Mayor Danene Sorace

Danene Sorace was elected to serve as the City of Lancaster’s 43rd Mayor in 2018, the second woman to hold this post. Prior to serving as Mayor, Danene served a four-year term on City Council, chairing the finance committee. Her first taste of local government came while serving as executive director for an environmental organization that was actively partnering with the City of Lancaster to launch the City’s first-ever green infrastructure plan.  

Danene brings more than twenty years of non-profit and philanthropy experience to the role of Mayor. She has a proven record of developing and implementing strategies to advance shared goals among public/private partners and has set forth a strategic vision to build a stronger, more equitable Lancaster, block by block.

Danene spent her early years in Lancaster County and later moved to Juniata County, where she graduated high school. She went on to graduate from Albright College and receive her Master’s in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

What We Do

The Office of the Mayor is the primary source of direction and coordination for all City operations and services. Department Directors, including Community Planning & Economic Development, Administrative Services, and Public Works, report directly to the Mayor. In addition, as Director of Public Safety, the Mayor serves as the top elected official presiding over the Bureaus of Police and Fire.


The Mayor, along with the Executive Leadership Team, is responsible for efficiently directing the City’s operations, assuring the implementation of all City Council policy decisions, and creating an organizational culture that results in the delivery of excellent municipal services to residents of the City of Lancaster. The Executive Leadership Team consists of all Department Directors, the Chiefs of Fire and Police, the Chief of Staff, and the City Solicitor.


Four employees staff the Office of the Mayor: the Chief of Staff advances the Mayor’s policy agenda and directives and oversees the City’s communications efforts; the Executive Assistant provides direct administrative support to the Mayor; the Communications Manager and the Communications & Policy Strategist manage the City website, social media channels, press inquiries, and implement the City’s strategic communications efforts.

Contact Information


120 N. Duke St.
Lancaster, PA 17602


Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.



(717) 291-4701

Upcoming Events

There are currently no upcoming events.

