concept to Close Out (1 PMGA Admin Point) 

If you struggle with crafting your township’s story in grant applications and are looking for tips on how to bring more funds back to your township and residents, you will want to participate in this session. Learn practical tips and best practices for how any township – large or small – can be successful in obtaining grant funds. 

Liz Tolan, Manager, Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County 


10:15 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. (choose one)

Planning for Recreation, Parks, and Public Spaces (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point)

This session will address the opportunities and challenges associated with providing quality recreational facilities and programs. Representatives from DCNR and the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society will discuss various available funding and program options and provide you with links, contacts, advice on how to tap into these resources, and real-world examples. There will also be time for participants to ask questions and receive information specific to their situation.

Dan Hendey, CPRP, CPSI, Education Manager, Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, and Christine Dettore, Regional Advisor, Northeast Regional Office, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

* QuickBooks Tips and Tricks (1 PMGA Admin Point) 

This session will cover a variety of timely topics and how you can best use QuickBooks to navigate them. This will include accounting for annual reports, budgeting, and American Rescue Plan Act reporting. Come prepared with your questions! 

Diana Patton, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor 


11:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (choose one)

Hot Button Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service (1 PMGA Public Safety Point)

We will discuss several key issues currently impacting municipalities and volunteer fire companies. These include volunteer fire training, standards of cover, fire relief, junior firefighters, and recruitment and retention. There will be opportunities for attendees to share their successes and challenges.

Tracie Young-Brungard BS, EMTP, RRC, Administrator, Recruitment & Retention, Office of the State Fire Commissioner

* The Ethics Act: A Short Guide on How to Stay Out of the News (1 PMGA Admin Point and/or 1 CLE)

This session will provide attendees with real-world examples of Ethics Act violations and help attendees spot, address, and avoid such violations.

Mary Fox, Executive Director, State Ethics Commission

12:15 - 1:00 p.m.

* Lunch


1:00 – 1:55 p.m. (choose one)

* Budget and Reorg Preparation & Best Practices (1 PMGA Admin Point)

Get practical tips you can immediately incorporate into your remaining preparations for this fall’s budget season and your 2024 organizational meeting.

Crystal Butler, Assistant Manager, Tobyhanna Township, Monroe County

* The Implementable Comprehensive Plan, From Top to Bottom (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point)

This workshop will give participants a thorough overview of the implementable comprehensive plan, including what they are and how they differ from traditional comprehensive plans, why municipalities should implement them, descriptions of success stories, and information available resources for funding them.

Ted Ritsick, Local Government Planning Specialist, Department of Community and Economic Development


2:05 - 3:00 p.m. (choose one)

* Code Enforcement: From Start to Finish (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point and/or 1 CLE)

One of the biggest challenges for townships is local code enforcement, including matters beyond the scope of the zoning ordinance. This session will cover the many aspects of code enforcement from start to finish. When does it begin? What options does your township have? What is the role of the zoning or code enforcement officer and staff? What are the best ways to handle sticky situations? Learn them all in this session.

Judith Acosta, CZO, BCO, SFM Consulting LLC

* When and How to Get the Word Out: Communicating & Controlling Township News (1 PMGA Admin Point) 

There is no such thing as a typical day in a municipality. Budget woes, development issues, safety concerns, and even festive community events can present communications challenges. Proactive communication goes a long way toward improving public awareness and support for township activities and initiatives. But how does a budget-strapped township improve its communications? And what should it do and say when a crisis occurs?

This session will provide strategies and tactics for communicating in good times and bad. We will explore ways to maximize your township’s existing communication resources and how to leverage local media, social media, direct mail, community groups, and outlets you never even thought of. Bring your bad news or good news scenario and you’ll leave with a strategy for communicating it. 

Leza Raffel, President, The Communication Solutions Group 

3:10 – 3:40 p.m.

* Municipal Jeopardy (.5 PMGA Admin Point)

Test your knowledge of important aspects of township government so that you are better prepared to lead and manage your townships.

Liz Tolan, Manager, Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County, and Scott E. Coburn, Esquire, Education Director & Counsel, PSATS


3:40 – 4:00 p.m.

* Q&A and Open Discussion

David M. Sanko, Executive Director, PSATS



               September 27, 2023


                9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


                Monroe County
                Camelback Resort
                193 Resort Drive
                Tannersville, PA 18372

Registration Fee:   - Each Regional Forum registration is partially funded through a scholarship provided by the Pennsylvania Leadership Institute.   

                Member* -  $ 99.00

                Non-Member –  $149.00     

                CLE Credits - $ 30.00                                      

        *PSATS Member = Registrant has paid current annual membership dues to PSATS or one of its professional associations (e.g., Township Emergency Management Association, Township Engineers Association, Township Planners Association, Township Solicitors Association, or the Pa. Assoc. of Zoning Officials).


Cancellations must be in writing, and can be sent to us by email to; by fax to (717) 763-9732; or by mail to PSATS Education Program, 4855 Woodland Drive, Enola, PA, 17025. Refunds will be determined by the sent date of the notice.
Refunds for cancelling a webinar at any time will be subject to a $10 processing fee. 
For classes, (in-person and virtual), refunds for a cancellation sent to us between 10 and 2 business days before the class you are registered for will be subject to a $20 processing fee. Those who cancel within two business days of the class you are registered for, or do not attend, forfeit the full registration fee which, if unpaid, will be invoiced.


If you require alternate format, sign language, or have other needs, please contact PSATS directly (717) 763-0930, x-159.