Archive for December, 2013

Defrocked Lebanon Pastor Invited to Join California Methodist Church; Preaches Today in Washington

December 20, 2013

By Central Voice
Updated 12/22/13, 8:52 a.m.

Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist Church pastor, defrocked Dec. 19 for officiating at his gay son’s wedding has been invited to join the California Methodist Church, according to The Associated Press.

Schaefer is deciding whether to accept the offer from Bishop Minerva G. Carcano. The church’s region includes California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Carcano does not have the authority to restore his credentials but he says he would have the same rights.

Today Schaefer preaches in Washington, DC. at historic Foundry United Methodist Church. Rev. Dean Snyder, Foundry senior minister, issued the invitation to Schaefer after learning of the Dec. 19 decision by his church to defrock Schaefer.

He plans to appeal his church’s decision.

Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist Church pastor, was defrocked yesterday (12/19/13) for officiating at his gay son’s wedding. He plans to appeal his church’s decision.

Schaefer had been advised by the church’s to resign from the clergy if he felt could not follow the denomination’s policy of not allowing same-sex marriages.

Schaefer has said the rule book discriminates against gay people and he would not voluntarily surrender his credentials.

While The United Methodist Church calls on its congregation members to accept lesbians and gays as members, its position on homosexuality is that, “it is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Central Voice Cartoon

Central Voice Cartoon

Nonetheless, Schaefer has been invited to preach this Sunday (12/22/13) at historic Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, DC. Rev. Dean Snyder, Foundry senior minister, issued the invitation to Schaefer after learning of yesterday’s (12/19/13) decision by his church to defrock Schaefer.

Snyder attended the church trial last month in Lebanon supporting Schaefer throughout the trial, sentencing and now stripping of his ministerial credentials. He has led national efforts to end the discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline. Foundry is on the forefront of full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the life of the church.

Excerpt of Foundry UMC statement that follwed Schaefer’s November church trial.

…Like Rev. Schaefer, we believe in marriage equality as a biblical principle. We believe in the full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the life of the church. We believe this because we believe in Christ’s message of love and inclusion. We believe the long United Methodist history and tradition also leads us to the same conclusion.

As United Methodists, we are committed to walking with our brothers and sisters across the globe to reach more people, to touch more lives and to continue growing to be a catalyst for change by responding to God’s call. Including LGBT people in the lives of the church is a key part of that mission. It demonstrates our commitment to fulfill Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors.

LGBT Christians are and have always been a part of The United Methodist Church. They are a big part of our community at Foundry, and we are stronger—much stronger—because of them. We strive to be a community that welcomes all of God’s children. We are committed to ending the pain inflicted by Christians on our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Schaefer calls what happened to him an “outing”.

Nov. 18 a jury of 13 United Methodist pastors determined that he had violated church law when he performed a marriage ceremony for his eldest son, Tim, and his male partner in 2007.

The jury ordered Rev. Frank Schaefer suspended from his ministerial duties for 30 days.

“At the end of the 30 days I must respond in writing about whether or not I can adhere to church laws regarding same-sex marriage,” Schaefer told Central Voice. Dec. 19 was his deadline.

“I think the church was very smart in how they made their decision. They treated me like I was an honest man but deferred judgment to me. I will decide if I can abide by the rules. They also know the eyes of the world are upon them,” Schaefer said.

By being an honest man, Schaefer is referring to how he originally handled marrying his son Tim and his partner.

“In the fall of 2006 I put in writing to the Bishop and the church that I would be performing the marriage of my son to his partner,” Schaefer explained.

“I received no response from church leadership.” The wedding actually took place in 2007. However, the formal complaint to the church hierarchy from then-fellow parishioner and now former church member Jon Boger did not come until late in 2013.

Boger testified at Schaefer’s hearing. He broke down on the witness stand when questioned by church counsel, describing Schaefer’s marrying his son and those who support his action as taking “the law into their own hands” and undermining the church’s credibility and integrity. Although Boger meant church law, Pennsylvania law does not allow same-sex couples to marry, a law that is currently being challenged from a multitude of legal directions. In that regard both the United Methodist Church and Pennsylvania state law mimic each other.

