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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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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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?

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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.

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Retail Wish List for Lebanon County (12/23/09)

Thank you for your interest in the economic vitality of Lebanon County! In your cumulative infinite wisdom, you acknowledge and patronize locally owned businesses and are cautious about looking like every other town in the USA, but recognize that there is an outflow of dollars from Lebanon because people want to eat and shop at chain restaurants and stores. Our new Comprehensive Plan does support moderate growth.

So far, you’ve suggested that:

bulletNew chains should fill empty stores at the Lebanon Valley Mall, Londonderry Square, Palmyra strip mall, and the old Golden Coral along Route 72.
bulletAlso suggested was working with certain developers who have the national chain’s ear.
bulletNext, HAAC trains entrepreneurs.
bulletIn addition, our quality of life should not be overlooked—schools, farms, tourism spots, and recreation.
bulletFinally, one person thought the commissioner’s could lend support.

Without question, Red Lobster and Olive Garden as well as Target are overwhelming requests. Perhaps the governing bodies, LVEDC, Chamber of Commerce, realtors, and media can all work together to make this happen. If you have additional ideas on how we can accomplish a cumulative vision, please let me know.

So here’s a look at your favorites:  Map- Eat Local.pdf


Local Favorites (I know you’ll think of more. Keep them coming.)  With over 40 restaurants, it looks like Route 422 is our Restaurant Row--followed by Route 72 with at least 17 restaurants, then 8th Street with 6 restaurants.  Of course some of our local charm is the adventure of finding quaint spots like the Blue Bird Inn, Trattoria Fratelli, Quentin Tavern, Franklin House, Harper's Tavern, The Jigger Shop, Tony's Mining Company....