Who We Are
Latest News
Who We Are
Wyatt Behringer
Communications & Policy Strategist
Bernie Burkholder
Executive Assistant
Amber Strazzo
Communications Manager
Latest News
Mask Policy Update Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster has updated its mask policy in accordance with recent CDC guidance in res…
Inauguration & State of the City 2022: Jan. 3 City Council Mayor’s Office
*Watch the Inauguration & State of the City Address at
Fire Chief Little Accepts New Position with Manheim Township Bureau of Fire Mayor’s Office
On Monday, December 20, the Manheim Township Commissioners announced the hire of Scott Little as the…
Mayor Sorace’s Budget Address: Proposed 2022 Budget Administrative Services Mayor’s Office
Mayor Sorace originally presented the below address at City Council on 11/23, you can watch it
City of Lancaster Statement on Vandalized Penn Square Menorah Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
This year the City of Lancaster partnered with the Jewish community for the first time to celebrate …
City of Lancaster Closed for Thanksgiving Bureau of Streets, Traffic, Fleet Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office Solid Waste & Recycling Program
City of Lancaster offices will be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 for Thanks…
City of Lancaster Awarded 11 AmeriCorps VISTA Positions Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
The City of Lancaster announced today that it has received a three-year grant from the Corporat…
Lancaster Outreach Specialist Patrols City Streets to Support Individuals Experiencing Homelessness, Addiction, or Mental Illness Mayor’s Office
The Lancaster City Alliance and City of Lancaster have teamed up to better support members of our co…
Mayor’s Report – October 26, 2021 Mayor’s Office
Over the past few months, we have started the process of prioritizing community concerns to add…
City of Lancaster closed for Election Day Bureau of Operations Department of Public Works LOOP Mayor’s Office Solid Waste & Recycling Program
The City of Lancaster will be closed for Election Day on Tuesday, November 2.
Mayor Sorace Named President of Pennsylvania Municipal League Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace was recently elected President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League while the or…
City of Lancaster Announces Roadmap for American Rescue Plan Funds Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster has begun an engagement process regarding $39.5 million in American …
Mayor’s Report – July 27, 2021: American Rescue Plan Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster has received $39.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in respons…
“Local Tax Limitations Can Hamper Fiscal Stability of Cities & Counties” Mayor’s Office
“We’d love to figure out new ways to do what we’re mandated to do. The challenge is that we’re…
Residents are Invited to Rental & Utility Community Days – July 23 & 24 Mayor’s Office
The Eviction Moratorium is officially expiring at the end of July. Rent and utility assistance throu…
City of Lancaster to Take Zero Tolerance Stance to Illegal Use of Fireworks & Urges State to Change Fireworks Laws Bureau of Fire Bureau of Police Mayor’s Office
In response to an uptick in illegal fireworks use and neighbor complaints, the Bureau of Police remi…
Mayor Sorace Appoints New Police Chief, John T. Bey Bureau of Police Mayor’s Office
LANCASTER, Pa., June 21, 2021 — After a six-month search process Mayor Sorace announ…
City of Lancaster Invites Residents to Join in City-wide Celebration, Mayor’s Neighborhood Week June 21-25 LOOP Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
The City of Lancaster will host Mayor’s Neighborhood Week June 21-25, 2021.&nb…
Statement from Mayor Sorace & Chief Bey as the Nation Awaits the Chauvin Trial Verdict Bureau of Police Department of Public Safety Mayor’s Office
LANCASTER, Pa., April 20, 2021 — Mayor Danene Sorace and Interim Chief of Polic…
Mayor’s Report to City Council – April 13, 2021 Mayor’s Office
As our country faces the death of Daunte Wright at the hands of police in Minnesota – just 10 mile…
The City of Lancaster Awards Over $2.4 Million to Build Affordable Homes in Lancaster City Department of Community Planning & Economic Development Mayor’s Office
LANCASTER, Pa., March 26, 2021 — The Sorace Administration is announcing&n…
Mayor’s Report to City Council – March 23, 2021 Mayor’s Office
Tonight I want to give you a brief preview of what’s to come over the next two months as it relate…
Creating an Inclusive Culture: The City of Lancaster’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Efforts Administrative Services Bureau of Human Resources Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster is one of the most diverse cities of its size nationwide. It is a stated go…
City of Lancaster Slated to Receive American Rescue Plan Funds Administrative Services Mayor’s Office
On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 1219, the American Rescue Plan Act of 20…
Celebrating Women’s History Month 2021 Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster is honoring Women’s History Month for the month of March…
A New Plan for Lancaster City Bureau of Planning Department of Community Planning & Economic Development Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster aims to engage the whole community in the production of a new Comprehensive Pl…
Snow Emergency Lifted – February 18 Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
The Snow Emergency declared for the City of Lancaster will be lifted on Thursday…
Snow Emergency Declared – February 17 Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace has declared a snow emergency, effective at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.
Celebrating Black History Month 2021 Mayor’s Office
The City of Lancaster is delighted to celebrate Black History Month this February. Lancaster City is…
Snow Emergency Lifted – February 2 Bureau of Operations Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
The Snow Emergency declared for the City of Lancaster will be lifted on Tuesday, February 2 at 4 p.m…
Snow Emergency Declared Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace has declared a snow emergency, effective at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 31.