In an interesting backstory, Boger testified during the church trial that six weeks before filing his complaint that his mother, who was employed as the church’s choir director, felt as if she were forced to submit her resignation to the church. “He said the two events were unrelated,” Schaefer said.

Regardless of the sequence of the events, Schaefer sounds like a man undaunted in his resolve to do what he thinks is right.

“What propels me to be a public, outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community is that I was asked to answer for my actions. I see it as ‘outing,'” he explains. Schaefer had long been a silent supporter of gay civil rights but, as he explained, “I did not want to divide my church.” As he said during the proceeding, “I cannot go back to being a silent supporter. I must continue to be in ministry with all people and speak for LGBTQ people.”

If he decides to leave his church, he does not lose his Princeton Seminary degree. His upset church can only set rules for ministers ordained into their ranks, not all ministers or other organized religions.

“Should I decide to seek membership in the United Church of Christ, or as Central Voice has asked about, the Metropolitan Community Church of the Spirit, like any other candidate I would have to complete their ordination requirements,” Schaefer explains.

Reflecting upon what has been a draining experience for him, Schaefer says, “I remain inspired by so many people. The outpouring of support, handwritten notes, social network communications, there are so many people out there who understand what is happening.”

The day following the church jury’s decision to suspend Schaefer, a group called Faithful America was planning to deliver more than 19,000 petition signatures to United Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson.

The petition reads: “Bishop Peggy Johnson, please join with the growing number of United Methodists who are obeying Jesus’ command to love our neighbors and disregarding the church’s immoral anti-gay rules. Don’t allow any more trials for pastors who officiate at gay weddings.”

PA Gov. Corbett Supports Banning Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

December 18, 2013

by Central Voice

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said Tuesday (Dec. 17, 2013) he supports legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Corbett is referring to House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300. Each bill calls for amending the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Yesterday, Corbett told the The (Phila.) Inquirer that he was “coming out in support” of the bills after learning that federal law does not cover discrimination in the state.

“I’ve had people come and talk to me about how they were discriminated against,” said Corbett, who served for eight years as the state’s attorney general. “The federal government has antidiscrimination laws. I believed they covered it.”

Such legislation dealing with LGBT discrimination has been floating around the state’s General Assembly for a decade. Corbett’s support is viewed by advocates as a major step forward on a civil rights issue.

“His leadership will move the issue forward in a way that is long overdue,” said Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, a statewide gay rights advocacy group.

Currently, 23 states, including all of the Northeastern United States, and 33 Pennsylvania municipalities have nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity. Twenty-three Fortune 500 companies based in Pennsylvania have similar nondiscrimination policies.

The companion bills now in the House and Senate calling for protections against anti-gay discrimination, were introduced this year by Rep. Dan Frankel (D., Allegheny) and Sen. Pat Browne (R., Lehigh) with bipartisan support. Still, both pieces of legislation have failed to move out of their respective committees.

The nondiscrimination bills include language that would exempt religious schools and certain businesses that have a religious affiliation.

Corbett mentioned a like-minded conservative in Congress, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., PA), who voted for the federal nondiscrimination bill that passed the Senate last month.

Closer to home, the move pits the governor against one of the legislature’s most vocal conservatives, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler), chairman of the state government committee, who controls the movement of the bill in the House.

When asked how he would overcome Metcalfe’s opposition, Corbett shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” But he added that he thought the bill, if brought to a vote, would gain support from “both sides of the aisle.”

As background, Central Voice (Jan-Feb 2013 print edition), noted the formation of the state’s first LGBT Caucus in 2012. The caucus mission reflects a comprehensive set of civil rights supported by its members in the House and Senate.

Caucus co-chairs Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery remain hopeful.

