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November 2017

T and R Properties, West View Water Authority, Voodoo Properties Receive State Funding

Several southwestern PA businesses have a lot to be thankful for this year. Three Triad Strategies’ clients received economic development funds or grants to further enhance the region’s communities. Bulldozer

T and R Properties was awarded nearly $2 million to support two regional projects and their transportation infrastructure needs. $852,019 was pledged for the Cool Valley Development, a 900-acre commercial-residential project in Cecil Township, Washington County. $1 million was received for their 54-acre re-development of the former CONSOL Energy property in South Park, PA.  

West View received $111,377 for transportation infrastructure to support the building of a new water treatment plant in Baden, PA.  The completed project will add excess capacity to better serve the southern parts of Beaver and Butler counties as well as complement the Northern Lights shopping plaza, currently in the process of preliminary redevelopment.

Voodoo Properties, a subsidiary of Voodoo Brewery, was awarded $100,000 in gaming economic development funds which will be used to launch a redevelopment of West Eighth Avenue in Homestead, PA. The monies will be used for preliminary demolition of the area’s old municipal building, paving the way to repurposing the space into offices and a community and civic engagement center.

Triad is thankful to be able to work in tandem with our partner company DTI Development.  There are many components that need to come together to make a bold economic development project come to fruition.  Together, we have been able to identify multiple public funding sources and financing options to make many economic developments possible.

Congratulations to our clients- we look forward to continuing the partnership for the betterment of your local communities and the Commonwealth, at large.

Pocono Raceway Crosses Solar Finish Line with Bipartisan, Team Effort

Pocono Raceway CEO, Nick Igdalksy, and President, Ben May, joined Governor Tom Wolf and other elected officials this week to announce the expansion of the use of solar energy across the Commonwealth.  Pocono Gov

“This legislation is a game changer,” said Governor Wolf. “We are making sure that the benefits of increased renewable jobs, a cleaner environment, and a growing renewable economy will be felt in the Commonwealth.”

What does this have to do with cars turning left at over 200 MPH, you ask? Pocono Raceway is the first major American sports venue to run entirely on solar power- produced by the solar farm that sits next to the track. It’s already produced over 24 million kilo-watt hours since its inception in 2010.  

The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 2,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, and carbon dioxide emissions from 106,529 propane BBQ grills, and it will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for close to 300 homes beyond the power needs of the Raceway.  Pocono Raceway is able to run 100% of the facility with the power produced as well as offset all the additional power needs required by NASCAR during an event.  During the summer months, the Raceway employs approximately 50 sheep to help keep the grass cut within the confines of the solar project. Not a baaaaaaad idea!

“This legislation is going to make a significant impact on Pocono Raceway’s ability to grow and continue to be a steward of the environment,” said Igdalsky. “We are grateful for the bi-partisan support from Governor Wolf, Senator Mario Scavello, Representative Mike Carroll and Representative Maureen Madden, to bring this win home for us.”

Triad’s effort on this project began with reaching out to Governor Wolf during his first year in office, wherein he pledged his full support.  Next steps required a meeting with the PUC to ascertain potential roadblocks.  After two consecutive sessions working with Senators Scavello, Argall, and Boscola, as well as Representatives Keller, Rader, Carroll and Madden, we were finally able to work together to craft a legislative strategy to get Pocono’s issue over the finish line.

Pocono Raceway’s team is proud of its commitment to sustainable energy. As a result of partnerships with organizations like NASCAR Green, they have a unique ability to influence people’s behavior when it comes to the environment.

As they like to say at the “Tricky Triangle,”-  “Go Green, it’s not that Tricky!”

Pictured L-R: Representative Mike Carroll, Pocono Raceway President Ben May, Governor Tom Wolf, Pocono Raceway CEO Nick Igdalsky, Senator Mario Scavello, and Representative Maureen Madden. 

