LETTER: New Era editorial arrogant; injustices need correction

“Although I fully agree with your editorial I would add to it three items.

1. The New Era editorial you comment on closes by saying that the new convention center/hotel is “the jewel in the crown of downtown Lancaster”. No matter what you may think of the new hotel, even if you consider it today to be a jewel, it certainly is not “the jewel” in the crown of downtown Lancaster”. The Fulton Opera house, the central market, the Academy of Music, the school of art and design, the new ballpark, Gallery row, the quilt museum, and a thousand architectural gems are all jewels in the crown of downtown Lancaster. To claim that your project is “the jewel” in the crown is pretty myopic and even a little arrogant.

2. The New Era editorial also makes the questionable claim that they, the other partners, and other community supporters of the project worked hard ‘with one purpose in mind: to better their community’. If this ‘one purpose’ were so, then the partners should relinquish any interest in the project beyond the return of their own actual cash investment, and have the project owned in perpetuity by the Convention Center Authority.

3. The project is now a reality, and we all wish it well for many reasons, not the least of which is that we (the taxpayers) have the most ‘skin in the game,’ as you say in your editorial. But before we can move on, the great injustice that was done to two excellent public servants needs to be corrected. Lancaster County commissioners, Dick Shellenberger and Molly Henderson had a legal and moral duty to question both the viability and the public financing of this project and they carried it out with excellence. They paid a terrible price for doing so with the loss of their positions and reputations. These need to be restored before any more self congratulations