“We know that a solid majority of Pennsylvanians support changing state law to make it more fair and equal on several issues,” Rep. Frankel said upon the group’s formation. He’s referring to a statewide poll of 1,200 registered voters indicating 70% support legislation protecting people who live or work in Pennsylvania from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Co-chair Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, has said, “I’ve been working to legalize marriage equality in Pennsylvania for quite some time, and I am eager to work with my colleagues in the LGBT Equality Caucus and bring those efforts to fruition. We need to end the unjust and hurtful discrimination under current state law that denies same sex couples the benefits we offer married couples.”

A year ago, Dr. Terry Madonna, nationally recognized polling guru who directs the Center for Politics and Public Affairs, Franklin & Marshall College, told Central Voice: “Incremental, changes in gay issues and attitudes and how these changes are reflected in laws will be incremental.”

Revisiting Health Care Reform Analysis: “Terrific possibilities” for Region Said Howard Dean

December 16, 2013

By Central Voice

“Terrific possibilities” is how Howard Dean described the region’s health care possibilities.

With hospital mergers in the public chatter, Central Voice revisits remarks made by former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Dean when he spoke Oct. 4, 2012 to guests of Alder Health Services.

Alder Health Services is a regional provider of family, primary health care services to underserved populations in Harrisburg and Lancaster, including the lgbt community. Alder Health also provides HIV services to an eight county region.

Howard Dean

Howard Dean

“South central Pennsylvania is a perfect location for some terrific possibilities,” Howard Dean said. His formal topic was “The Politics of Health: Healthcare Reform and How to Assure Quality Healthcare for All in the US”.

“For enterprising organizations like Alder Health Services there are terrific possibilities,” Dean said. He’s referring to potential public good that may derive from an Accountable Care Organization, a key provision in the new federal health care law that goes into full swing in 2014.

Dean’s mantra around ACOs is “vertical integration,” meaning the ways in which existing health care organizations forge new relationships in order to provide services that reduce both costs and disease and are thereby “accountable” to the public policy goal of affordable, wellness-based health care.

These new relationships are intended to reduce fragmentation and unnecessary testing, two expensive hallmarks of US medical care that drive health care costs sky high. In a recent annual report, the Kaiser Family Foundation notes that the US spends $7,538 a year on each American. That’s at least $2,535 more or 51% higher than Norway, the next largest per capita spender.

The rate of growth in US health care spending goes up faster than any other industrialized nation. Health care now accounts for 17.6% of Gross Domestic Product, expected to rise to 25% without a shift to health promotion and disease prevention rather than payment for procedures resulting from illness.

The cost reduction/health promotion model Dean describes rests on a radical shift in perspective.

“The trend you’ll see is payment for patients, not payment for procedures,” Dean explains. This means medical providers will be paid a set amount for a patient and then be expected to front-load wellness promotion in order to avoid illness.

He’s describing what others call the health care system’s strong “disincentive” in that payments are made for elaborate interventions with, for example, diabetes and heart disease, rather than routine ways to reduce the occurrence of such life-long medical conditions that are expensive over a patient’s lifetime, not to mention effects on patients’ quality of life.

The new incentive is that doctors and health care systems promote wellness for a fixed per-patient rate – called a capitated rate – and then keep dollars not spent on treating illness. In other words, payment systems will reflect the value of keeping people well rather than how much doctors and hospitals get paid to care for patients who become sick.

“Most hospitals and insurance companies think they understand wellness but they don’t. It’s all blather,” Dean says unequivocally.

Medical literature also portrays another shift easy to describe but difficult to achieve: doctors who treat the same patient must simply “talk” to each other. They must vertically integrate communication. In an aging population, a patient’s cardiologist may not speak with his orthopedic surgeon or oncologist. Meanwhile, chances are each doctor may be ordering expensive and duplicate tests eliminated by simply talking.

President Lyndon Johnson’s architect for pushing through Congress Medicare and Medicaid was Wilbur Cohen who warned about the “unintended consequences” of public policy. In the short run, Dean expects that small business will dump health care coverage as an unintended consequence of President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act.

