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Seeking Applicants for City Council Vacancy

January 11, 2022 | City Council

UPDATE JANUARY 24: Due to the number of applicants for the vacant City Council position,  a second public City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 1, at 6 p.m., in City Council Chambers of City Hall. At that meeting City Council members will interview applicants.


Lancaster City Council is seeking applicants to serve the remainder of a term on Council. The vacancy comes from the resignation of a Council member. An individual appointed to the vacant position will serve until the first meeting of City Council in January 2024.

Applicants for appointment must be at least 18 years old, residents of Lancaster City and must have continuously resided in the City for at least one year prior to appointment. Appointees may not be City employees nor current federal, state or county officeholders.

Anyone wishing to apply for consideration for appointment must submit a resume and letter of interest. Please include a listing of community activities and priorities for perspective City Council service. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on January 24, 2022.

Interested individuals should send their resumes and letters of interest to the Lancaster City Clerk, Bernard Harris, at bharris@cityoflancasterpa.com, or by mail to Bernard Harris, Lancaster City Hall, 120 N. Duke St., P.O. Box 1599, Lancaster, PA 17608-1599.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is City Council doing this?

A City Council member has resigned his position, leaving a vacancy on the seven-member legislative body of Lancaster City government.

Who is eligible to fill the vacancy?

State law requires that the person appointed to fill the vacancy to be at least 18 years old, a resident of Lancaster City, and have lived in the City continuously for at least one year prior to their appointment. Also, they cannot be a City government employee or an officeholder in federal, state or county government.

How will the remaining City Council members fill the vacancy?

City Council members are asking interested individuals to submit resumes and letters of interest by the close of business Monday, January 24, 2022. Resumes will be reviewed, and interviews will be conducted at a special public meeting of City Council on Thursday, January 27, 2022. An appointment to the vacant post is expected to be made by City Council at the February 8, 2022 City Council meeting.

What does the law require for Council to fill the vacancy?

State law only requires that the remaining members of City Council vote at a public meeting to appoint an eligible individual to fill the vacancy.

Why is City Council filling the vacancy in this way?

Councilors are seeking applications and holding interviews because they are prioritizing public engagement, accountability, and transparency in the process.

Why not hold a special election?

State law does not allow for holding a special election to fill a Council vacancy.

How long does City Council have to fill the vacancy?

City Council has 30 days to fill the vacancy.

How long will the appointed person serve on City Council?

The person appointed to fill the vacant Council position will serve until the first meeting of City Council in January 2024. At that time, Council members elected in the next municipal election will take office.

What is the time commitment for serving on City Council?

City Councilors attend one monthly committee meeting and two legislative meetings most months. Those meetings are held in the evenings. Each Council member is chair of a standing Council committee. They are also a member of two other committees. Additionally, they may be appointed to represent Council on other boards.

Are there other requirements?

By state law, the appointed member of City Council must take an oath of office. They will also be expected to participate in orientation training presented by the City Clerk.

How much are City Councilor paid?

Councilors are paid a stipend of $8,000 annually. The Council president is paid $8,500.

What is required to apply for the vacant City Council position?

Applications must include a resume and a letter of interest. The letter should include a list of the applicant’s community activities and their priorities for serving on City Council.

What are the priorities of the current City Council?

The current City Council has prioritized development of affordable housing and supporting efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in City government.

What is the deadline for applying for the vacant City Council position?

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 24, 2022, for consideration.

Where should applications be sent?

Interested individuals should send documents to the Lancaster City Clerk Bernard Harris, at bharris@cityoflancasterpa.com, or by mail to Bernard Harris, Lancaster City Hall, 120 N. Duke St., P.O. Box 1599, Lancaster, PA 17608-1599.