Gettysburg Connection regularly presents its Outstanding Community Contributor award to community members who have who made outstanding contributions to the people of Adams County. Click here to see all the awardees. Please contact us if you know someone deserving of this award.

Steve Toddes wins Gettysburg Connection Outstanding Community Contributor Award

Cumberland Township resident Steve Toddes has won the Gettysburg Connection Outstanding Community Contributor Award for his service to the county. The award comes as the long-time champion of local issues steps down from the Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors and the Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority (GARA) Board of Directors.

Noting the significant time Toddes had spent on his work, Cumberland Township Supervisor Chair Shaun Phiel honored Toddes at the last board meeting with certificates and a plaque, saying that “his dedication, sense of calm, common sense approach, and township knowledge went beyond regular supervisor duties.”

steve toddes

Phiel presented Toddes with a Certificate of Appreciation from PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association – Township Supervisors) for his 12 years of dedication and service to the township.

Phiel described some of the significant contributions Toddes made during his time at Cumberland township:

  • Served as chair and vice chair of the board.
  • Helped usher in a new era, with the hiring of Manager Dave Blocher upon the retirement of former Manager Ben Thomas and a new era in the police department, with the hiring of Chief Matt Trostel
  • Assisted in successful negotiations with the police collective bargaining unit agreements, without having to go into arbitration.
  • Assisted township personnel with the removal of the underground fuel tanks and the installation and replacement of the above ground tanks.
  • Assisted with successful completion of MS-4 stormwater mitigation projects using grant funds with no tax increase or stormwater fees to complete the projects.
  • Offered his vast construction knowledge with the design of the proposed new township building and CTA projects. His construction knowledge along with his application of good old-fashioned common sense, to what are sometimes complicated CTA issues, help keep the Authority running smoothly.
  • Became the “Founding Father” of GARA. Steve initiated talks for Cumberland Township with the Gettysburg Council to create a regional recreation authority. This partnership allowed for strength in numbers when it came to the needs of the rec park for the past ten years.

“Through some very trying times, Steve guided Cumberland Township” said Phiel. “His dedication has played an integral role in keeping Cumberland Township as one of the best places to live in Adams County.”

“During lively discussions among board members, going back and forth on a particular issue, Steve usually remains quiet until the end of the discussion. Then he sums up the issue in one or two sentences and offers the solution,” said Phiel

GARA Board Chair Steve Niebler, who grew up with Toddes, said he was always a good baseball player. “But even at an early age, Steve had already proved to be great at organizing – first with baseball games, then with the South Penn Baseball League and Little Leagues. Steve put teams together and managed them. He was cut out to be a true leader,” said Niebler.

Niebler also recollected Toddes’ role in the Gettysburg Jaycees. “This was the place for 18–35-year-olds to get involved in community service projects,” he said. “Steve threw himself into the projects, organizing everything from finding earth-moving equipment to pulling together a whole project.”

Niebler said Toddes has the unique ability to have a big vision for the future.  “Steve approached each matter before the board with a single planning question in mind — Where will we be in five to ten years,” he said.

“He has an inordinate amount of common sense, which is not so common anymore,” said Niebler. “In all the decades I have known Steve, I never once heard him say, ‘No, we cannot do this.”

Toddes said he plans to continue contributing to GARA and Cumberland Township. “I’ll miss it.  But I’m looking forward to spending time with my family.”

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