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


Campaign/Rail Trail Map Postcard.pdf

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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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Taking Action, Getting Results.


NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:


Human Services 2015 Directory

bullet "No Wrong Door"-2016 Lebanon County Resource Guide

Community Resource Manual,28MB.pdf


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 


ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women


Woman's Club of Lebanon


Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

7 Wonders of Lebanon County

By Jo Ellen Litz with nominations and votes by the people of Lebanon County.  Survey results posted July 28, 2007.

WGAL TV8 would love your suggestions. Click here to add your picture of a Lebanon County Seven Wonders.

Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge and St. Anthony's Wilderness were tied for 7th place.

Special thanks to the Patriot News for running an article on the 7 Wonders of the Mid State.  This article started the wheels turning for creating the 7 Wonders of Lebanon County as well as "The List" that follows.  Residents across PA are welcome to submit nominations for their county too.  Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Schuylkill County did.

Yes, you can still suggest additions for "The List."  It will be nice to have a comprehensive list of what you value all together in one place.  Email Jo Ellen LitzFeel free to utilize "The List" to promote Lebanon County.

"The List" of Nominations and honorable mentions:

  1. A navigable river on maps since the 1700's, the Swatara Creek: Water source, recreation, geology, history, scenic beauty. The Swatara is now a 60-mile long Water Trail recognized both statewide and nationally as part of the Captain John Smith Water Trail.  Appalachian Trail Bridge, a lenticular structure span.
  2. Annville just gets prettier and prettier, while in downtown ____ it ain't not.  Allen Theatre, Victorian mansions, churches, Kettering's Corner, florist, Batdorf, Brandt's Flour Mill in Annville has been in operation since the 1800's....  The Annville train station.
  3. Area behind "Pa's Place" in Jonestown, had something to do with the Under Ground Railroad
  4. BBs Grocery
  5. Bed and Breakfast Inns: Strawberry Patch, Swatara Creek Inn, Tulpehocken Manor…
  6. Bethlehem Steel--Babe Ruth lived and played here
  7. Blue Mountain: a bird flyway, fossils, hunting
  8. Bordner cabin & Aycrigg's Falls in Swatara State Park
  9. Brazenhill, the former Worrilow Mansion
  10. Camp Bashore Boy Scout Camp; “Old Black Joe’s” hut (now a replica) is the site where this runaway slave lived alone on Camp Bashore property (then the Fahler farm) until the ripe old age of 112.
  11. Chow chow, Corn pie, Dippy eggs, Hot Dogs from the William Penn
  12. Coleman's Park: Glider swings, Music in the Park, tennis courts, mini golf, baseball, fireworks, envirothons, picnics, swimming pool….  Robert Coleman was PA's first millionaire.
  14. Cornwall: Iron Furnace, Open Pit, Miner's Village, Alden Mansion, home of architect Stanford White's first house....
  15. Downtown Lebanon architecture such as the Samler Building; Stoy Museum, Cumberland St.--home of the Historical Society, and home of Lebanon's first courthouse;  Washington Tavern; Council of the Arts on Willow St....  People travel to Europe to see the kind of architecture that we have downtown. 
  16. Farmer's Market:  Buy Fresh, Buy Local, restaurants, art gallery on the third floor....  Council on the Arts, Willow Street.
  17. Farms--Century farms, preserved farms, Rich soil
  18. Fort Indiantown Gap: Since 1930. One of 15 air to ground bombing & gunnery ranges in US & the Army's only artillery range in PA.  PA National Guard Military Museum.  National Cemetery and amphitheater.  Regal Frittalary butterfly habitat, largest habitat east of the Mississippi.  Civil War re-enactment
  19. Fire Departments--all volunteers are our heroes!
