Former Greensburg mayor Karl Eisaman is a whiz at time management.
His resume lists more than two dozen civic organizations of which he is either a current or past member.
His organizational experience includes -- to name a few -- chairman of Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, president of Greensburg Rotary Club and board member of Westmoreland Human Services, United Way of Westmoreland County, Westmoreland County Community College Foundation and Greensburg YMCA.
Those are in addition to his day job as president of McDowell Associates Inc., an independent insurance agency.
Quantity is one thing, but as a recipient of a lifetime achievement award, Mr. Eisaman has been recognized for quality, too. The Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities presented him with the award in June at its annual convention, held in Pittsburgh this year.
Mr. Eisaman, 53, is probably best known for his four-term, 16-year tenure as mayor of Greensburg. He began his career in insurance in 1981 and entered the political arena in 1984.
"Two council members and the mayor came to me and told me the council member in charge of finances was going to retire," he said. "In view of my business background, they asked if I'd run and, after consulting with my wife, Carmen, I did and was elected."
A year and a half later, when Mayor Dan Fajt decided not to run for a third term, Mr. Eisaman decided to try for the post.
"My father told me that I should try to give back to the community," he said. "Carmen and I felt running for mayor would be a nice way to do that."
During his four terms as mayor of the 4.2-square-mile city with a population of 14,892, he was part of a team that worked together to revitalize the downtown area, he said. With help from the Westmoreland Trust, the Palace Theatre, the train station and the nearby Stark buildings were revitalized. In 1999, an outdoor amphitheater was built in St. Clair Park, where a variety of Summer Sounds musical concerts draw about 2,000 people Friday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
He noted that the city's cultural life got even richer in 2009 with the construction of the $21 million Seton Hill Performing Arts Center a block from the Palace Theatre, offering theater and dance performances and music recitals.
In 2007, Greensburg was named one of the Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania by U.S. News and World Report.
Another highlight of Mr. Eisaman's tenure as mayor came in 2003, when Greensburg became the sister city of the small village of Cercemaggiore in the Molise region of Italy. Mrs. Eisaman has family ties to that town and the Eisamans have visited there.
"As mayor, I found it was a great part-time job with full-time responsibilities," he said.
Last year, the Eisamans began looking for another home in which to spend their retirement. Because their future downsized home might be outside of Greensburg, Mr. Eisaman decided not to run for re-election. The office of mayor has a residency requirement.
Looking back on his years as mayor, he said he found the friendships he made in the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities invaluable and that a lot of ideas for improving the community came from its conferences.
In March, the league awarded Mr. Eisaman its lifetime achievement award.
"I'm ... so honored," he said.
Before he left office early this year, he was presented with an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters from Seton Hill University at its graduation ceremonies in December.
Since leaving public office, his golf game has improved, he said.
"As mayor, I didn't realize how much time I put into the office. Now I look at my watch and realize I go home from work at a reasonable hour."
Dave Zuchowski, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.