City of Lancaster Announces the State of the City 2021 Address Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace will deliver the annual State of the City address on Jan. 19…
Lancaster Can Lead the Way on Racial Justice – Mayor Sorace Mayor’s Office
The following piece written by Mayor Danene Sorace was originally released in
Snow Emergency Lifted Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
UPDATE: Lancaster Parking Authority, Red Rose Transit Authority and Colonial Parking have al…
Snow Emergency Declared Department of Public Works Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace has declared a snow emergency, effective at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16. …
Winter Weather Information Mayor’s Office
If you have any questions about the following information, please contact
City of Lancaster Announces Interim Chief of Police Bureau of Police Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace will bring the appointment of an Interim Chief of Police to City Council this ev…
Statement from Mayor Sorace Regarding the DA’s Investigation of the September 13 Police-Involved Shooting Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace released the following statement this afternoon in response to the District Atto…
City of Lancaster Honors Community Leaders in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Mayor’s Office
 The City of Lancaster will recognize Carlos Graupera and Fr. Allan Wolfe with Lifetime Achieve…
Message from Mayor Sorace about Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser’s Retirement Bureau of Police Mayor’s Office
Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser is retiring from his position effective October 31, 2020. Chief Berki…
City of Lancaster Makes Final Census Push with Census Emergency Day Mayor’s Office
Mayor Danene Sorace will join Mayor Eddie Moran of Reading in declaring Friday, Sept. 25 Census Emer…
Statement from Mayor Sorace – September 18 Mayor’s Office
As this painful and incredibly difficult week comes to a close, I wanted to provide a few&…
Statement from Mayor Sorace – September 14 Mayor’s Office
Yesterday was a heartbreaking day for our city. My heart breaks for Ricardo Munoz’s&nbsp…
Mayor Sorace Releases Statement on Sunday Shooting Mayor’s Office
This has been a heartbreaking day for our city. I grieve for the loss of life and know that there ar…
City of Lancaster Issues Demonstration Guidelines ahead of Sunday Protest Mayor’s Office
LANCASTER, Pa., Aug. 8, 2020 – City of Lancaster officials are aware of a protest scheduled for 5 …
Best Practices to Prioritize Safe and Secure Demonstrations Mayor’s Office
Individuals and organizations have the lawful right to demonstrate if done in a lawful manner.
Thousands have participated in ongoing demonstrations in Lancaster city over the past five days in r…
Food & Beverage Takeout Updates Mayor’s Office
For the full video update from Mayor Sorace, visit
CV-19 Healthcare Protocol for Residents Mayor’s Office
Recommended Health Protocol For Residents:
City of Lancaster Declares State of Emergency Mayor’s Office
Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine have issued Stay at Home orders for Lancaster County. Rea…
Neighborhood Engagement Launches 2020 Programs and Initiatives Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
This Valentine’s Day, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement is showing that its love for…
Redevelopment of 250 College Avenue Department of Community Planning & Economic Development Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
See below for notes from the May 20, 2019 public meeting regarding resident priorities for the redev…
Neighbor of the Month: Darlene Byrd Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
Congratulations to Darlene Byrd, who was named Neighbor of the Month for November!
Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Tuba Christmas Bureau of Police LOOP Mayor’s Office
The 2019 Lancaster City for the Holidays season will kick off with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting &…
Neighbor of the Month: Suzan Matos Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
Congratulations to Suzan Matos, who was named Neighbor of the Month for October!
Neighbor of the Month: Ricardo Almodovar Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
Congratulations to Ricardo Almodovar, who was named Neighbor of the Month for September!
City of Lancaster Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
The City of Lancaster will observe Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, through severa…
City of Lancaster announces Certified Welcoming status Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
The City of Lancaster, in partnership with many community benefit organizations and businesses, is c…
North Plum Street Housing Update Bureau of Code Compliance & Inspections Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
To ensure the safety of city residents, seven houses were condemned for significant structural issue…
Annual Youth Week Proclamation Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
To honor America’s junior citizens for their accomplishments and give recognition of their services …
Mayor Sorace Joins City Leaders from Around the World in Third Class of Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Mayor’s Office
Mayor Sorace is ready to explore the latest in leadership and management practices, as one of 40 may…
Lunch with the Mayor Locations Announced Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
Today the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement announced locations selected for Lunch with th…
Mayor’s Block Party Recipients Announced Mayor’s Office Office of Neighborhood Engagement
Today the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement announced the 2019 recipients of the&nbsp…
Jess King Named Chief of Staff Mayor’s Office
Mayor Sorace is pleased to announce the appointment of Jess King as the new Chief of Staff for the City of Lancaster. …
Council Statement on Arson Attack on City Hall Mayor’s Office
As a Council, we want the best for every resident of our city. Lancaster boasts a number of accomplishments and attractive…
2017 Employee Service Awards Mayor’s Office
On Tuesday, January 23, the City of Lancaster Employee Recognition Committee held the Employee Service Awards, honoring those…

