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Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa has been honored by the Oregon Mayors Association with a Mayor’s Leadership Award for 2017.  She received the award at the Association’s summer conference in July in Lebanon.  Creswell Mayor Dave Stram also received the award.

Konopa has served the City of Albany for the past 20 years, the last eight as mayor.  In one of many letters nominating her for this award, a neighboring mayor wrote:  “Mayor Konopa is a person of great integrity.  As an advocate, she makes strong statements in support of her positions.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with her position, she demonstrates leadership when others may practice politics.” 

More than 20 years ago, Konopa helped to found the nonprofit Albany Partnership for Housing and Community Development to provide low-cost housing for residents in need.  In 2006, when Albany Police dismantled a very large homeless camp in Simpson Park, she personally picked up people from the camp to take them to appointments at the Employment Department and with housing agencies.  She continues to serve as the Partnership’s board chair and helps manage the organization that provides more than 130 housing units for low-income families. 

Konopa also believes in the importance of making her city an attractive place for people of diverse backgrounds.  She was a powerful advocate for restoring historic buildings and encouraging residential units in what was becoming a blighted historic downtown.  The result is visible every day as new businesses open, new residents move in, and projects are completed. 

Established in 1993, the Mayors Leadership Award recognizes the valuable contributions that mayors throughout Oregon make to their communities each year.  In judging nominees, the Selection Committee considers whether the nominee has:  demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities that have contributed to lasting benefits in their city and the community as a whole; shown considerable involvement in community affairs and intergovernmental relations; shown exceptional skill in helping to facilitate productive relationships between the governing body and City employees; and helped other Oregon mayors reach their full potential as community leaders.