People Above Politics

Litz brings Local Government, Small Business, and Conservation Experience to the Table.

   Jo Ellen is a 5-term Lebanon County Commissioner who is the Boots on the Ground for local government implementing programs to Protect Children, Serve Families, Secure Justice, Manage Emergencies, and Safeguard Elections.  In short, Commissioner Litz Safeguards the Public Trust.

Whether it was the 2004 Campbelltown Tornado, Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, Jonas 30" Snowstorm 2016 , or the Summer Storm of 2018,

I've been here for you.

Litz was elected by her peers from across the state of Pennsylvania to serve as the 2012 president and 2013 chairman of the Board for the statewide commissioner's association. 

Litz is about starting a conversation from public structures like roads and bridges, water and sewer, schools, and energy.  A sound infrastructure is the basis of a sound economy.  Litz believes we need these Economy Boosting Jobs to put money into the pockets of people so that they can buy homes, cars, and goods.  Litz supports a transportation plan to make our roads and bridges safe.  In this way, we will create good paying jobs, get people to these jobs, our goods to market, and children to schools. 

Jo Ellen served as the chair of the MPO (2012-15)--Metropolitan Planning Organization for Lebanon County--where she helps to prioritize local road and bridge projects with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. 

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.


As We Ignite our Generation 2015 - Duration- 3 minutes, 59 seconds


County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz speaks to voters- Duration- 78 seconds


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bulletGet Updates: Demand open government and transparency, like her 24/7 access to YouTube videos of meetings Local Government 2 - Playlist... To receive email or text alerts, send your contact information to Jo Ellen at or text 717.644-4698 .

Litz Co Commercial Rentals, 1.386 acre Property Available with established Rt 422 access & curb cuts.  Out of the flood plain.  Shovel ready with public water, sewer, electricity, gas & cable.  Zoned C2 General Commercial in N Lebanon Twp.  Another fast growing municipality, N Cornwall Twp is across Route 422.  Drone tour of subject site:


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Human Services 2015 Directory

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Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department



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Invest in my campaign for commissioner.  As a TEAM, we can overcome Big Money, and make this a People's Campaign.  Are you with me?

Each of us is at a different place in our life.  Some people can volunteer time.  Other people can provide financial support--$5, $50, or $500 a month.  Whatever your situation, your contribution of time and or money is gratefully appreciated.   

Your early and/or monthly donation will help Jo Ellen to get elected by printing literature, reserving media buys, ordering signs….  

Thank you for your help and support during this campaign.  Your unwavering commitment is the wind beneath my wings.

On election day, every vote matters.  You matter!  And I can't win this race without you.


Volunteer  today  Jo Ellen Litz


Thank you for your support and for all that you do.

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

Honorary Chair:     Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll --a woman who broke the glass ceiling and contributed greatly to PA politics; born in 1930, died November 12, 2008.

Jo Ellen Litz Campaign Video

Swatara Watershed Association 


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American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women


Woman's Club of Lebanon


Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 


When Commissioners declare a Countywide ban on open burning, municipalities in Lebanon County have indicated their support for a thirty (30) day ban because significant brush and wood fires have occurred, and  wildfire potential is currently very high throughout Lebanon County due to the lack of rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures.  Concern that this fire potential poses a serious threat to life and property initiated emergency measures to reduce the severity of this danger to protect the health, safety, welfare, and property of residents of Lebanon County.  Open burning is defined as the ignition and burning of any combustible material (garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, paper, vegetative matter involved with land clearing or any other debris) out-of-doors in either a burn barrel (screened or unscreened), or on the ground.  Campfire rings are allowed in campgrounds.

Enforcement of this ban shall be the responsibility of any sworn police officer, in accordance with the provisions of Act 1995-52.  Penalty includes a summary offense and upon conviction, sentenced a fine of not more than $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $300 for the third and subsequent offenses.

For the health and safety of Lebanon County residents and to minimize economic hardship and personal inconvenience, historically several resolutions were passed:

9/23/99 The Drought Task Force convened at 8AM. Because the State has not recommended removal of the drought emergency and the Highbridge Reservoir is still down 12 feet, Commissioners voted to extend the drought emergency another thirty days.

9/9/99 Effective noon September 10, 1999 a conditional lifting of the countywide "Burn Ban" will occur. Commissioners remind everyone we are still in a drought situation, and the Burn Ban could be reinstated if sufficient rainfall does not replenish the moisture content of the soil. Everyone is asked to use common sense and caution. Clyde Miller will monitor the situation and report any change or recommendations from the District Forester and Fire Chiefs to the commissioners. Once again, municipal ordinances will take effect. Check with your township, borough, or city for they're current status.