Executive Leadership Team

John Bey

Chief of Police

John T. Bey serves as the Chief of Police and brings with him a passion for law enforcement, community engagement and public service. Prior to his service, Chief Bey served as the Superintendent, Comptroller’s Office, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, Chief of Police Middletown Borough Police Department and is a retired Captain after a 25 year career with the Pennsylvania State Police. Chief Bey is a graduate of Elizabethtown College with a B.A. in Corporate Communications, Community College of the Air Force, Associates in Finance and is a graduate of the 240th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Chief Bey is also the former president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Executives). 

Stephen Campbell

Director of Public Works

Stephen Campbell serves as the Director of Public Works and is a skilled leader, administrator and project manager. Having graduated from Somerset Area Senior High School, he earned his Bachelor of Architecture at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1979, and his Master of Architecture in Urban Design at Harvard in 1981. He opened his own architecture office in upper Manhattan, practicing architecture and community development in Harlem and the South Bronx. In 1990, he entered public service in New York City’s Department of Design and Construction, and rapidly rose through the ranks to become a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, over capital construction for the public service agencies of Health, Human Services, Fire, Children, Aging and the Homeless. 

In 1996, he returned to the private sector, reconstituting his practice as a sustainability and infrastructure development consultancy. During that period he consulted with the City of New York in developing high performance guidelines for buildings and for infrastructure, such as stormwater management, landscape and utilities. In 2004, he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, teaching architecture and capital planning at the American University of Beirut. In addition, he worked in the international engineering firm, Dar Al Handasah’s Planning Department. While there, he engaged in master and strategic planning efforts in Erbil in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, and in Oman, establishing areas of historic and natural heritage. In 2008, he reentered public service, in Washington, DC’s Office of Property Management, which later became the Department of General Services (DGS), the agency that designs, constructs and maintains the schools, recreation centers, police and fire stations and other municipal facilities for the District of Columbia. Upon the creation of DGS he served a year as Deputy Director for the Construction Division. In January, 2020, Mr. Campbell joined the City of Lancaster, as the Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW). 

Milzy Carrasco

Director of Neighborhood Engagement

Milzy Carrasco serves as the Director of Neighborhood Engagement and was appointed by Mayor Sorace in 2018. She brings with her a passion for sustainable community development while fostering inclusion and equity for all Lancastrians. Milzy is the City of Lancaster’s first Director of Neighborhood Engagement. She uses her passion, experiences, and skills to ensure that Lancaster’s neighborhoods are diverse, vibrant places where relationships can grow and thrive.

Milzy has a big heart for her neighbors. Under her leadership, the Department of Neighborhood Engagement created the Neighborhood Leaders Academy, where residents receive training and tools to improve their community. The academy focuses on individuals of color whose voices are not always heard. In addition, Milzy has been instrumental in several of the City’s community programs, such as community and police engagement and launching a cross-department working group focused on neighborhood concerns.

Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Carrasco served twelve years as the Director of Community & Business Development for San Juan Bautista Church, the largest and only Hispanic Catholic Church in the Diocese of Harrisburg. She successfully led neighborhood efforts focusing on community advocacy and developing sustainable social enterprises benefitting residents of the southeast neighborhood of Lancaster City. Mrs. Carrasco previously held positions at the Emerald Foundation, where she led community development programming and fundraising efforts.

Mrs. Carrasco, a graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School, recently completed the Implementing Public Policy (IPP) program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also part of a global cohort of Bloomberg Harvard Leaders focused on leadership development and community engagement. In 2016, Milzy was named a “Hometown Hero” for her work advocating for vulnerable families in Lancaster. In 2019, Milzy received the YWCA’s Women of Achievement award for her continued community work and leadership. She serves on the boards of both the Community Action Partnership and Plaza San Juan Bautista Youth & Culture Center.

Chris Delfs

Director of Community Planning & Economic Development

Chris Delfs has served as Director of Community Planning & Economic Development since 2019 and has a passion for sustainable community development and excellence in city planning and design. He currently oversees several functions for the City of Lancaster, including land development, building codes, public art, health, housing inspections, and community development grant programs. Chris has served in a range of leadership positions as a public manager for over a decade. Before his current post, he was the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff for the District of Columbia Office of Planning, where he led community planning and design. Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and holds two Master’s degrees, one from American University in Washington, DC and one from the United Nations University for Peace. Chris also has a professional certificate in Collaborative Governance from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Barry Handwerger

City Solicitor

Barry Handwerger serves as the City Solicitor for the City of Lancaster. Barry became the City’s first in-house Solicitor in January 2020. He is responsible for all of the City’s legal matters, including the preparation of bonds, debt obligations, contracts, licenses and conveyances, overseeing litigation by or against the city or its officers, drafting legislation and policy, counseling city staff with respect to labor and employment matters, and counseling and guiding the city with respect to all other legal issues.

