Saturday, February 5, 2011

State House Majority Whip 'giddy' with GOP majority

State Rep. Stan Saylor of York County, who serves as the Majority Whip in the state House of Representatives, said he is "giddy" that the GOP now has a lock on the governor's office, the Senate and the House.

His remarks came as the keynote speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual event held by the Elizabethtown Area Republican Committee. This year's event was held Saturday, Feb. 5, in the Susquehanna Room of Elizabethtown College.

In November, the GOP reclaimed majorities in the state legislature and won the governor's office. Thanks to the win, Saylor said, the party is going "to turn Pennsylvania upside down" by reforming government.

"We have the guts, and we have the courage, to change what Pennsylvania is all about," Saylor said.

One of the specifics he mentioned was welfare reform, explaining that Republicans plan to require anyone convicted of a felony who is receiving welfare to be tested for drugs. If a test comes back positive, that person will automatically lose 25 percent of his welfare, Saylor said. A second positive test would mean the loss of 50 percent of welfare benefits.

Saylor also said the GOP wants to institute "performance budgeting," meaning that state agencies would have goals to achieve. If they they meet the goals, they might get more than "2 or 3 percent increase," Saylor said.

"There's a new day in Harrisburg," he said. "There's a new sheriff, and it's the Republican party."

The Lincoln Day Dinner was a who's who of Lancaster County Republican candidates, all of whom are seeking re-election or are running for office: incumbent Commissioners Scott Martin and Dennis Stuckey, District Attorney Craig Stedman, Acting Sheriff Mark Reese, Clerk of Courts candidate Joshua Parsons and judicial candidates Leonard G. Brown III and Merrill Spahn Jr.

Personally, I had a chance to meet and talk to Parsons, Brown and Spahn. And I met Martin in person for the first time after following him on Twitter for several months. Here's his Twitter profile, and here's a link to mine

In addition, a number of Elizabethtown Area School Board members attended the dinner, as did Borough Council President Phil Clark and West Donegal Township Supervisor Roger Snyder.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here's an economic development angle

If you didn't know, Philadelphia-based Reinhold Residential recently sold Peach Alley Court along Poplar Street and Peach Alley to AGM Management, owned by Allen and Gary Segal, also of the Philadelphia area.

The Central Penn Business Journal reported on the transaction in this week's issue. I'd post a link, but you have to be a paid subscriber. I will, however, report on one aspect of the article:

"Elizabethtown's stability also helped persuade the pair to buy the property, Allen Segal said.

"'You got (Elizabethtown College) and good industry there. There is a stable population there. It's not real transient,' he said."

Segal goes on to lavish praise about the historic nature of Peach Alley Court and what makes it stand out as an apartment building. But I'm hung up -- in a good way -- on the comments above.

Here we have a businessman from well outside the community and Lancaster County who recognizes one of the things that makes our town so valuable: We have a stable population that's not transient.

This, in my mind, is a built-in economic development angle that local entrepreneurs need to exploit and take advantage of now. We do an awful lot of teeth gnashing about empty storefronts and a lack of business downtown -- and here's one more way we can find creative ways for economic development.

So let's get some solid business plans written and the investment capital flowing!