In the News

Mayor Sorace joins City Leadership Initiative

Yearlong program provides 40 mayors with world-class executive training and coaching to help deliver results for cities

Mayor Sorace is ready to explore the latest in leadership and management practices, as one of 40 mayors chosen for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

As a member of the Initiative’s 2019-2020 cohort, Mayor Sorace is part of a class of mayors participating in a program delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as well as world-class experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network.

The yearlong program launches with a three-day convening for mayors in New York City beginning Sunday, July 14, 2019, which Mayor Sorace is attending at no cost to the city. Each day of the convening, mayors will attend classroom sessions focused on the latest management and leadership practices, using case studies and workshops developed at Harvard.

Being chosen for the program is an honor, said Mayor Sorace.

“I’m looking forward to the year ahead as a great opportunity for city leaders to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss how best to approach solving pressing problems for our citizens,” Mayor Sorace said. “When it comes to tackling priority issues for Lancaster like strong neighborhoods and safe streets, my team is invested in using data, working across sectors, and anything else that may help produce results.”

The mayor said she believes this program will “help enhance our leadership team’s capabilities in these areas, not to mention connect me with other mayors with innovative approaches to similar issues in their own cities.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City, collaborated with Harvard University leadership to create the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2016.

Collectively, Harvard University and Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to help mayors and their leadership teams manage the complexities of running a city, and to give these leaders opportunities to learn from one another. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative will connect Mayor Sorace to some of the university’s top educators, coaching from experts, a network of peers, and technical assistance. The program provides an opportunity to share practices and learn from fellow mayors about the promising ideas that are already helping to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world.

After the mayors convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a convening in August and attend virtual classes throughout the year.

Mayor Sorace’s participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and that of her two senior leaders – including tuition, accommodation, meals, and airfare – is fully funded by the program thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies

2017 Employee Service Awards

On Tuesday, January 23, the City of Lancaster Employee Recognition Committee held the Employee Service Awards, honoring those who reached 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 50 years of service with the City of Lancaster in 2017. 68 employees were honored, with a group total of 845 years of service. Congratulations and thank you to these employees, who have dedicated countless hours towards improving the City of Lancaster!


Administrative Services
Andrea Fields 5
Cynthia Kelly 15
Karen Kast 20
Diana Noll 20
City Council
John Graupera 5
James Reichenbach 5
Barbara Wilson 5
Cheryl Holland-Jones 10
Samantha Rutter 5
Amber Strazzo 5
Randy King 10
Darren Parmer 15
Carolyn Faggart 50
Luis Acevedo 5
Abram Harnish 5
Peter Jacobs 5
Justin O'Shea 5
Adam Bonholtzer 10
Dustin Dommel 10
Jason Greer 10
David Martin 10
Oliver Robertson 10
Samar Rudolph 10
Steven Alexander 5
Daniel Davis 5
William Hamby 5
Ben Bradley 10
Robin Brown 10
Matthew Caple 10
Juan David 10
Adam Dommel 10
Christi Mastrippolito 10
Rhonda Morales 10
Jonathan Reppert 10
Jared Snader 10
Kurt Windlebleck 10
Ryan Work 10
Thomas Cole 15
Herbert Watson 15
Nathan Nickel 20
Carmen Suarez 20
David Weiser 20
Todd Umstead 25
Public Works
William Ailes 5
Cameron Csoka 5
Karl Graybill 5
Justin Holland 5
Robert Ludgate 5
Todd Neiss 5
Grisel Quintana-Trujillo 5
Carlos Sanchez 5
Edward Benner 10
Walter Book 10
Jack Borden 10
Thomas Donaldson 10
Patricia Magner 10
Andrew McFalls 10
Matthew Metzler 10
Larry Oatman 10
Carlos Rosado 15
Bryan Harner 20
Miguel Mercado 20
Robert Taylor 20
Karen Dixon 25
Stefany Snyder 30
Nguyen Truong 30
Edward Mastromatteo 35
Linda Wright 40

CommunityWINS Grant Awarded to CAP

Mayor  J. Richard Gray, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Wells Fargo joined in an event today to celebrate a 2017 First Place CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Award for Small cities (Less than 75,000 population).

