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United Way of Lancaster County


Commissioners appoint Lampeter-Strasburg board member to Library System board

Lancaster County’s board of commissioners. From left: Alice Yoder, Chair Josh Parsons, Vice Chair Ray D’Agostino. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Kristin Staley

Lancaster County’s two Republican county commissioners voted Tuesday to appoint Lampeter-Strasburg School Board member Kristin Staley to the board of the Library System of Lancaster County, rejecting Democratic Commissioner Alice Yoder’s contention that two other candidates had qualifications better suited to the Library System’s needs.

Staley will fill the unexpired term of Rob Morgan, who recently relocated for work. The term runs through April 2025.

The commissioners had four candidates to choose from: Staley, Scott Clugston, Carrie Rampp and Michael Foley. Yoder said her first choice was Rampp, a professional librarian who is the chief information officer at Franklin & Marshall College.

The Library System will be undertaking a number of significant IT projects, making Rampp’s expertise especially relevant, Yoder said.

“I believe she’s highly qualified to be able to give advice and guidance,” the commissioner said. “… She would be great.”

Yoder said her backup choice was Foley, who as an attorney would bring to the board legal expertise.

Her comments came after Commissioner Ray D’Agostino proposed Staley, saying “I think she’d do well.” Commissioner Josh Parsons seconded Staley’s nomination, and she was appointed without additional discussion by a 2-1 vote, Parsons and D’Agostino voting “aye” and Yoder “nay.”

Staley did not respond to an email seeking comment. A former teacher, she won election on the Republican ticket to the school board last November. Her campaign was endorsed by the local chapter of Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that advocates for greater parental rights in education and against progressive race and gender theory.

The Library System primarily handles interlibrary logistics and administration but does provide a small amount of funding to its member institutions.

In mid-March, D’Agostino and Parsons elected to postpone what at that time appeared to be the routine reappointment of incumbents of Cody Diehl and Alexandra Godfrey to the Library System board. Godfrey is a professional librarian, the only one on the board at the time; Diehl is an administrator at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church.

Their move came amid controversy over the Lancaster Public Library’s plans to host a drag story hour. Parsons and D’Agostino vigorously opposed the event, calling it patently inappropriate and saying they would be contacting the Library System about the issue. Staley posted on Facebook at the time that the library’s decision “breaks my heart.”

The drag story hour was ultimately canceled due to bomb threats, later determined to have come from Nigeria.

By mid-April, when the commissioners again considered the Library System board appointments, an unprecedented seven additional candidates had thrown their hat in the ring, seeking three board seats. Yoder supported the reappointment of Diehl and Godfrey, and either Rampp or Foley for the third seat.

D’Agostino, however, said he wanted a “fresh perspective” on the board. With Yoder voting “nay,” he and Parsons voted to appoint Theia Hofstetter, Tess Vo Wallace and Andrew Welk.

All three are Republicans. Welk, like Staley, is a Lampeter-Strasburg School Board member, while Wallace ran unsuccessfully for the Manheim Township School board. Hofstetter has advocated in school board meetings against including sexually explicit material in school libraries and has raised concerns about election integrity.