EXTENSION:  August 26, 1999  Commissioners voted to extend the drought emergency and burn ban for thirty days. Litz stopped with City Engineer Ed Keener prior to the meeting. The Christian Seigrist Reservoir is down 13'2". Current rain stabilized the water level in the last week, but there was no gain in the Reservoir depth. The emergency declaration is to encourage residents to conserve water before we reach the 35' emergency rationing stage. A poll of Fire Chiefs in Cornwall Boro, Annville, Lickdale, Bellegrove, Goodwill Myerstown, Campbelltown, Weavertown, Fredericksburg, Keystone Myerstown, Richland, Neversink, Lebanon City and the District 18 Forestry Office in Cressona recommend the Ban on Open Burning be extended another 30 days. The ban is attributed with the reduction of wild fires, thus helping to save our water supply. DEP received 186 requests for variances from the non-essential water use restrictions. Many of the variances received were for watering athletic fields, and they are being denied. The next drought task force meeting is at 8AM next Thursday. PS. If enough rain falls to refill the reservoir, Commissioners can lift the burn ban and drought emergency declaration prior to September 30.
1)  Effective Monday, August 2, 1999 a county-wide BAN ON OPEN BURNING will be enforced.  Summary offenses in the following amounts can be assessed: first offense $100, second offense $200, third offense... $300.
2) Concurring with the Governor's action, a DROUGHT EMERGENCY was declared for Lebanon County which allows the purchase of services without having to go out for bids and could later help residents file loss claims.
3)  A drought task force was appointed including Commissioners Carpenter, Swanger, and Litz; EMA staff Clyde Miller, Annette Smith and Christopher Miller; Officer Bruce Harris; County assistant fire marshall Rick Rudy; Health care representatives William Hendrick, VP GSH and Dennis Herb, VA Med Center; as well as Ed Keener and Harry Gamble from Lebanon City Public Works; Gary Witmeyer, PA American Water Company and John Brown, Myerstown Borough; Denise Noll, Richland Borough Water Authority; Jenifer Hershey for agriculture; and from the business community John Wengert, Wengert's Dairy; Bill Leo, Lebanon Chemical; William Sherwood/Bill Longenecker, O'Sullivan; Douglas Henry Jr./Glenn Smith, Henry Molded Products; and Jerry Crawford/Larry Gurreru, ASK Foods.   Their mission is to UPDATE THE DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLAN.

State recommendations include:

bulletRestrict live-fire training wherever possible to avoid using unnecessary water.  It would be prudent to delay/reschedule such training until the present drought conditions are eased.
bulletEliminate such events as "Battle of the Barrel" from festivals, fairs, conventions and carnivals.
bulletEliminate water service from dinners, banquets and similar functions except upon request. 
bulletWhere applicable, stop hauling water to fill swimming pools.

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Drought Terminology:

Determinations: The Commonwealth uses five parameters to assess drought conditions.  These include streamflows (compared to the same time for the period of record); precipitation (departure from normal, 30 year average precipitation); reservoir storage levels in a variety of locations (especially three New York City reservoirs in upper Delaware River Basin); groundwater elevations in a number of counties (comparing to past month, past year and historic record); and Palmer Drought Index, a measure of soil moisture computed by the National Weather Service.  Phases of drought preparedness in Pennsylvania are:

Watch: A period to alert government agencies, public water suppliers, water users and the public regarding the onset of conditions indicating the potential for future drought-related problems.  The focus during this stage is on increased monitoring, awareness and preparation for response if conditions worsen.  a request for voluntary water conservation is made.  The objective of voluntary water conservation measures during a drought watch is to reduce water uses by 5% in the affected areas.  Because of varying conditions, individual water suppliers or municipalities may be asking for more stringer conservation actions.

Warning:  This phase prepares for coordinated response to imminent drought conditions and potential water supply shortages and initiates concerted voluntary conservation measures to avoid or reduce shortages, relieve stressed sources, develop new sources, and if possible forestall the need to impose mandatory water use restrictions.  The objective of voluntary water conservation measures during a drought warning is ro reduce overall water uses by 10-15% in the affected areas.   Because of varying conditions, individual water suppliers or municipalities may be asking for more stringent conservation actions.

Emergency: This stage is a concentrated management phase of operations to marshal all available resources to respond to actual emergency conditions, to avoid depletion of water sources, to assure at least minimum water supplies to protect public health and safety, to support essential and high priority water uses and to avoid unnecessary economic dislocations.  It is possible during this phase to impose mandatory restrictions on nonessential water uses that are provided for in 4 Pa Code Chapter 119, if deemed necessary and if ordered by the Governor of Pennsylvania.   The objective of water use restrictions (mandatory or voluntary) and other conservation measures during this phase is to reduce consumptive water use in the affected area by 15%, and reduce total use to the extent necessary to preserve public water system supplies, to avoid or mitigate local or area shortages, and to assure equitable sharing of limited supplies.

Local Water Rationing: although not a drought phase, local municipalities may, with the approval of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, implement local water rationing to share a rapidly dwindling or severely depleted water supply in designated water supply service areas.  These individual water rationing plans authorized through provisions of 4 PA Code Chapter 120, will require specific limits on individual water consumption to achieve significant reductions in use.

Under both mandatory restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth and local water rationing, procedures are provided for granting of variances to consider individual hardships and economic dislocations.

Complete copies of the drought regulations and other pertinent information is available at PEMA's Internet site and DEP's Internet site .