Returning Integrity to Government

I am often asked why I include “returning integrity to government” as one of ways I will make Move Lancaster Forward. Then the follow-up question comes – Don’t you think there is integrity in city government today?

My answer is this. I cannot recall any time in the 59 years I have lived in Lancaster that there has been so much mistrust in the city’s government as there is now. Since the last mayoral election, we have seen our past mayor plead guilty to breaking the law and resign under intense public pressure.  We have seen the county prosecutor voted out of office after the county’s law enforcement officials voiced no confidence in his performance.  We have seen the city council president sue six of the nine council member and them counter sue the council president.  Among all of this turmoil, the Republican Party continues business as usual by handpicking candidates who will take direction from party leaders.  If none of the other events had occurred, this single fact has given rise to the belief held by ordinary citizens that their government serves only the special interests. For me, this all comes down to what I perceive is a lack of integrity.

The concept of integrity was instilled in me by my parents when I was growing up. They taught me to be honest and upfront with people. They gave me a moral compass that called for me to be truthful, out front with my intentions and to conduct myself with no hidden agenda. They also made it clear that when I was entrusted with something then I was to be accountable for the outcome and that I was to hold myself above all others responsible for that outcome. These values have guided me through life. These are the values I will bring into the Mayor’s office if elected.

Within the first week after taking office, I will start to rebuild trust by changing the culture in City Hall to one that is more transparent and respectful of citizens, taxpayers and other government officials. I will call a meeting with all department heads and make it clear that they are to treat Lancaster’s citizens the same.  That means all citizens regardless of how educated, rich, talented or cool they think they are and regardless of their station in life. I will also make it clear that my administration and the departments in particular are to be as transparent as possible while conducting the city’s business. I will also create a service oriented culture that requires city employees to treat the people they serve as customers deserving the highest level of service they can provide. Most important, I will hold the department heads accountable for both the performance of their departments and the manner in which they serve the public..

If elected, I promise that the needs of all of Lancaster’s citizens will be carefully considered. I promise that you will be able to get answers regarding why certain actions were taken or not. And, I promise to make my administration the most transparent the city has seen in the last 20+ years by setting up a Mayor’s corner on the City’s website to share my views on the political, economic and social activities shaping our city.

In conclusion, I believe returning integrity to government is essential to moving Lancaster forward. Just as important, it will mark how I am judged long after I have served. I accept that responsibility and commit to perform my duties in a way that would have made by parents proud.

To read more about my vision, click here

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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 all work together to make this vision reality.  However, I do reserve the right to remove or edit profane or other comments that contribute nothing to moving Lancaster forward.