“Small business will pay the fine, maybe give employees some money to cover them buying into a state exchange,” he predicts. A state exchange is an information exchange whereby individuals and businesses can research what products at what prices exist as options to employer-based coverage. “I don’t think it’s good public policy to separate health care coverage from our traditional employer-based system, but that looks like the future under AHA,” Dean laments.

Surprising to some observers, Dean opposed the controversial “individual mandate” that the US Supreme Court ruled is a tax and therefore allowable under the US Constitution. Contrary to political ads from all precincts of the political debate, the mandate is a cornerstone of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s health care reform plan passed while he was governor of Massachusetts and President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act.

“The mandate only served to anger lots of people and it’s really, if you study Obama’s reforms, a negligible piece” of the picture. As passed, the mandate isn’t fiscally practical Dean says. “For example, one must buy in or pay a tax, and given there’s no ‘community rating’ that balances out what it costs across a large number of people a person with a pre-existing condition can be charged up to 300% of market rates,” he explains. “You need controls or the formula falls apart.”

Ahead 10 years, Dean sees our soon-to-be evolved health care system evolving into a single payer system.

“There’s no sense taking apart what was just passed by Congress,” he says. “Let’s make the best of it work.” Dean expects that once all the loose parts are shaken loose from President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, the country and Congress may be ready to revisit health care reform.

Alder Health Services: 1.800.867.1550.

From Cuba to US – Local Man’s Story

December 9, 2013

By Central Voice

On New Year’s Eve 1959, when Fidel Castro’s soldiers finally defeated corrupt Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, the seeds of the Cuban revolution were planted.

The seeds that would eventually blossom into the beliefs of Harrisburg’s Dr. José Venereo were also planted.

As a Cuban, José faced a family history recounted only in whispers.

Dr. Jose Venereo

Dr. Jose Venereo

“I was very young when much of this family history took place. They did not talk in great detail. This was a traumatic time for my family. Their houses and land were confiscated under Castro’s policy of redistributing wealth,” José tells Central Voice.

As a gay child, he navigated a Latin culture built on strong masculinity and religious values. As a gay man, he later found a home in south central Pennsylvania; now a successful veterinarian and owner of Noah’s Ark Veterinary Center.

Born into revolution

The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt against the government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista conducted by Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement and its allies. The revolt began in July 1953 and finally ousted Batista on Jan. 1, 1959, replacing his government with Castro’s revolutionary state.

Castro’s government formed along Communist lines. By 1965, his armed revolution had become the Communist Party of Cuba, today headed by Castro’s brother Raúl who rules the island 90 miles from the coast of Jose’s adopted home.

In 1967, against this tumultuous background, José was born in Cuba. By then his father, also named Jose, had been a political prisoner of Castro for almost eight years. He was a tobacco grower who expressed his disapproval of the dictator’s takeover. Fueling Castro’s revolution was Batista’s slide into corruption as he befriended the US Mob. Although he was popularly elected for his first run, Batista cancelled the second election and took over Cuba by means of a military coup. “Castro found his power by fighting Batista’s corrupt government. Only after taking power did he, Batista, show his true colors,” José explained.

In a story from a Hollywood script, José’s father met and eventually married the daughter of an anti-Castro military sergeant with whom he was jailed. Both Jose’s grandfathers were successful Cubans who met the Castro regime’s disfavor.

The jails of revolutionaries are known for their cruelty.

“They put sugar on one side of moldy bread. There were often cockroaches on the other side of the bread,” José explained.

“During those early years of Communist rule the regime’s control over the hearts and minds of the Cuban people was something we experienced very deeply,” José said.

An experience with his sister, Gladys Maria, is etched into Jose’s memory.

“One day my sister came home from school and told my father she loved Castro more than she loved him,” José said. Her behavior reflected what she had been taught in school. The revolution touched every aspect of Cuban life, including the relationship between a father and his daughter.

Jose recalls with stunning clarity a concrete wall he would pass with elders as they walked to regular destinations. “The wall was about 12 high. It was stained with blood. You could see where the bullets hit the wall, after passing through people. Elders explained in somber voices, “This is where they shoot political prisoners”. That moment is frozen in Jose’s memory.

