Bodies of work worthy of praise

Change certainly is in the air in these parts.

Leadership is changing at key institutions locally.

Sadly, too many of us fail to see the entire body of work of people when they retire after long careers in public service.

That should not be the case with three such servants here: Richard Marcinkevage and Leonora Hannagan from the City of Lock Haven, Clyde Glossner of Woodward Township, and Dr. Michael J. Fiorentino, president of Lock Haven University.

Mr. Marcinkevage was described as a “consumate professional” on Monday night by Council Vice President Steve Stevenson. We would echo that and also offer that Mr. Marcinkevage has been an exceedingly dedicated public servant all of the four decades of his career.

And another word we firmly associate with Rich is this: Integrity.

No surprise that he immediately praised city staff over the years when asked to say a few words following a standing ovation in his honor at City Hall on Monday night.

Starting as city engineer at April 26, 1976, through March 16, 1997, and then transitioning to city manager until this Dec. 31 … well, that’s quite a career!

You do the math. And while numbers certainly do matter to Rich — he has been the primary author of the city’s budgets over the years — work ethic is another important trait of this father of three.

Just ask his wife, JoAnn. She’ll tell you about the many long, long days Rich has put in. As Rich said this week, he’s seen floods, fires, snow storms, labor strikes, droughts, the controversial levee project, protests, and more. He has worked under and with multiple mayors and city council members over the years.

The City of Lock Haven will miss Rich Marcinkevage.

So will we.

Did you know that Leonora has been responsible for the city receiving more than $13.8 million in grants from 2005 to the present?

That’s no small accomplishment. To know Leonora is to know that she says what she thinks, period. Her direct style of interaction over the years involving any city project or endeavor very much endeared us to her … and built our respect for her.

Among the things that will help define Rich and Leonora’s legacies are the streetscapes in the city.

Over the years, these lead administrators — with council’s mutual lead and backing, of course — have changed the face of the city, beautifying key streets and sidewalks in the downtown.

Look around, folks. Not many communities can match the improvements done here.

Also at the local level, Woodward Township last night celebrated Clyde’s 47 years as a supervisor upon his retirement.

Dozens of people turned out at the Dunnstown Volunteer Fire Co. social hall and gave Clyde multiple ovations. The township has been a very big part of Clyde’s life all of these years. Have even a brief conversation with Clyde and you’ll see the passion for his home community shine.

As an elected servant, Clyde has always been a good listener. Whether he agreed with an issue or not, he listened, and most always offered support if he felt it would benefit the township and its residents.

At Lock Haven University, Dr. Fiorentino will leave in mid-March, having significantly strengthened the university’s financial standing and more to the point that the university currently ranks at the top in prescribed standards among the 14 schools in the state system — even though it’s among the smallest.

No small accomplishment amid a slow decline in enrollment that mirrors the trend nationally.

Lock Haven University is No. 1 in the state in “performance funding” measures that include the rate of student success, access for under-served and low-income students, faculty diversity, attaining external fundraising goals, and addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance projects.

It marks the second time in three years LHU has achieved the top ranking.

The heart of Lock Haven University is beating stronger because of Dr. Fiorentino and his team.

Bravo.

All the best to these leaders.

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