John Hanger, Gov. Wolf's policy, planning director, resigns
February 19, 2016 11:27 PM
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — John Hanger, secretary of policy and planning for Gov. Tom Wolf, is leaving the administration to spend more time with his wife and daughter in Massachusetts.
The governor’s office said that Sarah Galbally, who has been deputy secretary for policy and planning, will replace Mr. Hanger.
Mr. Hanger, who was a strong advocate for Mr. Wolf’s agenda and budget, released a statement saying it had become impossible to do his job and commute regularly to see his family.
“It has been an honor to serve an extraordinary governor and his administration who work tirelessly to make a better Pennsylvania,” Mr. Hanger said. “It is difficult to leave, but I cannot be in two places at once.”
“John’s service to my administration has been invaluable, and it is difficult to see John leave his current position,” Mr. Wolf said in a statement. “I have known John for many years and I am glad that John will continue to provide me the benefit of his counsel and expertise in the years ahead.”
Mr. Hanger, 58, who ran against Mr. Wolf for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014 but dropped out before the primary, is a former commissioner on the state’s Public Utility Commission, serving from 1993 to 1998. While there he advocated for alternative energy programs, customer choice and energy conservation.
He served as founding president from 1998 to 2008 of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, a statewide environmental advocacy organization, and was secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection from 2008 to 2011 in the administration of Gov. Ed Rendell.
George Jugovic Jr., who was director of DEP’s Southwest Regional office in Pittsburgh under Mr. Hanger, said he expanded the scope of the department to deal with energy issues and climate change.
“John wasn’t a traditional secretary with a limited view of DEP’s role with regard to land, water and air issues,” Mr. Jugovic said. “He had a much more expansive and complex view of environmental threats.”
The governor said Ms. Galbally, who was policy director for the Wolf for Governor Campaign, has been a key adviser and has served ably as Mr. Hanger’s deputy. Mr. Wolf also said Will Danowski, until now the acting secretary of legislative affairs, will serve in that role permanently.
Karen Langley: email@example.com, 717-787-2141 or on Twitter @karen_langley. Don Hopey contributed.
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