Friday Happy Hour: Salamander Gridlock Edition

We’ll start with the bad news: At this juncture, it appears that the next state budget – the one that’s due by June 30 – will have a billion-dollar deficit, according to the Independent Wehrle's salamander Fiscal Office. The good news? It’ll be less than the $2.1 billion deficit that the General Assembly stared down this year. Want more bad news? The IFO projects a $1.8 billion hole the following year, and a $2 billion-plus hole the year after that.

Regarding the current budget, the PA Commonwealth Financing Authority this week approved borrowing up to $1.5 billion against future revenues from the 1998 multi-state settlement with the nation's major tobacco companies to cover a deficit from the 2016-17 fiscal year. Governor Wolf said he’ll probably skip his earlier plan to borrow against PA Liquor Control Board revenue.

In other budget deal aftermath news, the PA Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association, a state-created medical malpractice insurer of last resort, is asking a federal judge to block the Pennsylvania government's demand for $200 million from its reserves. The association said seizing most of its reserves to help plug a state budget hole is unconstitutional. The Office of Attorney General disagreed.

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Triad Strategies is proud to announce that Anthony ‘Tony’ Mannino has joined the firm as a consultant. Mannino will focus on strategic communications, government relations, and operations to address client needs from ranging from media services to business development. Tony Mannino

Tony has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He served as a legislative chief of staff in the Pennsylvania General Assembly from 2006-2015, working for both a Delaware County House member and, most recently, in Philadelphia’s First Senate District. His experience on the front lines gives him an insider’s view on how to identify, engage, and persuade government and community stakeholders, as well as intimate knowledge of the inner workings of state and local government. He also maintains trusted relationships throughout southeastern Pennsylvania with leaders in the business and non-profit communities.

“We at Triad Strategies are fortunate to have Tony join our team. He brings a wide-ranging skill set including marketing, development, and operational management that will prove useful to our clients,” said Roy Wells, President and Managing Partner. “He is an asset for team Triad, and will be a key asset to our existing and new clients, as well.”

Prior to his public service, Tony spent more than a decade as an attorney in the private sector, handling various commercial litigation matters for institutional clients. He currently serves as chief operating officer at Wolf Commercial Real Estate/CORFAC International, where he provides executive-level leadership to a sales and administrative team, and implements strategies for corporate growth in new markets and business lines in the Philadelphia region.

“I’m delighted to join a well-respected firm that offers a wide variety of services,” said Mannino. “With Triad's presence in both Harrisburg and southeastern Pennsylvania, my experience is a perfect fit to help clients build relationships with government and stakeholders while achieving their business objectives.”

In addition to his professional experience, Tony has been active in many civic and community organizations. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, the agency that manages, maintains, and markets port facilities along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. He also serves on the board of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, where he is a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Advocacy Committee. He previously served as a state Senate designee to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, and as a commissioner alternate at the Delaware River Port Authority.

Tony has a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and a B.B.A. in accounting from Temple. He is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and is also a licensed Pennsylvania real estate salesperson.

Triad Strategies, LLC is a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Friday Happy Hour: Good for the Goose Edition

The American electorate elbowed its way through an unusually spirited “off-year” election this week, and there were casualties. This Festivus-like Airing of the Grievances produced Geeseseveral noteworthy results. The punditry largely awarded victory to the Democrats and losses to divisiveness generally and President Trump specifically.

Nowhere was this more evident than in Virginia, where there seems to be a strong desire to put Charlottesville in the rear-view mirror. Voters elected a Democratic governor by a comfortable margin, and first-time delegates include an Asian-American woman, two Latina women and a lesbian nurse who campaigned with her partner.

But perhaps the biggest story of the night was the defeat of Delegate Robert Marshall, self-described “chief homophobe” and author of the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, whose 26-year run was halted at the hands of openly transgender candidate Danica Roem. Karma, or coincidence? You decide.

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Some Sweet News From Our Clients at Triad Strategies!

