TOWANDA — The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania officially announced its awards for 2020, including an honor for the late Bradford County Commissioner Ed Bustin.

Bustin, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59 back in April, was honored by the CCAP during a Celebration of Life at the Larnard-Hornbrook County Park in October. Bustin’s wife Terry accepted the award on behalf of the family.

“CCAP’s Outstanding County Commissioner/Council Member of the Year Award was presented posthumously to Bradford County’s Ed Bustin. The award recognizes that through local service and Association participation, Commissioner Bustin contributed to the advancement of county government,” a press release issued Tuesday said. “Commissioner Bustin was an advocate for the vulnerable population and the recovering community and was a member of the Local Government Advisory Board for the Chesapeake Bay Commission, as well a member of the National Association of Counties’ Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee and numerous CCAP committees and community boards.”

“He recognized how the lack of housing impacted the criminal justice system, the mental health system and the drug and alcohol system, and testified before the Pennsylvania House Human Services Committee on the need for the state to increase mental health funding,” the press release continued. “He also understood the importance of addressing social determinants of health as a key factor in addressing poverty. Commissioner Bustin excelled at building relationships with the public, private and nonprofit sectors. His legacy will impact the lives of his constituents well into the future.”

Sullivan County Commissioner Donna Iannone had nominated Ed for the award after his passing and received several letters of support through the process — a couple of which she read before the surprise presentation in October.

“Ed exemplified what it meant to be a leader,” she said at the Celebration of Life. “He had compassion, empathy, and empowered others to do their best and to be our best selves.”

The CCAP also announced that this year’s Pennsylvania Highway Information Association and PennDOT Road and Bridge Safety Award recipient was Bradford County, for their Bridge Bundle Project. Eight bridges were replaced throughout Bradford County and the county’s bridge inventory was assessed.

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