Contemplating Governing
A course for potential candidates for local office

Contemplating Governing is a three-part program that will be held on the following dates:

Wednesdays, January 30, February 6, & February 20, 2013
6 PM - 9 PM
Green Tree Borough Municpal Building
10 W. Manilla Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

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 duites 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

Click here to reserve your spot:

Registration Fee: $45
*Upon a successful election, your $45 registration fee for Contemplating Governing will be applied to the registration fee for the Newly Elected Officials Course

Speaker Biographies:

Ronald J. Brown, Esq.
Grogan & Graffam, P.C.
Four Gateway Center, 12th floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1224
Phone: 412-553-6343
Fax: 412-553-6701

Ron Brown has been a shareholder since 1993 and is chairman of the Business Transactions practice group.
He practices in the areas of municipal law and municipal finance, including governmental bond issues and
economic development project finance.

He serves as solicitor to several municipal authorities. Ron also provides legal services for offerings of privately-placed securities and legal guidance to small business entities. Prior to joining the firm, he served as
Assistant Deputy Controller of Allegheny County.

Ron was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Considered among the best in their profession, Super Lawyers represent the top 5% of the practicing attorneys in Pennsylvania.


Michael S. Foreman
Local Government Policy Specialist
Governor’s Center for Local Government Services
Department of Community and Economic Development
301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-565-5199
Fax: 412-565-2635


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.  Mr. Foreman provides local government officials with policy guidance and advice, technical and consultative assistance and training in the areas of general government management and administration, financial management, revenue and taxation matters, personnel management, labor relations, service delivery systems, intergovernmental cooperation, boundary change, grant writing and 
administration and economic and community development.

Jodi Noble
Township Manager
Chartiers Township
2 Buccaneer Drive
Houston, PA 15342
Phone: 724-745-3415
Fax: 724-745-1744

Jodi is the newly appointed Township Manager of Chartiers Township, Washington County, PA, where she serves as the Chief Administrator of this growing municipality.  Prior to her appointment, she served as the Government Relations Specialist for the law firm of Babst Calland and was the Managing Consultant of Public Partners, a Pittsburgh-based municipal consulting firm, specializing in lending the experience of seasoned municipal professionals to local governments.  During her tenure with Public Partners she served municipal and private clients of various sizes as interim manager, conducted manager searches, land use administration and union contract negotiations, including Act 111 arbitration.
During her nearly 12 years serving Moon Township, Allegheny County, she gained a wide variety of experience in public administration, municipal finance, personnel administration, community development and land use matters. She annually developed and managed the Township budget and was responsible for the management and overall personnel administration of the Township’s employees, including the development of a municipal personnel policy, collective bargaining and Act 111 arbitration. Ms. Noble was also the Deputy Director of the Township Transportation Authority which was instrumental in developing the community’s infrastructure that enabled Moon Township’s growth.  In order to then properly manage the growth, Ms. Noble played a significant role in the development of an innovative Comprehensive Plan that based the municipality’s zoning and other land use controls on traffic and infrastructure demands to ensure sustainable municipal development
Ms. Noble graduated magna cum laude, from Washington and Jefferson College, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where she specialized in personnel and labor-relations management
Ms. Noble is member of the Association of Pennsylvania Municipal Managers and is a former member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association.  She published an article on Asset Management for the Borough News and has spoken on Zoning Issues, Innovative Management Concepts and Hiring and Firing in Local Government at various municipal conferences.

Steven Hallock, Ph.D.
Director of the School of Communication
Associate Professor of Journalism
Point Park University
201 Wood Street
1011 Thayer Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Steve Hallock, Ph.D., director of the School of Communication and director of its graduate studies program, joined the
faculty in the fall of 2007 following a two-year stint as an assistant professor of journalism at
Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

His newspaper experience of nearly 25 years includes national and regional award-winning editorial and column writing
for daily newspapers in the West, supervisory positions as editor of two daily newspapers in Ohio and features editor at daily newspapers in Oklahoma and New Mexico, and reporting positions on beats ranging from local government and education to sports and features. He also has been a book reviewer, published short stories in literary magazines, and was a
full-time jazz critic in Phoenix.

Hallock has published extensively during his academic career, with columns appearing on op-ed pages in newspapers that
include The New York Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dayton Daily News and Denver Post. He also has published in scholarly newspaper journals.

He and his wife, Joanne, a paralegal at a downtown Pittsburgh law firm, live in Mount Lebanon.

Local Government Academy recognizes and thanks the following Advocates for Good Government for their support of Contemplating Governing:

Allegheny County

Babst Calland
Campbell, Durrant, Beatty, Palombo & Miller, P.C.
Gateway Engineers
Janney, Montgomery, Scott LLC
People's Natural Gas
PNC Bank
Law Offices of Wayne D. Gerhold


Contemplating Governing is offered with promotional support from the following organizations:

3 Rivers Wet Weather, Inc.

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
Allegheny County Library Association
Allegheny League of Municipalities
Association for Pennsylvania Municipal Management, Western PA Chapter
Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management
Beaver County Regional Council of Governments
Butler County Council of Governments
Center for Metropolitan Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Community Technical Assistance Center
CORO - Center for Civic Leadership
Executive Women's Council of Greater Pittsburgh
Greater Pittsburgh Non-Profit Partnership
Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.
League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
Mon Valley Initiative
North Area Environmental Council
Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics
Pennsylvania Economy League
Steel Valley Council of Governments
Sustainable Pittsburgh
The Penn State Center

LGA is proud to have bi-partisan support for Contemplating Governing, including the endorsements of:

  • Nancy Patton Mills, Chair, Democratic Committee of Allegheny County
  • James Roddey, Chair, Republican Committee of Allegheny County


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