Success is always sweeter when it’s shared- and our clients had some great reasons to dig extra deep into the Halloween candy this year. As we look back down the home stretch for the budget, Triad Strategies is thrilled for its valued clients’ successes this season. Sucker-with-pile-of-candy-garry-gay

Congrats to the Stars Group and the Poker Players’ Alliance on the General Assembly passing legislation that would make PA only the fourth state to legalize online gaming. By working closely with the General Assembly and Governor Tom Wolf’s office, the final product will help to plug the Commonwealth’s budget deficit through taxes and licensing fees, while opening up gaming to an entirely new demographic of players.  By collaborating with existing brick-and-mortar casinos, the legislation will also prohibit the cannibalization of casino revenue, and at the same time start to rid Pennsylvania of illegal online sites by strictly regulating the new industry. 

PA’s students win big with the College Board having advocated for legislation to ensure students attending State System Universities receive college credit if they achieve a certain score on Advanced Placement exams. Language championed by Chairman Jim Roebuck, Representative Kristin Hill, and Senator Ryan Aument was included in the comprehensive Education Code. It creates a consistent AP articulation policy, and ensures that certain scores on AP exams translate to college credits at any one of the fourteen State System institutions. It has the potential to save Pennsylvania students and their families over $110 million in tuition costs and increases the likelihood of students graduating in four years.

Thanks to the Erie delegation of both the House and Senate who successfully passed legislation that addressed duplicative and cumbersome regulations in the existing law. The legislation exempts Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE Northwest PA) providers from having to comply with archaic adult day licensing requirements under the Department of Aging.

Need a ride, but no Lyft or Uber was in the area? Not anymore! Drivers for Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and Uber can now use vehicles that are 15-years-old or newer. This change in the vehicle age requirement will allow more drivers to provide transportation network service to consumers across the Commonwealth.

The University of Pennsylvania received $30.4 million in state appropriations for PennVet. This funding supports veterinary activities and the Center for Infectious Diseases, while also providing critical support to the state’s agricultural industry as it monitors the health and safety of the state’s food supply.

Sunny days are here again… Legislation sponsored by Senator Mario Scavello was also signed into law.  The change to the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act will greatly help Pennsylvania’s solar energy generators like Pocono Raceway by prohibiting out-of-state solar producers from using Pennsylvania’s energy credits.  This change will lead to more solar capacity being built right here in Pennsylvania.

We can feel better about our water supply thanks to Westview Water Authority as the Fiscal Code included a provision to allow public funds to be used to replace privately held lead water lines.  The change is crucial to systems in western Pennsylvania, who have struggled to get their arms around the costly issue of replacing these lines while protecting ratepayers.  

With this year’s budget process in the rearview mirror, we at Triad Strategies look forward to our continued partnership and shared success for each of our clients in the coming year.


Friday Happy Hour: Bart Simpson Edition

Congressional Republicans this week unveiled their tax cut/reform package to the world, and the plan is, in a word, YUGE!  There will be a chicken in every pot and a Lexus in every Bart_Chalkboard_A_-_FINAL driveway when it is all said and done, if anything ever gets said or done, which is never a safe bet in a Congress that can’t even reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program without somehow screwing it up. 

Our own congressional delegation gave the plan mixed reviews.  It will probably shock you to learn that the responses fell along party lines, with Democrats being in the “meh” camp and the Republicans singing hosannas. 

Elsewhere in the Federal City, Special Counsel Robert Mueller this week dropped the hammer on Paul Manafort and two of his Trump campaign cohorts. Manafort, for the uninformed, was either the brains behind the Trump victory or some nobody who hung around the campaign office for a few minutes each day delivering Dunkin Donuts. 

Back here in the barrel of laughs that is your state government, more than 1,000 people signed up on the first day of enrollment for the state’s medical marijuana program. Some 999 of those folks have legitimate maladies that can be treated with medical cannabis, while one dude named Stan just wanted to know where he could buy some weed. 

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