Let me begin by saying I am proud of Lancaster. I grew up here. I graduated from Lancaster High School and I have seen a lot of changes in my hometown. I can remember the people on Main Street who came to buy shoes or shop at the many jewelry stores. I remember the fountain at Kresge’s and going to the movies at the Lyric. I also remember when most of my friends and neighbors worked here in Lancaster and Columbus was a place you went only on rare occasions. They worked at Anchor Hocking and Lancaster Glass or the businesses that supported them like Stuck Mould Works. They worked at Sonoco, Arc Air, Essex Wire and Ray-o-vac. Those were the days when a Lancaster High graduate could almost be assured of finding a job in Lancaster, if he or she wanted one.
During the last 20 years or so, I have seen Lancaster change from being a city where its citizens were committed to making it great to a city where frankly a lot of its citizens just don’t care anymore. I have seen our buildings and streets deteriorate. I have seen Lancaster’s manufacturing companies close and the good paying jobs they offered go with them. I have seen fathers and mothers who used to spend time with their children after work spend that time driving to a job or working a second job just to make ends meet.
I have watched good working family neighborhoods where you did not have to lock your doors at night become havens for criminal activity, particularly drug activity. And, I have watched the appearance of those neighborhoods decline as slum lords bought homes they did not maintain.
I have also seen Lancaster’s citizens become disillusioned and disappointed in their government. While Mayor Smith and his predecessor have kept the city’s lights on, they have created a stark mistrust throughout government. There is clear friction between City Council and the Mayor’s office and between the administration and rank and file city employees. Everyday citizens believe current and past Republican Party administrations have been more interested in taking care of the special interests than they are ordinary citizens. Splinter groups are tearing apart the city as they file Freedom of Information Requests and disparage the city on social media. Yet, the Republicans apparently think everything is fine as they seek to continue business as usual by handpicking their desired successor to Mayor Smith.
Yes, I am proud of my home town. Not for what it is becoming, but for what it was and can be again. That’s why I am running for mayor. I am running to make Lancaster strong again.
My vision for Lancaster is one where our community again offers good paying jobs so that middle class families can enjoy time with their children rather than spend time in Route 33 traffic. My vision for Lancaster is one where there is an emphasis on public safety, including building code enforcement, so that families can again walk through their neighborhoods feeling good about where they live. My vision for Lancaster is one where we have sufficient resources to take care of the disadvantaged among us. And, my vision for Lancaster is a city government that works together and enjoys the confidence of the citizens it serves.
The following video summarizes that vision. To read how I will accomplish it, click on any of the links that follow the video.
I will accomplish my vision by:
- Returning integrity to government
- Being a good steward of our financial, natural and historic resources
- Bringing good, well paying jobs to Lancaster
- Making public safety a priority
- Soliciting ideas from all people, regardless of party affiliation or perceived status
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If you would like to comment on my vision, please leave a reply in the space below. I am anxious for your feedback because I believe we must work together to make this vision a reality. However, I do reserve the right to remove or edit profane or other comments that contribute nothing to moving Lancaster forward.