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February 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Joshua Parsons, Chairman
Josh Parsons is a public servant who has served as an Army infantry officer, prosecutor, no-nonsense fiscal conservative, and take-charge executive.
Josh has delivered on promises to fight crime, reduce debt, and run an efficient county government that keeps taxes low and sets conditions for businesses to thrive and create good jobs here. As a new Commissioner in 2016, Josh together with a new Warden, organized the turnaround operation of the Lancaster County Prison. He and the Warden engineered solutions, including a game changing program called PrisonStat, which uses data and metrics to hold leaders accountable for results. Josh is also a founding partner of Joining Forces, the first unified countywide effort to take on the heroin/opioid crisis. He is a leader in implementing conservative reforms to make government more efficient. In 2017 Lancaster County lowered its tax rate to 2.91 mills, the third lowest of PA’s 67 counties and the lowest of any large county. At the same time, the county paid off millions in debt and achieved an increase to its bond rating, which reversed declines.
During a term as Clerk of Courts Josh created and championed a five-point plan for efficiency to eliminate huge and costly criminal case backlogs. During his term the criminal court system went from 24.3% of cases over a year old in 2011 to 6.5% in 2015, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. He also led a successful effort to use civil judgments to recover $2.5 million owed to taxpayers by convicted criminals who had failed to pay fines and restitution.
In the District Attorney’s Office Josh earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor. He worked on thousands of criminal cases, including homicides, and was the DA’s representative to the Special Emergency Response Team. Skilled in the courtroom, Josh has taught as an instructor for Trial Advocacy class at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law for the last decade. He explored new ways to stop recidivism as a founding member of the Lancaster County Veterans Court team, which provides a second chance to veterans in trouble with the law.
Josh is also a former soldier. The Army reinforced the values he learned growing up here in Lancaster County – integrity, responsibility, and service. He served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and primary staff officer for a battalion of 870 soldiers. Among his many decorations are the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge – awarded for becoming an Army paratrooper.
Josh understands the value of hard work and education: he had many jobs growing up, including as a janitor, and earned scholarships along the way. He is a graduate of the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, where he earned a full merit scholarship and the University of Delaware, where he earned an Army ROTC scholarship. Josh has also completed Harvard University’s Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results, a program for senior leaders in the public sector.
Josh and his wife feel blessed to live, work, and raise their three children in Lancaster County.
Ray D’Agostino, Vice-Chairman
Ray D’Agostino was elected as a Lancaster County Commissioner in 2019. Previous to this post he served for ten years as CEO of the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP), a regional U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is focused on housing affordability. Ray also served as the first Chief of Staff for former State Senator Smucker (now Congressman) and spent 17 years in local government as a municipal and authority manager. He is a retired veteran of the U.S. military having served 22 years in the Naval Reserve and PA Army National Guard.
Under his leadership, LHOP grew immensely in size and service footprint. Ray founded the Local Housing Investment Fund & Trust (LHIFT) of Southcentral PA, a revolving loan fund centered on providing flexible, low cost financing for projects which include affordable housing, economic development and neighborhood revitalization.
In his role as municipal manager (most recently in West Lampeter Township and Mount Joy Borough), Ray oversaw the development and implementation of several community strategic comprehensive plans and co-authored a chapter in a published book on regional planning. Ray has also been extensively involved in developing and refining municipal budgeting and finance practices, including operations and capital improvement budgeting. He teaches on this subject around the state for the PA State Association of Boroughs.
As a proud veteran, Ray served as a Seabee in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 21 headquartered in Lakehurst, NJ, as a fire support director with the 28th Infantry Division in Harrisburg and an instructor with the 166th Regiment at Ft. Indiantown Gap. He earned numerous awards including the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service and Army Commendation medals.
Ray is passionate about public service, focused on efficient, effective and transparent government. He has served on numerous state, county and local boards and commissions, including on the development team of PennDOT Publication 447, as treasurer of the Lancaster County Veterans Court Community Partnership, chairman of the City Revitalization Improvement Zone (CRIZ) for the City of Lancaster, and chairman of the Lancaster County Planning Commission. Through his leadership, the CRIZ developed and implemented a small business loan and grant program. Ray currently serves as chairman of the West Lampeter Township Board of Auditors and chairman of the Lampeter-Strasburg Area Republican Committee.
Ray holds Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees from Shippensburg University. He lives in Lampeter with his wife and two children.
Craig Lehman was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. At the time of his birth, his family lived in Manheim. Several years later the family moved to Mount Joy where Craig grew up and later graduated from Donegal High School in 1981.
In 1980, during his senior year, Craig enlisted in the United States Navy. Shortly after graduation, his enlistment began at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Orlando, Florida where he completed Basic Training. Craig served overseas onboard the USS Orion, AS-18 homeported in Sardinia, Italy. He later served onboard the USS San Diego, AFS-6 homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. Craig was honorably discharged in 1985.
In 1985, Craig attended Shippensburg University earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration with a Labor Relations concentration and a Minor in Philosophy graduating with honors, Cum Laude, in 1989. After graduation, Craig continued his education by attending The Pennsylvania State University earning a Master of Science Degree in Policy Analysis in 1991. The subject of his Master’s essay, which was required for graduation, was Family and Medical Leave – Implementation and Evaluation Issues.
After finishing his coursework at Penn State, Craig worked for the Pennsylvania General Assembly serving as a Research Analyst from 1991-1992. He also worked as a Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee from 1992-2007, gaining public budgeting and public policy experience on a variety of issues related to state and local government.
In 1997, Craig was elected to serve on Lancaster City Council where he was a strong voice for neighborhoods. He also served as Chair of the Community Development and Planning Committee and the Finance Committee. In 2005, Craig was elected to serve as Lancaster City Controller. In 2007, Craig was elected to serve on the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.
As County Commissioner, Craig served as President of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) in 2015 and currently serves as Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Caucus of County Commissioners. He stays involved locally by serving on local boards & committees such as the EDC Finance Board, the Lancaster Clean Water Partners Steering Committee and the Lancaster County Conservation District Board, to name a few.
Craig strongly believes in fiscal responsibility and has often said, “If you don’t manage your budget, your budget will manage you.” He has also been a strong supporter of farmland preservation to help keep our agriculture industry sustainable and an advocate for investing in our older communities and for preserving our natural lands. Craig also understands that growth is our greatest opportunity and our greatest challenge. “We must responsibly manage and plan for growth if we want to make sure that Lancaster County remains a special place.”
Craig lives in Lancaster with his wife, Amanda, and their family.