By late 1971 José’s family moved to Madrid Spain. Several years later, the family migrated again to Puerto Rico. Eventually through hard work and education José became a doctor of veterinary science, landed in the region by the year 2000. A year later, he purchased his veterinary practice. Jose sings with Harrisburg Men’s Chorus.

In 1971, Madrid was not a place open to foreigners. “There were not many jobs and a Cuban was treated like he was taking a job away from a Spaniard,” Jose remembers.

Although schools were private and Spain had no official state religion, they were all coincidentally Roman Catholic. Both countries’ populations spoke Spanish, and even with the many dialects that comprise a language, Jose and his family were able to adequately communicate and enjoy Spanish life. “We went to bull fights which were like baseball in Spain,” José said.

“My father worked in a market lifting boxes and had several hernia surgeries because he worked so hard,” José said. Eventually his father found work in a Cuban restaurant that eased the family’s plight. Although US relatives occasionally sent money to help the family survive, Jose says they were never hungry. “There was no room for excess. When we would go to market my mother would say touch with your eyes not your hands.”

As if the family’s story need be any more legendary, add a literary twist only a kind fate could provide.

By 1975, the family moved to Tarrytown, New York, the setting for Washington Irving’s classic 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and noiw a popular TV show. Set in the Dutch countryside of 1790, Tarrytown is nestled in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow, renowned for ghosts and a haunting atmosphere that teases the imaginations of inhabitants. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane, played by Johnny Depp in a 1999 movie version, sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.

“What everyone remembers about Sleepy Hollow is the Headless Horseman,” Jose said, “the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot away by a stray cannonball during the American Revolutionary War, eerily similar to Jose’s story of the wall where political prisoners were shot for their beliefs.

Gay man

José, 46, did not come out of the closet until he was 32.

Like all Latin cultures, Cuban culture is embedded in “Machismo,” a belief in the supremacy of men over women that also sees gay men as without masculinity.

“I had an openly gay uncle and cousin. My family would make unkind remarks about them so I knew very early in life what being different was all about,” Jose said.

Like children who are bullied for being gay, or anyone bullied for being different, Jose absorbed the negative messages.

“I was a big homophobe. I dated married men. I convinced myself that if they were married they couldn’t be gay. And because I was having sex with a married man who wasn’t gay, I couldn’t be gay either,” José said of the tortured logic of his earlier years.

“My father thought I was gay because I had been traumatized. He thought somewhere early in my life I had an unrequited crush on a girl. What I had were many unacknowledged questions about men,” José said laughing aloud.

“Today, I like myself very much,” he says with a grin.

Personal, political

Fully aware of his family’s history and knowing firsthand the effects of both political repression and unkind remarks about being gay, José has developed an interesting blend of political views.

“I am a citizen of the United States of America,” José explains, the Americas extend across two continents. A portion of the Americas is the United States of America,” José says.

“I firmly believe that when someone migrates to the United States they have a duty and a responsibility to learn English as their first language,” José says with conviction.

He also says that immigrants should keep their native tongue alive and learn as many other languages as possible. “Knowing as much about the world as you can is the best medicine against bigotry,” José said.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a public policy that may say we have a standard language. We cannot possibly start to produce government documents in an endless number of languages. Migration to the US changes over time and we cannot eventually accommodate all the different languages on the planet,” José said.

Jose does not mean that immigrant cultures and languages should be disregarded or disrespected.

“Everyone’s heritage deserves respect. But each who comes to the United States of America has an obligation to pull together, to be good community members, and to create the strongest economy and communities they possibly can,” José said.

Not having a common set of standards for language, José thinks, contributes to the disintegration of American culture. “We need to pull together, find what we share in common.”

“What’s important, whether you are gay or straight, born here or migrate here, is to overcome obstacles, make success your goal,” Jose concludes.

Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse Wants to Hear from You

December 4, 2013

By Central Voice

Now that all the confetti has been swept up, Harrisburg’s Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse wants to hear from you.

He and his transition team are all ears.


Making replacement of street lights a priority as a way to curtail crime.

Placing the city’s housing codes department under the Public Safety Department along with police, fire, and emergency management.

Improving Broad Street Market. Papenfuse encourages readers to get involved with the new Broad Street Market Alliance initiative (

Central Voice asked if he would sign the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry pledge. He will.

Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse

Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse

His transition team is holding a public meeting Dec. 11, 6 p.m. at the city’s John Harris High School, 2451 Market St.

Transition team chairs will “invite questions, comments and suggestions from Harrisburg residents on the issues impacting the future of the city,” according to a news release.

“We want to make sure that the public is engaged in the transition process and that people have a chance to voice their concerns and offer their solutions,” Papenfuse said about the public meeting.

The mayor-elect has assembled teams to look into Public Safety, Economic and Community Development, Administration, Public Works, Education and Youth, Communications, and Arts, Culture and Tourism.

Today (12/4/13) he shares with Central Voice some potential plans for the city’s future.

Q – Chatter on the streets is that the city looks shabby – trash everywhere, street lights out, blighted buildings. What’s a realistic plan and/or timetable to address these problems?

A – We have transition teams now looking into the many issues facing the city and offering recommendations on how to begin tackling the problems. It is impossible before I get their reports and am actually in office to offer a timetable. However, we will make the recommendations of the transition teams known to the public, and we are also holding a public forum so that residents can provide their input on solutions to the city’s problems. A major priority will be replacing street lights to help curtail crime in our neighborhoods. We will move as quickly as possible so that residents can see some improvement in their daily lives.

Q – Apocryphal street chatter says Harrisburg is full of absentee landlords who do not take proper care of rental units. The City Codes Department is a small, overwhelmed staff that cannot possibly be expected to keep up with such a scenario.

Does it make sense to re-assign temporarily City Hall staff to the Codes Department in order to jump start rental unit inspections and code violation follow-ups?

Our transition teams are looking at how to beef up codes enforcement, and we are looking at the possibility of placing codes under the Public Safety Department along with police, fire, and emergency management. We will seek input from the public on the recommendations of our transition teams but absolutely agree that codes enforcement should be a priority in Harrisburg’s revitalization.

Q – Regarding the Harrisburg Strong Plan, will your first proposed budget as approved by City Council be subject to final approval of Receiver William Lynch? Do you foresee any special features to your first budget?

A – We are now examining a reorganization of city government to create a strong Economic and Community Development department, and the first budget will need to devise a way to fund this initiative. We will work closely with the Receiver and with City Council to develop a budget that funds our priorities in the most efficient and cost-saving ways possible. Again, we are looking to our transition teams to offer recommendations on how to achieve our goals within the resources allotted in the Harrisburg Strong plan.

Q – The impression many have of Broad Street Market, the oldest open-air market in the nation is that it hasn’t learned much in its long history. For years, the entity has been juggled around in varying management scenarios. Any thoughts on how to make changes that will revive a wonderful city resource?

A – Our Economic and Community Development transition team is looking at ways to improve the operations of the Broad Street Market, and I am eagerly awaiting their suggestions. I would encourage your readers to evaluate and offer input on the new Broad Street Market Alliance initiative (visit for more information). I am optimistic for the Market’s future and believe we can see a swift turnaround in 2014.

Q – Will you take the Freedom to Marry Pledge?

A – Absolutely. (Central Voice reported in September 2011 that Harrisburg has the fourth highest concentration of same-sex households among cities and boroughs in the state, according to 2010 US Census figures released by UCLA’s William’s Institute. Three hundred and eighteen households reported themselves as same-sex couples which accounts for 15.45 of every 1,000 couples in the capital city. Nineteen Pennsylvania mayors have taken the pledge, which includes Lancaster Mayor J. Richard Gray.)

Papenfuse said, “The success of our administration will depend on the engagement of city residents and the support of our business community.”

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