Information about appointment to the vacant position on Lancaster City Council

Why is City Council doing this?
A City Council member has resigned their 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 Friday, November 11, 2022. Resumes will be reviewed, and interviews will be conducted at a special public meeting of City Council on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 6 p.m. An appointment to the vacant post is expected to be made by City Council at a special meeting of City Council on Monday, December 5, 2022 at 5:30 p.m..


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 Friday, November 11, 2022, for consideration. Please note that applications received after the deadline or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.


Where should applications be sent?
Interested individuals should send documents to the Lancaster City Clerk Bernard Harris, at, or by mail to Bernard Harris, Lancaster City Hall, 120 N. Duke St., P.O. Box 1599, Lancaster, PA 17608-1599. Applications received by mail must be postmarked on or before November 11, 2022.


The following applicants submitted their applications to the City Clerk by the advertised deadline. Listed in alphabetical order by last name.

  • Ahmed Ahmed
  • Liza Ong Ante
  • Tene Darby
  • Tony Dastra
  • Andre Gilbert
  • Jeremy Hayes
  • John Hursh
  • Tony Israel
  • Philip Jones
  • Lewis Waltman

Interview Process & Questions

All candidates will be asked the same set of questions, provided by each current member of Council.

All candidates will be asked to affirm that they meet the requirements to hold office (Are you at least 18 years of age? Have you continuously resided within the City of Lancaster for at least one year prior to the date of the appointment? Are you currently a federal, state, or county officeholder or employee of the City of Lancaster?)

All candidates will be given up to 3 minutes to introduce themselves to Council and state why they are interested in the position.

Interview Questions

  1. What community organizations, city boards, commissions, or authorities, or other community activities are you currently involved with?
  2. If appointed to City Council do you plan on seeking election for one of the open seats in 2023? Why or why not?
  3. If appointed to City Council, what committee would most interest you to serve on and why?
  4. As a member of City Council, how would you encourage public participation among city residents?
  5. What experience do you have successfully working with people of varied backgrounds and perspectives?
  6. What unique experiences or strengths do you possess that you hope can benefit city council in serving the city?