It's the end of an era.
One of the fieriest orators and most strong-headed lawmakers of our time is retiring at the end of the year after 38 years in the Pennsylvania House.
Rep. Camille "Bud" George will leave a large hole in the hearts of the constituents of his Clearfield County district and those outside his district who have watched him epitomize honorable public service.
With a gravel voice but a big heart, George fought very hard to protect consumers and the environment.
The Houtzdale Democrat proposed numerous pieces of legislation including measures to lower the state's personal income tax and increase consumer protection in a world of electric deregulation.
Under Bud George's watch, PennVEST was created, which provides low-interest loans and grants for water and sewer projects across Pennsylvania. Many of the major projects done locally since PennVEST's inception in 1988 have benefited from the agency's funding.
George was on the General Assembly's conference committee which hammered out Act 101 of 1988, the law that overhauled solid waste management and recycling in Pennsylvania.
George has been a longtime member of the House Environment Resources and Energy Committee, having served as its chairman.
He also helped bring to his district, the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale, the Walmart Distribution Center in Woodland and Lock Haven University's Clearfield Campus - all economic boosts as well as job producers.
It is sad to note that when George leaves office, Pennsylvania will no longer have a World War II veteran serving in the General Assembly. But it is pleasing to know that George will continue in public service as Houtzdale's mayor, a job he held in the late 1960s.
We thank Rep. George for a job well done.