Mayor Danene Sorace will review 2023 and outline her administration’s plans for 2024 at the sixth annual State of the City address.
It will be held the evening of Thursday, Jan. 25, at The Ware Center, 42. N. Prince St., her office announced.
Things will get under way at 5 p.m. with an open house in the lobby at 5 p.m. City departmental staff will display their work and be available for discussion.
That will be followed by the mayor’s presentation at 6 p.m. It will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube page, spokeswoman Amber Strazzo said, and will include a panel discussion with Sorace and students from J.P. McCaskey High School.
In-person attendance at the Ware Center is free but registration is requested. To sign up, click here. Individuals who need language interpretation are encouraged to make their request by Jan. 17 to (717) 517-5738 or email@example.com.
Among the topics the mayor will likely highlight are the city’s new comprehensive plan and the potential shift to home rule.
Adopted late last year, the comprehensive plan is Lancaster’s first since 1993. The city has already begun adjusting to align with its priorities, which include promoting infill and mixed-use development and a wider variety of housing; reimagining the Conestoga River corridor as a locus for environmental and recreational uses; promoting street safety for all users; and encouraging public health and civic engagement.
As for home rule, it was a year ago, at her 2023 State of the Union address, that Sorace called for empaneling a Home Rule Study Commission.
Shifting to home rule, Sorace said last year, would give the city flexibility to alter its tax structure and ease the burden of constant property tax increases on homeowners. Without it, she said, the city will need to raise millage sharply and cut services to overcome its structural deficit.
For the past several years, it has forestalled the day of reckoning by using millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act for “revenue replacement,” but that funding option ends this year.