  20. Fort Zeller, off Route 419 in Newmanstown
  21. 4H Fair at the EXPO each July: Animals, rodeo, tractors, demolition derby, hot air balloons, acrobats, food, music, rides….
  22. Fredericksburg--Eggs, Wings, and Chicken Things at the Hinklefest; Since the early 1930's, beginning with Cobel Grimes, then Senator Clarence Manbeck, the cut-up chicken capital of the world (Bell and Evans provides organic chicken with no antibiotics or preservatives).
  23. GLRA, in addition to a landfill, an educational campus demonstrating wind, solar, and methane energy; recycling; composting; pioneering wetlands to treat effluent; a walking path along the Union Canal tow path, complete with a lock; wildlife; farm land; run by a board representing each municipality in Lebanon County; and more.  GLRA has won numerous environmental awards from EPA and the PA Governor's Environmental Excellence program.
  24. Harper's Tavern, a former stagecoach stop; ghost tales.
  25. Heisey's Diner:  The smell of bacon wafting over the fields.
  26. Historic churches: St. Luke's Church, 22 South 6th; Tabor UCC, 124 S 10th; Salem Lutheran Church, 119 N 8th; St. Mark's UCC, 426 N. 8th; Assumption  Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Mary's) at 8th & Cumberland…and their stained glass windows.  Bindnagle's in Palmyra, built in 1803/04 with a congregation dating to 1745. Zion's Children's Church, built in 1875, is currently named "Fredericksburg Baptist Church."
  27. Historic Schaefferstown / Fountain Park: firepans unearthed by archaeology for stills in the basement of the Alexander Schaeffer farm that predates the stills found in Mt. Vernon; Wooden (oak) water pipes (1st Water system in the US), Thomas R. Brendle Museum, Gemberling-Rex House from the 1750's, Michters Distillery, Krall Log Barn (being dismantled and preserved), Cherry Festival, Apple Butter Festival....
  28. 3400 registered historic sites in Lebanon County
  29. Hole # 1 on Monroe Valley golf course, the view through the mountain gap  is simply beautiful.
  30. Hole #10 at Iron Valley Golf Course, looking out over the Lebanon Valley is awesome.
  31. Home of Opera Fudge; Wertz's appeared on "Dirtiest Jobs." Where else can you watch them make caramel corn in the window every day (718 Cumberland St.-Rt422- in downtown Lebanon), and have handmade chocolates made in the back room?  Jean's chocolate art. (Van Winkle's makes opera fudge too--312 Guilford St., Lebanon PA  17042.)  Lebanon used to have an opera house, really, and on the way, people would stop by the local candy store to buy fudge to eat at the opera.  So, they started to call it opera fudge.
  32. John Worrilow, a walking talking history book.  Former Mayor of the City of Lebanon.
  33. Kleinfeltersville, which is the longest spelling of a Post Office in the Country
  34. Lebanon Bologna made by Weaver's, Seltzer's (Dirtiest Jobs), Baum's and Kutztown Bologna!  Lee Laudermilch also makes his own brand of Lebanon Bologna.  Steph Zimmerer makes a "Crock of Bologna," which is also for sale.
  35. Lebanon Community Theatre - an all-volunteer community theater producing six local live theatrical productions each year, plus holding a one-act play writing contest, and offering $1,000 scholarships to young college students who have been active with LCT.  See their web site at  LCT remains a viable live theater in tough times when many live theaters are failing.
  36. Lebanon Valley College founded in 1866, Suzanne Arnold Art Gallery.
  37. LV Rail Trail ---- 20 + miles connect to the Conewago trail in Lancaster. Bridges, spurs to the “Jigger shop,” Governor Dick, Horse Shoe Trail, Union Canal Tunnel Park.  Working on Wengert Memorial Park, Allwein Pocket Park, a culvert under Tunnel Hill Road through Long Lane, and then north across and alongside the 60-mile long Swatara Water Trail to Swatara State Park where there are fossil pits and the Bordner Cabin.
  38. Legend of the Blue-Eyed Six--the first case where someone was murdered for life insurance; a movie by the Kreider Brothers is out on DVD.
  39. Lick Memorial, Cedar Hill Cemetery
  40. Light's Fort at 11th and Maple streets--(1742)
