A familiar mayor's race in Lancaster

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Oct 31, 2013 4:00 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- A pair of familiar political foes is squaring off in Lancaster's mayoral race next week, and each has a different opinion of the city's financial health.

Incumbent Mayor Rick Gray points to Lancaster's recent boom in economic development when he says Lancaster is the envy of many other cities in Pennsylvania.

Lancaster has avoided Act 47 financially distressed city status and Gray, a Democrat, says its financial health is as good or better than any other city in state.

"I think it would be foolish at this point to change courses in mid-stream, really," he says.

But former Mayor Charlie Smithgall, a Republican, says Gray's been tapping the cash reserves that were built up during his eight years in office.

"We're heading the way, unfortunately, other cities are," he says. "They're not watching their spending and we're going to be hit with another major tax increase is something isn't changed."

Smithgall points to high per-capita debt in Lancaster, but Gray notes the city's credit rating has gone up during his administration.

Each appeared on witf's Smart Talk on Wednesday for extended conversations about the issues facing Lancaster.

Smithgall served as Lancaster's mayor from 1998 - 2006. He was defeated by Gray in 2005 and again in 2009.

Published in Lancaster, News

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