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United Way of Lancaster County


Home Rule Study Commission to meet Thursday, July 20

Judge Jodie Richardson joins Lancaster’s home rule study commission for a portrait after its first meeting on Thursday, June 8, 2023. Back row, from left: Peter Barber, Brian Adams, Elizabeth Elias, Maxine Cook, Richardson, John McGrann. Seated, from left: Tony Dastra, Darlene Byrd, Amy Ruffo, Carl Feldman. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Lancaster’s Home Rule Study Commission has scheduled a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20, in City Council chambers at City Hall.

Commission members are reading up on state law and Lancaster’s existing governmental structure. The special meeting will give them the opportunity to discuss the material with each other, Solicitor Barry Handwerger and representatives of the Pennsylvania Economy League, the nonprofit that is providing consulting and research support.

That will lay the groundwork for interviews with city department heads and elected officials, which the commission plans to conduct beginning in August.

Commission members had agreed at their July 6 meeting that an extra meeting in July would be helpful. They settled on the date via email in the days following.

Convened in June, the commission has nine months to determine if Lancaster would be better served by a home rule charter rather than the Optional Third Class City Code under which it is governed. Should they decide in favor of a charter, they would have another nine months to draft it, whereupon it would go before city voters for approval by referendum.

The commission has set up regular meetings on the first Thursday of each month, and has the option of scheduling additional meetings as it sees fit. Meetings are advertised in advance and open to the public.