  41. Limestone Springs Trout Hatchery.  Take the kids, or grandkids, and catch a big one.
  42. Log House on Chestnut St, in Lebanon
  43. Meier House, original in EVERY way, from the 1600's!!  In Myerstown.
  44. MiddleCreek Wildlife Refuge--part of Project 70.  Try to visit when the snow geese rest on their migration; Tundra Swans.  One mile south of Kleinfeltersville on 5000 acres of land.
  45. Miller's Restaurant, Jonestown--Home of the 10-cent cup of coffee
  46. Mt. Gretna: The bucolic century old hillside resort, a truly unique example of a whole community of cottage architecture in a wooded setting, a hot spot in the county since 1892! The history & how it adds spice & uniqueness to our community. The Lake, Jigger Shop, Chautauqua Play House, Timbers, hard-wood forest, Dinosaur rock, Governor Dick & tower, oldest mini golf in US...
  47. Mt. Lebanon Campmeeting-amphitheater for a chapel/tabernacle and small cottages for guests
  48. Limestone Quarries:  Calcite, Avon Heights; Richland's Millardsville Quarry; Annville's Millard Quarry; Smith's Quarry.
  49. Pig stomach; Pork and Sauerkraut; Potato filling, Potpie
  50. Quentin Riding Club:  Nestled in the lush PA "Dutch" farmlands are the estates of families whose forbearers owned the mines, ore pits and furnaces that produced artillery, shot and stoves for Washington's army. Some of the mansions of the founders' families are gone or were converted to other uses, and their orchards, pastures and croplands have yielded to suburban sprawl. But one parcel has become a unique recreation center, Quentin Riding Club, where the Colemans imported America's first Hackney horses, the fine carriage animals that moved England's aristocracy in the mid-nineteenth century. Mountain spring water was piped to each stall and to hand-hewn stone watering troughs. There were blacksmith shops, carriage sheds, isolation barns for mares in foal, tack rooms, grooms' offices and small animal shelters, all surrounding an 18-room home occupied by the manager and including a detached office building for the business staff of the Estates. Local businessmen purchased the facility for their prize steeds in 1934 and later enrolled social members to help defray the operating costs.
  51. Railroad Stations--Cornwall; Lebanon, Reading--on North 8th Street and Chestnut Street; Annville; Palmyra on North Railroad Street; Myerstown.
  52. Rhine of the Tulpehocken.
  53. Richland: the only town in the country that has a Railroad crossing that cuts it's town in half and intersects the town square. Listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not books, and it was also a Jeopardy question.
  54. Roadside vegetable stands - few visitors can believe that people leave their produce unprotected on the side of the road and trust buyers to put their money in the coffee can.
  55. Route 419 Scenic Byway--rolling farm fields
  56. St. Anthony's Wilderness (one of the largest gameland areas in the state), once a railroad, and runs eastward 20 miles from the Susquehanna River, Dauphin County, to the Lebanon Reservoir, Schuylkill County. Also called Stony Creek Trail.  On the western Lebanon County boundary shared with Dauphin County is Yellow Spring tower, and the eastern boundary shared with Schuylkill County contains Box Car Rocks, or Chinese Wall, also known as Point of Rocks.  Drive through once each year--when the leaves turn color.
  57. Schwalm's in Cleona
  58. Shoofly pie
  59. Shuey's pretzels with their brick oven, a great little place at 7th Avenue and East Lehman Street
  60. One time largest outdoor swimming pool in the state at the Gibble property
  61. The caring people of Lebanon County.
  62. The language is also a wonder for people who are not native to the county.
  63. Trails:  Heritage Trail; Bike Trail; Appalachian Trail; Horseshoe Trail; Swatara Water Trail
  64. Twin Grove Park, antique carousel and other amusement rides, arcade, camp grounds, swimming. 
  65. Union Canal remnants, from the Tunnel to locks, Stover's Dam, Ebenezer Lake, and Water Works.
  66. YMCA, 105 years strong