Before serving as City Solicitor, Mr. Handwerger was a partner with the firm of Zimmerman, PfannebeckerNuffort and Albert where for over twenty years he served as outside legal counsel to local municipalities including the City of Lancaster. Barry earned his Bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland and early in his career held a Certificate of Public Accounting from the State of Maryland.

Patrick Hopkins

Business Administrator

Patrick Hopkins serves as the Business Administrator for the City of Lancaster and has since 2006. He was reappointed to the position in 2018 by Mayor Danene Sorace. In the mid-1990s, he served in the same position for two years during the administration of Mayor Janice C. Stork. As Business Administrator, Patrick oversees the Department of Administrative Services which consists of the bureaus of Accounting, Human Resources, Treasury, and Information Technology. 

Patrick also has primary responsibility for the development of the City’s annual operating budget ($123,000,000 in 2020), creation of Capital Improvement Plan budgets, and the development of General Obligation Bond issuances. Patrick serves as a member of the Downtown Investment District Authority and on the boards of the Lancaster Higher Education Authority, the Lancaster Safety Coalition, and Lancaster E.M.S.  

From 2000 to 2005, Patrick was the President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates (PPPA), the state public affairs arm of Planned Parenthood in P.A. He worked in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1998 to mid-2000, as a legislative aide to State Rep. Michael Sturla (D-96) and a financial analyst for the House Democratic Education Committee. Patrick later worked with members of the Education Committee to analyze the impact of various public school district funding proposals on Pennsylvania’s five hundred public school districts.  

A 1992 graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and 1985 graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School, Patrick is a longtime resident of Lancaster City. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1985 until 1991. Patrick currently serves on the J. P. McCaskey Alumni Associationthe Lancaster Education Foundation Finance Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. 

Jess King

Chief of Staff

Jess King serves as Chief of Staff for the City of Lancaster. Jess is a values-driven leader with over twenty years of experience starting, building and leading equity-driven organizations, leveraging financial and social capital, building volunteer and staff teams, developing and growing programs, building public campaigns and advocating for social equity and inclusion. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, she served as Executive Director in three economic development organizations over her career in Pittsburgh and Lancaster. She maintains involvements with various boards focused on economic opportunity and social change. 

Born and raised in Lancaster County, she is a graduate of Lancaster Mennonite School and Eastern Mennonite University. She earned an Master’s of Business Administration in the integrated bottom lines of economics, social equity and the environment from Bard College and studied Impact Investing at the University of Oxford. She and her husband are proud parents of two School District of Lancaster students. 

Scott Little

Fire Chief

Scott R. Little serves as the Fire Chief for the City of Lancaster. Chief Little was appointed by Mayor Danene Sorace in May 2018 to lead the 74 member Fire Bureau. His 19 years of experience spans across federal, state, and local agencies and includes roles as chief fire officer, incident commander, company officer, fire and emergency services instructor, hazardous materials team leader, technical rescuer, and structural/airport firefighter. 

Little has served in a variety of fire and emergency services positions including operations, training, and administrative management. He was responsible for all areas of training and education for 64 civilian personnel assigned to the United States Army, Installation Management Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland from August 2015 until his appointment with the City of Lancaster. 

Little has a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration both from Columbia Southern University. He also holds numerous certifications for Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, and Fire Inspector among other certifications and safety trainings.

In addition, he serves in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 193d Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, 193d Special Operations Wing, Harrisburg International Airport, Middletown, Pennsylvania. As a First Sergeant, he serves as the key enlisted advisor to the squadron commander on matters concerning the welfare, career progression, and mission readiness of all assigned Airmen. He provides guidance and direction to squadron senior leadership on morale, career enhancement and discipline. His duties include performing quality force reviews on performance reports, awards, decorations and personnel actions. Additionally, he monitors compliance with Air Force standards, counsel’s personnel on leadership, military courtesy, self-improvement, self-discipline and acts to resolve complaints. 

Block By Block

The “Block by Block” Strategic Plan focuses on the people of the City of Lancaster and the fundamental work of City government. Carrying forward the four priorities of Mayor Sorace’s administration, this plan will ensure that strong neighborhoods, safe streets, secure incomes, and sound government are more than words on paper. The City is working across departments, using data more effectively, partnering with residents, businesses, educational institutions, and non-profits to address the unique needs of every neighborhood, block by block.