Lancaster Independent Press
RSS icon Home icon
  • WE NEED THE FACTS…

    Posted on April 13th, 2012 Becky 9 comments

    AND THEN WE MUST ACT!
        For our sidewalk sweeping crew, contracted through SGI [Service Group Inc.], we currently have 2 full-time individuals, both male, one Hispanic, one Caucasian; and one part-time male, African-American. For our bicycle patrol, contracted through Allied Barton Security Services, we have four full-time males, two Caucasian, one African-American and one Hispanic.
        This email was received yesterday from Lisa Riggs regarding the contracted employees of the Lancaster Downtown Investment District (DID). Thank you. 
         As noted in the story immediately below, I was prompted to question the race and ethnicity of their employees, paid with public money, after visiting the Lancaster County Courthouse on Wednesday. This is certainly more representative of the community than what I saw in the Courthouse.
        What I saw in the Courthouse is unbelievable and unacceptable and I’m trying to keep my anger in check. Who is responsible and what is going to be done about it? I will be addressing these issues all next week as I also send Right-To-Know requests to the county for each department for the same information Ms. Riggs supplied. I requested the Sheriff’s Department’s breakdown yesterday. I will additionally be sending one to the city for the police department. I will also be sending one to the County Commissioners to obtain the criteria they supply to a contractor to use to select prospective jurors in the county.
        I would like to send one for the Lancaster Newspapers but we already know the answer – white only – and they are a privately held company. But they do have to abide by Federal Law and they have been breaking the law for years.
        Tomorrow, I’m going to take a further look at the Downtown Development District, which lists Harold Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Lancaster Newspapers, as being on the Board of Directors (click here). Are their sidewalk sweepers and bicycle “ambassadors” worth $400,000 dollars of your money? Is it mostly to benefit the convention center/hotel?
        I’m also going to take a look at the latest in that disaster known as the Convention Center, brought to you by the Lancaster Newspapers and Sunday News editor Marv Adams.
        And I’ll take one more look at the recent, outrageous “investigative series” done by Jack Brubaker for the Sunday News on the courts. You’d think he would have noticed after three months of “investigating” in the courthouse that there are no minorities employed there! Maybe it just reminded him of the newsroom at the Lancaster Newspapers and he didn’t give it a thought?
    Click here for the 2010 U.S. Census breakdown for the City of Lancaster. 

     

    9 responses to “WE NEED THE FACTS…”

    1. The Downtown Investment District is paid for by a real estate tax surcharge on properties located within the DID. NO GENERAL FUND DOLLARS are spent on the DID, which predates the downtown Lancaster taxpayer-financed hotel and convention center project by quite a few years.

      The James Street Improvement District (which runs the DID through an arrangement made by Lancaster mayor Rick Gray) is funded by donations, primarily from LGH and F&M.

      Lisa Riggs is a petite woman who has a powerful personal presence. Her heart really is in making downtown Lancaster a better place for all.

    2. Thanks, Artie. Do you see these sidewalk sweepers and bicycle ambassadors around town? I’m not questioning Lisa Riggs – but $400,000 is a lot! Have you reviewed their renewal budget? I’m just asking.

    3. What about the people who water the plants for blocks?

    4. I thought they were volunteers? You and those planters! LOL! 😛

    5. Becky, they can’t be volunteers.I also think the person who waters the convention center is pd by them.how hard could it be to find out who’s in charge 365 days a year.

    6. Wonder if any minorties are in charge of planters.

    7. The people who water the plants on the light poles are volunteers from another local organization, unfortunately I forget their name right now. The convention center does NOT pay them!!!!!!!

      There ARE several planters outside the hotel which are maintained by Interstate Hotels and Resorts. The zoning variation for the hotel and convention center had mandated that a certain number of trees be planted, however so much concrete was poured under the sidewalks to support the W&S facade that there is NOWHERE left to plant trees around the hotel! An exception was granted by Lancaster City to replace the original requirement with planters.

    8. Remember that the current convention center leadership (with one exception) and the current hotel management had NOTHING to do with the agreements which are guaranteed to rape and pillage taxpayers for decades to come. Our problem is with the agreements and the people who created them, not those who are forced to live within the unreasonable restrictions created by these agreements.

      The convention center is losing money because the Penn Square Partners used their political might to FORCE taxpayers into heavily subsidizing their private hotel. The current LCCCA leadership and management spends MOST of its time trying to work within the UNREASONABLE restrictions that have been placed upon it.

    9. There were two EXCELLENT Letters to the Editor in today’s Sunday News about the convention center. It would indeed be interesting to see what kind of “white knight” might take responsibility for the convention center’s massive debt.