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     I will put in a Right to Know request for the letter from the state Mayor Sorace spoke about last night and the transcript is below. None of this makes any sense except it looks like the Lancaster CRIZ Authority and the mayor don’t have a clue what they are doing! This is just disgraceful!
     In other major news – where are the updates on the attempted robbery and shooting at Smithgall’s Pharmacy yesterday? How is former mayor Charlie Smithgall? What is the condition of the robber who was shot and who is he? Who is the robber who got away? Where is his description? Do the police know his name?
    The public deserves more information and it should have been released by now!
***  Mayor Sorace’s “Report of the Mayor” to City Council last night
      So, I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the good news.
     Yesterday we received word that the total amount of CRIZ dollars coming back to the city was approximately $6.4 million dollars which is $2.4 million more than last year. This is a huge gain.
     The CRIZ program, as many of you know, allows us to keep state taxes and local earned income taxes and local service taxes paid by businesses in designated areas and [put] back into economic development and job creation in approved CRIZ districts.
     Lancaster was one of the first communities to receive the designation and I  like to think we have become an example of how this tax incentive can be successfully managed. And I want to thank those who serve on our CRIZ Authority for the years of work that they have put into this. And so one more time I just want to say these are state tax dollars that would normally be sent to Harrisburg that can remain in our local economy.
      Now to the bad news – or – I don’t know – I’m going to remain optimistic. The state recently gave…sent us a letter regarding a plan that we had talked about for some time – which was to provide small grants and loans to our smaller businesses. And so as part of this many of you heard me talk about this all of last year.
      Our CRIZ dollars have been spent on these larger projects like the Conestoga Plaza, Marriott expansion, 101 North Queen, Hotel Lancaster as examples as well as two smaller business projects like Max’s Diner.
      But where we are now is that instead of insuring that all shapes and sizes of businesses within the CRIZ district would share in the influx of money that the CRIZ represents, the state has rejected our plan for as long as this financial assistance program that would be administered by the very capable members of the CRIZ Authority.
     The state believes that  it would be inequitable to allow some businesses to receive and I quote, “direct benefit” end quote from the fund while, quote “others are required to repay increments used to support debt service” quote.
      That is exactly the point of the whole CRIZ program.
     They also pointed to programs like the Small Business Assistance Network as an existing resource for small businesses. Presumably they believe this program provides enough support for small businesses as is. And we respectfully disagree with this [base] interpretation of the CRIZ legislation and about the benefits the small businesses would receive due to our expansion of the CRIZ program.
     It is crucial to me and others that all businesses in the Lancaster CRIZ district, no matter their size, share in the economic activity of the city and the CRIZ program.
     So you haven’t heard the last about this. We will be talking to our friends in Harrisburg – at the Department of Revenue, the DCED and the office of budget as well as the governor’s office.
      As you might recall, the CRIZ Authority was formed jointly between then Senator Smucker and Mayor Gray. Today I work in partnership with Senator Martin and he is aware of this. We will be figuring out what our next steps are. More to come.
     In the meantime, $6.4 million dollars and 473 of the 546 businesses reported which was almost 87 percent which is the highest ever. So thank you to the businesses as well because I understand the paperwork is not very fun even though we do our very best to help you complete it.


**   The below is posted on Lancaster Online under the CRIZ article linked to below in this post. LNP Managing Editor Tom Murse needs to resign!

*    Mayor Sorace announced last night during her Mayor’s Report to city council that the state sent a letter rejecting the city’s plan to offer CRIZ to small businesses. I will try to post a transcript of her statement later today but you can watch the entire meeting here.


     Benchmark Construction, the project developer, needed assurance the CRIZ revenue would be available before moving forward with design and engineering, because the project’s financing doesn’t work without it, Patterson said.
From the LNP story, “CRIZ funding pledged to Lancaster Square library, garage project,” (click here).
     Mayor Sorace’s husband is a vice-president at Benchmark Construction! This is absolute corruption at the highest level!
     From October 17th on this site (click here for the original):
Please check back later today.


  1. Lang Kisster says:

    huh? It’s quite possible that LNP condisered that stuff nobody’s business, so why bother even mentioning it.

  2. huh? says:

    Thanks Becky! And the fact that Charlie had someone go ahead and reconnect is just so typical. And as always, nothing was said or done about his cable theft.

    Sort of like Ron Harper’s story about the LNP reporter who voted in two different states for the same presidential election.

  3. Lang Kisster says:

    Becky. Let me address your points one by one. You ask:

    “where are the updates on the attempted robbery and shooting at Smithgall’s Pharmacy yesterday?”
    -We’ll Becky. That would be what’s know as a follow up story and LNP doesn’t do those.

    “How is former mayor Charlie Smithgall?”
    -LNP hasn’t gotten a press release on the former mayor’s condition, plus, that would also fall under the category of a follow up story.

    “What is the condition of the robber who was shot and who is he?”
    -No press release from the DA has been sent to LNP. Plus, they don’t have time to investigate. And even if they did, they’d have to wait on the DA’s permission to inform the public. Plus, that would constitute a follow up. And LNP doesn’t do follow up’s.

    “Who is the robber who got away?”
    -A person with a gun, but since the police say an armed robbery suspect is no danger to the community, why bother finding out. Plus. LNP doesn’t like to question the police or anyone in authority and if they did, they don’t do follow up’s

    “Where is his description?”
    -This gets a little tricky. Likely the suspect is a person of color and LNP doesn’t want to be accused of being racist.

    “Do the police know his name?”
    -Not unless the suspect told them.

  4. rednek says:

    CRIZ was created by Lloyd Smucker.

    I have never, and will never, vote for him; and I am a registered Republican.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for pursuing the actual contents of the letter. The mayors remarks don’t make sense and it seems clear that there are pertinent details missing regarding why the state is taking the actions it is.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can she read? Comprehend? The inequity the state speaks of is the cronyistic funneling of tax- free, debt free…TOTALLY FREE … taxpayer $$ to a chosen few haves over all other have-nots. Twist facts, much?

  7. huh? says:

    I’ve been thinking about Mayor Charlie as well so thanks for mentioning him.

    As much as his politics and political hijinks were not my cup of tea, I hated learning that he and his employees were threatened that way.

    But one thing: Charlie has never kept it a secret that he owns and actually sells guns. Someone once called it a pharmacy in the front and a gun shop in the back.

    Anyway it doesn’t surprise me at all that there were shots fired at the assailants. Pharmacies are sitting ducks for robberies especially nowadays when there has been a real clamp down on prescribing opioids etc. If prescriptions can’t be given out then thieves will go directly to the source.

    My favorite Charlie Smithgall urban legend: that he hijacked his neighbor’s cable connection. I’ve always wondered if that was true.

  8. talking says:

    CRIZ is a scam. It is a scam for big projects and a scam for small projects. I am glad the state said NO to giving CRIZ to every Tom, Dick and Harriet. The expansion of this scam from big business to small was just cover and misdirection for the fact that CRIZ was created solely to save the economic disaster that is the hotel and CC project and funnel as many public dollars into Dale High’s pocket as possible. I love that she mentioned Max’s in her remarks. Max’s purchased a going concern, Aussie & The Fox. Now I was no fan of A&TF but I know it had a fan base and claimed to be a “functioning business” (operating at break even or better). Why would subsidize one private individual’s purchase of another private individuals’s business in a non-blighted area? What sense does that make? Not only is CRIZ a scam it is STUPID too!

  9. Lang Kisster says:

    Yes it is Becky. And it exists because the majority of Lancastrians really could care less.

  10. Lang Kisster says:

    A female mayor Dick.