An award in the amount of $150,000 was presented to the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County for its work with the CAPital Workforce Program – is a construction training initiative focused on renovating distressed homes in primarily high-poverty neighborhoods in Lancaster City. CAP hires workers that have barriers to employment, such as a criminal background, and provides them with on-the-job training. The award is part of a nationwide CommunityWINS Program made possible by a grant from USCM and the Wells Fargo Foundation collaboration.

The 2017 CommunityWINS awards include monetary grants to city-based nonprofit organizations and recognize mayors for exemplary leadership in developing local programs that promote long-term economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for residents in three categories: neighborhood stabilization, economic development, and job creation. An independent panel of judges, selected by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, determined the six winning cities from a pool of 245 applicants in three population groups -- small, medium and large.

Grant funding through CommunityWINS will be used to alleviate lead paint hazards in home-based daycares in Lancaster City. It is anticipated that over the course of the year-long grant round, CAPital Workforce will make ten to twelve daycares lead safe; and, in the process, crew members will become skilled in building trades and will be qualified to secure living wage employment. There are now over 130 home-based daycares in the city. The primary source of lead in Lancaster is lead paint and lead contaminated dust that is found in buildings constructed prior to 1978. The vast majority, 82%, of the housing units in the city were built prior to 1960

Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors commented, “Our 2017 CommunityWINS Grant Program gives the Conference an opportunity to showcase positive change happening now in our cities to make a difference in the lives of residents.  We are grateful to Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support of the CommunityWINS  Program, which also highlights the talent and commitment of mayors and city governments.”

“Lancaster is becoming one of our Commonwealth’s most vibrant cities, and we’re proud to help support efforts that promote the long-term quality of life in this community,” said Laura Haffner, Wells Fargo’s Community Bank Region President. “The Lancaster project is the perfect fit for the US Conference of Mayors WINS Program—this grant will not only address a vital community need, it will provide job training that will provide community benefits for years to come.” 

For more information on the 2015 CommunityWINS Grant Awards recipients go to

Sculptures Installed at 6th Ward Park

Three abstract metal sculptures by the late artist Tedd Pettibon have been installed at 6th Ward Park. The sculptures were donated to the City of Lancaster by the estate of Tedd Pettibon after his death in 2014. Pettibon was a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an Adjunct Instructor at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Pettibon earned his MFA in sculpture from Sam Houston State University in Texas and a BFA in sculpture from Indiana University of PA.

Pettibon used earthy, solid materials to create his art – steel, bronze, wood, stone, and concrete. Through careful placement of inanimate objects he breathed life into them. His beautiful, poetic sculptures inspire contemplation. Our imaginations become engaged creating meanings of our own or interpreting his intention. His work continues to inspire us to use our imagination.

In September another Pettibon sculpture, “Segments” was installed outside the Queen Street Garage (Lemon St. entrance). Segments previously had been installed outside the Prince Street Garage near the intersection of Orange and Prince Streets as part of the Art on Orange Project initiated by the City of Lancaster’s Office of Public Art.

The Tedd Pettibon sculpture project is part of City of Lancaster’s ongoing public art program, focusing on bringing thought-provoking art to public spaces.

Last Council Meeting in Southern Market Center

On September 9, 2014 City Council met for the last time in the Council Chambers of Southern Market Center. They invited all previous members of City Council who had served in that Chambers to come for a group picture. Those who came are pictured here. The five seated at the desk in front all served as President.

City recognized as sustainable municipality

From the Pennsylvania Municipal League:

The City of Lancaster is the first community to receive Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification under the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s (PML) new statewide program. Last week, PML announced the initiative designed for municipalities that are working to save money, conserve resources, and serve vibrant communities.  The League administered program is a free, voluntary online certification system that provides a structure and performance platform for recognition of municipalities as they embrace sustainable policies and programs.

