PSATS Southeast 2023 Regional Forum - 9/18/23 - Plymouth Meeting

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 Administration points

Eligible for 3 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) 

* How to Leverage Different Types of Plans to Maximize Value for Your Community (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point) 

Planning ensures you’re working toward community goals efficiently by focusing and prioritizing your efforts. It can also improve your position for grants and subsidized loans, but there are so many different types of plans: Comprehensive Plans, Comprehensive Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plans, Master Site Plans, Active Transportation Plans, and moreWhat’s the difference between each plan? Which ones do you need? How do they work together and with regional plans? How do you leverage them for funding to stretch your budget further? We’ll answer these questions and more in this informative session. 

Kaitlin Mills, Community Planner, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. 

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

There is no such things 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 


10:15 a.m. - 11:10 a.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  

* Building Agendas, Public Comment, and Angry Residents – Tips for Managing Meetings (1 PMGA Admin Point and/or 1 CLE) 

This session will cover all of the challenging issues that townships must work through in connection with public meetings and provide tips that you can easily implement in your townships.  

Scott E. Coburn, Esq., Education Director & Counsel, PSATS 


11:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (choose one) 

* 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 

* Managing Open Space: Guidelines for Success (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point) 

As the use of natural landscapes has become more common, so have the issues associated with improvements and long-term maintenance of open spaces. This workshop will discuss how a municipality is using guidelines to help streamline the transition, from permitting to implementation to maintenance, to ensure long-term success of natural areas in increasingly urbanized areas. 

Brian Harris, Township Manager & Authority Administrator, Warwick Township, Lancaster County 


12:15 - 1:00 p.m.  

* Lunch  


1:00 – 1:55 p.m. (choose one) 

* 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 

* Bringing Awareness to the Human Element of Cybersecurity (1 PMGA Admin Point) 

Hundreds of governmental entities were affected by ransomware in 2022. Most were breached due to human action, not a technology failure. This session will address the human element in cybersecurity and demonstrate the importance of creating an awareness program for your township. Attendees will get tips for training employees to be more security conscious and learn best practices for creating a culture that will better position the township to defend itself. 

Matt Dotts, Information Security Awareness Officer, MidPenn Bank 


2:05 - 3:00 p.m. (choose one) 

* Zoning and Property Maintenance Enforcement Tips and Tricks … with Tales of Quick Fixes and Never-Ending Stories (1 PMGA Planning/Zoning Point and/or 1 CLE) 

Ordinance enforcement can be a bear! Neighbors complain that things aren’t happening fast enough. Violators claim that they are being unfairly targeted. Technical requirements can cause snags. And enforcement costs give municipal budgets heartburn. Michael Crotty will walk through the basic rules of the road for enforcement and lead a discussion on ways to better our approach. More importantly though, he will go through his tips and strategies for making your enforcement process as efficient and effective as possible…with examples that range from surprising stories complicated/extensive violations with quick compliance to a decade-plus long saga of pursuing a property for unambiguous violations.   

Michael G. Crotty, Esquire, Siana Law 

* Collaborative Approaches to Stormwater Management (1 PMGA Public Works Point) 

The MS4 Program, while well-intentioned, can cause financial and logistical challenges for communities. Multi-municipal partnerships can help to alleviate these burdens, but strategies are needed to incentivize equitable collaboration. This sesion will focus on key elements of existing MS4 collaborations in Pennsylvania and provide a framework for entities interested in starting their own multi-municipal partnership. 

Beth Uhler, Pennsylvania Director, Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.  


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.  

Judy Lizza, Manager, Thornbury Township, Chester 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 18, 2023


                9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


                Montgomery County
                Doubletree by Hilton Plymouth Meeting
                640 Fountain Road
                Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

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 - $ 45.00                                        

        *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.

  • Registration Closed