Since she was first elected, Diana has understood the economic development is critical to the economic vitality and future of Washington County.
Diana has been recognized as a leader in economic development. In 1999, Diana established a public-private partnership to develop a “one-stop-shop” creating a unified delivery system for economic development efforts. From her first day in office, Diana has played a vital role in the development of Southpointe I and II where over 12,000 people work every day.
Under her leadership, Washington County has attracted 12,000 new jobs ranking Washington County third in the nation in job growth in 2010.
Diana understands, it’s not the government’s money, it’s our money.
Diana has consistently worked to help taxpayers keep as much of their hard-earned income as possible. She has consistently looked for ways to make government more efficient and keep costs and taxes low.
Through her efforts, Washington County has the lowest county taxes in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
More than 40 percent of Washington County’s budget is associated with our county prison, criminal justice system and human services. Much of this cost is associated with prosecuting and incarcerating non-violent offenders and providing social services to their families.
Diana led the effort to take non-violent offenders out of the correctional facilities to reduce costs and put them to work. They have provided over 400,000 hours of community service to non-profits and local governments, resulting in savings of tens of thousands of dollars.
This innovative program helped Washington County to have the second lowest incarceration cost rate in the state at $46 per day compared to the state average of $123 per day.
Some of the biggest cost drivers for local and county governments are lucrative benefit packages provided to government employees.
Realizing that these benefit packages are not sustainable for taxpayers, Diana led the effort to stop rising legacy costs for the county by eliminating life-time health care privileges for county employees, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Across the country, local, county and state pension plans are facing $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities. That is not the case in Washington County.
Under Diana’s leadership, Washington County is keeping its commitment to retirees and taxpayers. The county pension plan is 90 percent funded with an average annual return of 9 percent, which is in the top quarter of public pension plans in the country.
Through her innovative thinking and long-range planning, Diana successfully created Washington County’s first Land Bank which helps communities to re-purpose blighted properties.
Diana developed the criteria for the Local Share Account that has resulted in almost $500 million invested into local community improvements, economic development, job training and infrastructure.
Diana has been a proponent of transparency and local control of the awarding the grants. Washington County is the only county in Pennsylvania to make its decisions locally.
As a mother, Diana recognizes the crucial role of county government in providing services to at-risk children and youth. Throughout her career, Diana has been outspoken in her quest to ensure that services are delivered in a competent and caring manner.
In 2011, she formed the Washington County Children and Youth Task Force with members of Children and Youth Services, the courts, local legislators, law enforcement and local child protective services, in an effort to improve outreach and services to at-risk children and youth in Washington County.
Because of her passion for these issues, Diana has served on the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania Human Services Committee and on the National Association of Counties’ Human Services and Education Committee.
Diana believes in the importance of giving back to the community. She volunteers her time working with female inmates incarcerated in the Washington County Correctional Facility. The re-entry program is designed to prepare incarcerated individuals for success when released back into society.
Diana also serves on numerous economic and community boards and has provided much needed local representation and has brought awareness to regional issues. She has helped raise $100,000 for Washington City Mission, homeless shelters, Patriot House and Avis Arbor.