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County honors Dougherty on receiving award

Lehigh County Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty was recently awarded the Outstanding County Commissioner of the Year Award by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

For more than 28 consecutive years, Dougherty has served Lehigh County as an elected commissioner.

This achievement is a first in the history of Lehigh County and makes Dougherty the longest serving commissioner in Pennsylvania.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” Dougherty said. “I would like to thank County Executive Armstrong and the board of commissioners for nominating me, especially Commissioner Marc Grammes for initiating the entire process.

“This has been a great experience for my final year as a county commissioner.”

Dougherty, elected to the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners in 1993, took office in January 1994.

He has been elected chairman of the board an unprecedented six times.

Dougherty, who represents District 2 in the county, is a past president and current board member of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania where he has served on a variety of committees, concentrating his efforts on land use and planning initiatives that stimulate the economy while protecting valuable natural resources.

He has served on CCAP’s board of directors and was chairman of the energy, environment and land use committee.

Dougherty’s numerous civic commitments reflect his dedication to planning, environmental and cultural issues.

He is a member and a former chair of the Lehigh Valley Regional Planning Commission and a former member of the Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission, the Route 222 Study Commission and the Lehigh Valley GIS Steering Committee.

He serves on the boards of the Allentown Symphony Association, the Allentown Art Museum, the Wildlands Conservancy and was chairman of the Allentown ArtsWalk Wine Auction.

Several Lehigh County representatives acknowledged Dougherty on his milestone achievement:

“It is truly an honor to serve Lehigh County alongside Commissioner Dougherty,” Lehigh County Executive Phillips M. Armstrong said. “His commitment and passion for the people of this county is the true definition of public service, and on behalf of the Lehigh County Government, we are honored to work alongside him every day.

“His presence will be missed as his term comes to an end and his legacy will serve as an example for us all.”

Grammes, Lehigh County commissioner District 1, shared his kudos.

“I have had the pleasure of serving with Commissioner Dougherty for eight years,” Grammes said. “CCAP could not have made a better choice for commissioner of the year.

“During his long tenure, he has been a champion of land preservation, the arts and the health and welfare of Lehigh County residents. Commissioner Dougherty also served as a past president of CCAP, a tremendous honor bestowed upon him by his peers.

“He has mentored many of us along the way as to how to perform the duties of commissioner with honor, respect and integrity.

“He has served with distinction, giving no credence to the politics of the day. He has set the bar high, in terms of leadership and effectiveness and gives others a strong desire to follow his example.

“Lehigh County is a better place because of his efforts. Commissioner Percy Dougherty, Bravo Zulu, nicely done!”

Commissioner Bob Elbich, Lehigh County commissioner-at-large, also congratulated Dougherty.

“For an elected official to serve the public for 28 years is extraordinary, but to also dedicate additional time during that service to well and faithfully represent the interests of Lehigh County at the statewide County Commissioners Association is the purest definition of public service,” Elbich said. “Percy has done all that and more, so I thank him for all of his service to the community and wish him a long and healthy future.”

Commissioner Dan Hartzell, commissioner-at-large, addressed Dougherty’s teaching career.

“Professor, people talk a lot about wanting to give back to the community,” Hartzell said. “You’ve walked the walk on that concept to a tremendous degree.

“The long, distinguished career teaching at the college level, the decades as a county commissioner, the dedicated service on many boards and commissions - it all adds up to an impressive record of public service.

“The most heartfelt congratulations are in order.”

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania represents the 67 counties in the commonwealth.

Its purpose is to provide county commissioners with information and guidance related to legislation, education, media, insurance, technology and other issues that pertain to the board.

The organization was founded in 1886 and is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties.

Editor’s Note: To see photos of Dr. Percy Dougherty receiving his award, visit www.lvpnews.com.

PRESS PHOTOS COURTESY CCAP Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Dougherty addresses attendees at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania annual conference and trade show Aug. 3 at Hershey Lodge, Hershey.
Bradford County Commissioner and County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania First Vice President Daryl Miller, along with CCAP Executive Director Lisa Schaefer, and Butler County Commissioner and CCAP President Kevin Boozel, join Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Dougherty (third from left) for a after he was awarded the Outstanding County Commissioner of the Year Award by the CCAP.