Richland environmental, sustainability coordinator resigns
Thursday, July 18, 2019 | 12:01 AM
Richland Township officials have bid farewell to Sara Knapp Sims, the township’s environmental compliance and sustainability coordinator.
Knapp tendered her resignation, effective July 19, citing a relocation to Destin, Fla, to be with her husband. Township manager Dean Bastianini shared the resignation letter at the Board of Supervisors’ July meeting.
“She expresses gratitude for the personal and professional development opportunities and said she’s enjoyed working with the supervisors and staff and is proud of what she’s accomplished during her time here,” Bastianini said. “She said leaving Richland is truly bittersweet and she gives thanks for her opportunity to serve the community.”
Richland hired Sims three-and-a-half years ago to the newly-created position. The township was not among the leaders in stormwater management when she arrived, Bastianini said, lagging behind downstream communities.
“We realized we needed to pick our game up and do a better job,” he said. “We hired Sara, and she not only brought us into full compliance with all the state regulations but she became a leader of the practitioners in the field of stormwater management.”
Knapp organized a group of fellow stormwater management professionals from the surrounding communities and North Hills Council of Governments members, Bastianini said, and was instrumental in Richland receiving a number of grants, including one to plug two abandoned gas wells in the township and several that helped pay for recent improvements to Richland Community Park. Sims also organized a number of volunteer efforts in the community, including creek clean-ups and tree planting.
“She was a gift,” supervisor Skip Allen said. “She’ll really be missed.”
The board voted to accept her resignation and the township is now seeking her replacement. An advertisement for a full-time stormwater/MS4 coordinator is posted on the website at richland.pa.us.