What do we share with our neighbors in south-central PA?  National Rankings for Living in the Midstate (Patriot News):

bulletBest cities for retirees:  Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine;
bulletTop overall cities by Boomtowns, Inc., magazine;
bulletTop 50 Smart Places to Live:  Kiplinger’s;
bulletBest Mid-size City in the East for Entrepreneurs: ;
bulletUltimate Hockey Experiences in North America: ;
bulletBest Cities for relocating families: ;
bulletLeast Stressful Place to Live in the Nation:  Sperling’s .
bulletAmerica's Minor League capital--Senators, Bears, Barnstormers....Street & Smith's Sportbusiness Journal
bullet9th Best small-metro area in US for Military Retirees to live and USAA on proximity to bases, VA Hospitals, crime and unemployment rates, housing prices and presence of colleges and universities (2010). 
Berks County--our neighbor to the east offers many tourist attractions too:
  1. The Pagoda
  2. Heritage Center
  3. Daniel Boone
  4. Conrad Weiser

  5. Spring Mill Park on the Tulpehocken Creek

  6. Roadside America

  7. Blue Marsh Dam

  8. Crystal Cave

  9. Historical Society & Museum

  10. Reading Museum

  11. Boyerstown Auto Museum

  12. Risser’s Restaurant

  13. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

Schuylkill County--our neighbor to the north:

  1. Sweet Arrow Lake

  2. Yuengling Brewery

  3. Pioneer Tunnel

  4. Echo Valley Campground

  5. Bleenies

  6. Swatara State Park

  7. Schuylkill County Fair

  8. Stone Mountain Winery

  9. Renninger's Farm Market

  10. 10th place ties:  Schuykill Courthouse, Historical Society, Buddy's Log Cabin, Conrad Richter, Appalachian Trail, Locust Lake, and Tuscarora State Park

All Schuylkill County nominations include:

Coal Mining:

  1. Ashland Coal Mine
  2. Pioneer Coal Tunnel


  1. Bleenies
  2. Chicken Pot Pie
  3. Pieroges
  4. Kettle Bean Soup
  5. Kovaleneks Kielbasa
  6. Pulled Pork


  1. Swatara State Park
  2. Appalachian Trail
  3. Sweet Arrow Lake Park
  4. Echo Valley Campground
  5. Locust Lake
  6. Tuscarora State Park


  1. Union Canal
  2. Highbridge Reservoir
  3. Farms
  4. Pine Grove Theater

Schuylkill County:

  1. Schuylkill County Council
  2. Schuylkill County Fair
  3. Schuylkill County Historical Society
  4. Schuylkill Mall


  1. Benjamin Creek Winery
  2. Greater Pottsville Winery
  3. Long Trout Winery
  4. Stone Mountain Winery
  5. Yuengling Brewery


  1. Buddy's Log Cabin
  2. Ben... Creek
  3. Benigna's
  4. Boyer Mansion, Outwood
  5. Church School
  6. Conrad Richter
  7. Courthouse
  8. Jacob's Church
  9. Heisler's
  10. Hibernian House
  11. High Ridge Industrial
  12. Indianhead painted rocks
  13. Mother's Memorial
  14. The Old Forge
  15. Renninger's Farm Market
  16. Stonehedge Gardens
  17. Walking Trails
  18. Yuengling Mansion


Chester County:
  1. Jim Thorpe
  2. Lehigh George State Park & River
  3. Beltzville State Park
  4. Mauch Chunck Opera House, Lake and State Park
  5. ASO Packer Mansion
  6. Molly Maguires
  7. Railroads

Other in no particular order:

  1. Weatherly Museum
  2. Glenonoko Falls
  3. Number 9 Coal Mine Museum
  4. Coal Fuel USS
  5. Eurana Park
  6. Hickory Run State Park
  7. White Water Rafting
  8. Lake Haut
  9. Palmerton
  10. Penns Peak
  11. LCC Community College
  12. Boulder Field
  13. Big Boulder Ski Resort
  14. Blue Montain Ski
  15. Blue Ridge Country Club
  16. The County Seat
  17. Eurana Park

Bucks County:

  1. Peddler's Village
  2. Rices Market
  3. Kids Castle
  4. Village Square
  5. Fairways Golf Course
  6. SMG










































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