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County Council’s dispute with Tunnell personal

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John P. Lage Jr.

I attended the special Lancaster County Council meeting about the I-77 Alliance snub. I sat in the back. I was a little late and couldn’t get my name on the list to speak.

So, I figured I would stay for the meeting. I couldn’t believe what I heard and witnessed. This whole issue is personal, it has nothing to do with any law-breaking or violation of any ordinance. The action taken by the council to freeze Lancaster County Economic Corp. (LCEDC) budget, in my opinion, is an abuse of power.

I did not hear one shred of evidence that Keith Tunnell, LCEDC president, or his employees did anything wrong. Council took drastic action over rumors and personality conflicts, which do not warrant freezing a budget. If they did then every budget would be frozen.

What dismayed me the most was the conduct of Councilman Larry Honeycutt. He clearly is dismayed over this issue. His body language and his facial expressions spoke volumes.

In my opinion, this is personal with Mr. Honeycutt. He had nothing good to say about the job Mr. Tunnell is doing. Yet, I have an e-mail from Mr. Honeycutt boasting how well Lancaster is doing with the unemployment rate dropping. These numbers have more to do with Mr. Tunnell’s work than any of the council members. The only thing Mr. Honeycutt has is a 16-3 vote against Lancaster joining this alliance. He kept repeating it. That’s your reason to freeze funding, Mr. Honeycutt?

When Mr. Tunnell spoke Mr. Honeycutt would not even look at him. He glanced up a few times, flopped back in his chair and huffed and puffed a few times. Here’s the accused in this phony issue speaking. You would think Mr. Honeycutt would want to hear him. But he could care less what Mr. Tunnell said. His mind is made up. He is not a fan of Mr. Tunnell. Most every other council member was focused on Mr. Tunnell.

The freezing of the LCEDC budget has me baffled. Most council members spoke highly of Mr. Tunnell’s work, yet they froze the budget. Something is going on here and we do need to get to the bottom of it. You don’t need to freeze the budget to do that. All you did is hurt every resident in Lancaster County.

The I-77 Alliance is a joke. I’ve never seen such worry over a road that’s miles from the county line. We don’t need any alliance, they need us. York County is out of land to develop. Lancaster is in the best position for growth. You want an alliance, have one called the I-521 Alliance. That’s where the future of this county is. Council members need to stop its whining and pull up their pants and tell that alliance to go pound sand.

Get out a map and show me how building along I-77 helps Lancaster. I mean get a clue. Chester and Fairfield – two counties that can’t hold a candle to us – and you’re upset that they snubbed us.

Yeah, I think the State Law Enforcement Division should be called, And each member who voted to freeze the LCEDC budget needs to be investigated. What facts did they have to take such action?

In the meantime, while this council plays politics, jobs and potential investors are having second thoughts about coming here. You, in a nutshell, put this county at a standstill.

John P. Lage Jr. is a Lancaster resident