Lancaster is recognized at the Gold level of certification for meeting the program's rigorous performance criteria, which tracks 131 policies and practices that define a sustainable community. 

“Planning for the present and the future requires a sustainable approach. To be recognized as a Gold Sustainable PA Community is an honor, but it is also a challenge to do more,” said Lancaster Mayor J. Richard Gray.  “Sustainable communities are attractive to current and future residents and businesses. ‘Sustainable’ equates with ‘successful’.”

In earning the Gold certification, Lancaster is acknowledged for its progress in addressing such areas as community design and land use, energy efficiency, health and wellness, mitigating blight, intergovernmental cooperation, recycling and waste reduction, fiscal controls, and internal management and operations.   Details regarding how Lancaster City is addressing these areas and information about their certification performance can be found on the certification program’s website at

“The City of Lancaster, under the leadership of Mayor Gray, has been a leader in innovation and progressive local government practices.  It is fitting they would be the first municipality to achieve Gold status via this new PML initiative, Sustainable PA,” said PML Executive Director Richard J. Schuettler.

A Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification is intended to bring recognition to municipalities that are applying the policy and practice of sustainability as their way of operating in order to advance community prosperity.  It also serves as a mechanism for sharing best practices for creating a more sustainable Pennsylvania.

Lancaster in the News

Lancaster has been in the news twice this week, topping lists for both the Best Neighborhoods for Holiday Decorations and the 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America

Downtown Lancaster was featured in Metro Philly, a free daily newspaper targeted at young professionals in the Philadelphia area. While the rest of the list focused on festive neighborhoods directly in Philadelphia, they branched out to include Downtown Lancaster, citing our holiday events and Central Market as reasons to make the trip. View the full article >

In more national news, Lancaster was ranked #4 on Movoto Real Estate's list of the 10 most exciting small cities in America. The study judged 140 small cities across the country on criteria like nightlife, dining and percentage of young residents. Lancaster was the only city in Pennsylvania to make the list. View the full article >

Using Creativity to Fund Public Art

The City has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the Dancing Arches sculpture at Rodney Park. The clock is ticking and our Kickstarter project only has a few days left to raise the money. To keep the money that has been pledged, we have to meet our goal of $27,000 by the deadline of August 30, 2013.

My excitement for this project began this past January, my first week on the job as public art manager. One of my first tasks was touring all of the city parks. Renovation was complete on Brandon Park and the Revolutions sculpture was scheduled to install in February. Crystal and Rodney Parks were up next on the list of parks to be renovated. My first visit to Rodney Park confirmed that I had made the right decision taking this new job. I’ve worked in the City for 18 years but had never been to this little park tucked away in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood. There was no color in the park except for the gloomy grey of cracked asphalt – a depressing site for all the quaint little row houses that surround the park. There was no doubt that renovating the park and installing a beautiful piece of public art was a worthwhile project and I wanted to be a part of it.

We launched the Kickstarter campaign and had an initial flurry of donations. As the days ticked away, I wanted to find a fun way to draw attention to the campaign and find additional supporters.  An idea came to me to combine my love of yoga with social media. So on the morning of August 8th I challenged my Facebook friends to contribute in exchange for giving each of them a personal headstand. I literally spent half the day on my head. You can check out my upside down adventures on Ken Mueller’s Inkling Media blog post 5 tips on Using Your Head to Turn Your Marketing Upside Down. By the end of the day I felt completely connected to the community. Social media allowed me to create a fun and inspiring dialog with friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. As I walked to my car, exhausted from my inverted day, people were calling to me from across the street and telling me that they loved my headstands.

So here we are now – we have a project planning committee, community support for the project, the art and artist selected, the park renovations are complete and the site is ready and waiting.

It’s not too late to check out the Kickstarter page and consider making a donation. We have great prizes available: from your own private party at the park to a ride on the Mayor’s motorcycle.  We hope you will visit our site and consider joining our campaign.

By Tracy Beyl, Public Art Manager