The July 19 Sunday LNP | LancasterOnline article “Review finds $4,000 spent improperly” seemingly implies that our city government has acted recklessly and irresponsibly in its spending practices. Former City of Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall is even quoted as saying the type of expenses the article scrutinizes (such as a well-deserved $600 retirement party for Randy Patterson, who brought millions of dollars to the city during his tenure) “make people lose faith in city government.”
To the contrary, I find it remarkably encouraging that our city government’s spending practices are so transparent that the reporter had to focus on a $14 caramel apple purchased as a photo prop in an effort to find examples of misused funds. I found the article’s tone and headline to be misleading and unnecessarily negative.
Out of $200 million in spending over two years, less than $5,000 in expenses were found to be questionable. With a record of appropriately spending 99.99975% of the city budget in 2018 and 2019, the headline surely ought to have celebrated the positive and transparent record of our local elected government.
Kudos to Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace, city business administrator Patrick Hopkins and the rest of the team for their careful management of taxpayer funds.