Quentin Tavern

Jigger Shop
bulletA&M Pizza --72 south across from the Quality Inn; 422 east of Lebanon near Walmart; and other locations
bulletAnnville Diner –on 422 at 934 in Annville
bulletBatdorf Restaurant --on 422 in Annville
bulletBlue Bird --Cornwall (deck)
bulletBuck Hotel --Main St in Jonestown
bulletBuzz Coffeehouse 1010 Alden Way, Lebanon, PA 17042 Coffee and Ciao Bella Gelato, and free Wifi in Cornwall Pa.
bullet Cedar Grill --422 east of Lebanon
bullet Cedar Sports Bar & Lounge --422, 922 Cumberland Street in town Lebanon
bulletChina Inn --Sandhill Rd. @ 72 north of the City of Lebanon
bulletCorner Brew Cafe --Main St., Fredericksburg free Wifi
bulletCorvette Bar & Grill --422 in Annville
bulletCountry Fare –Myerstown on 422
bulletCumberland Coffee and Tea - great for breakfast or lunch! --422 in town Lebanon
bulletDairy Queens –on 422 east of Lebanon, near Cleona, and Palmyra
bulletDowntown Lounge --on 422, 734 Cumberland street in town Lebanon
bulletDutchway --422 east of Myerstown
bulletEsther's Diner --on Route 22 east of Fredericksburg
bulletEvergreen --south of Lehman St.
bulletFarmer's Market --S 8th St.
bulletFarmer’s Wife -- Route 22 in Ono
bullet Fatt Boys --1904 Allegheny Ave., Lebanon 
bulletFilling Station --422, Main St., Palmyra.  All day breakfast--fluffy omlets, homemade doughnuts
bulletFranklin House --in Schaefferstown
bulletFrantz's Tavern -- S. 5th Ave. - good seafood and crab cakes (not smoke free)
bulletFriendly’s (chain) – south of Lebanon on 72
bulletFrog's Hollow Tavern--along route 72 south of Jonestown
bulletFunck's on 422 west of Palmyra and 934 west of Fort Indiantown Gap
bulletGin Mill –east of Lebanon on 422 (deck) 
bulletGood Life Café –in the Samler Building on 422 @ 8th Street in town Lebanon
bulletGood's --501 near Schaefferstown
bullet Gus Deraco's Sandwiches --27 S 8th St., in town Lebanon
bulletHarper’s Tavern --934 N of Annville
bulletThe Hearth –on 422 at 25th Street
bulletHeisey’s Diner –on 72 north of Lebanon
bullet Hometown --422 east of Palmyra at Londonderry Square
bulletHoss's Steak and Seafood --422 east of Annville
bulletInn 422 –on 422 near Boscov’s Lebanon Valley Mall
bulletIrish Pub (in the old George Washington Tavern) at the intersection of Routes 422 & 72 in town, Lebanon
bulletJigger Shoppe –ice cream and sandwiches in Mt. Gretna (deck)
bulletJohnson's Bar -- on 422, Main St., Annville
bulletKleinfeltersville Hotel --Near Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge
bulletKugo’s Steak House – like a Benihana, in the Kmart strip mall on 72 south
bulletKum Esse Diner –(PA Dutch for Come Eat) on 422, Myerstown
bulletLantern Lodge, 411 N College St. @ 422 in Myerstown
bulletLisa's Cafe --422 in Palmyra
bulletMain Street Grill --422 in Palmyra
bullet Mama Jean's --72 south of Lebanon in Quentin Circle
bulletMama's Pizza--Cleona on 422
bulletMancino's Pizza at the Lebanon Valley Mall on 422
bulletMaple Street Cafe --north side of Lebanon
bulletMaria's Old Fort --on 72, north side of Lebanon City
bulletMay's Wok --south of Main Street in Jonestown
bulletMels Diner–east of Lebanon on 422 at Lincoln Avenue
bulletMexican Restaurant on 422/Cumberland Street in town Lebanon
bulletThe Miners Club at Iron Valley Golf Course - southeast of Cornwall
bulletMJ's Coffee House at the Allen Theater -- on 422 in Annville 
bulletMiller's Restaurant -- 72 north of Jonestown
bulletMoose LZ -- east end of Fort Indiantown Gap on Fisher Avenue
bullet Mt. Gretna Hideaway (deck)
bulletNapoli Pizza --422 east of Annville
bulletNiko's --@ the 8th Street Farmer’s Market in town Lebanon
bulletPasta Fresca --8th St in the Lebanon Farmer's Market
bulletPete's Pizza --72 south of the City of Lebanon next to the Kohl's shopping center
bulletPizza Town --Main Street in Jonestown
bulletPorch Restaurant --Tulpehocken Rd., Myerstown
bulletQuality Inn --72 on the south side of Lebanon
bulletQuentin Haus –on 72 in Quentin
bulletQuentin Tavern –Main St. in Quentin (deck)
bullet Pizza Hut (chain) --422 east of Lebanon and in Palmyra in front of WalMart
bullet Raub's Twin Kiss --422 west of Myerstown
bulletRita’s Italian Ice –next to Dairy Queen on 422 west of Lebanon
bulletRuby Tuesday (chain) –on 72 south of Lebanon
bulletSandy's --N of Lebanon on 72
bulletSchwalm's --422 in Cleona
bulletSinkhole Saloon --422 at the Palmyra Bowling Alley
bulletSmokestack Lightening BarBQ, Main Street in Jonestown
bulletSouth China Buffet --72 south of Lebanon in Cedar Crest Square
bullet Timber's Dinner Theater -- Mt. Gretna
bulletTimeless Café –on 8th Street across from the Farmer’s Market in town Lebanon
bullet Tony's Mining Company, Cornwall
bulletTrat Frat (Trattoria Fratelli) – on Lehman Street in Lebanon
bulletTwin Grove Park --north of Route 72 along Swatara State Park
bulletWetlands --743 south of Fredericksburg
bulletWoofer McGoo's on 422 in the City of Lebanon
Take me to the Tavern


National Eateries Lebanon Residents want

    1. Red Lobster 47 Love those cheesy biscuits
    2. Olive Garden 45 –both owned by Darden (unbelievable how this was a neck and neck ‘race’)
    3. Texas Roadhouse 7
    4. Panera Bread 6 (Put one in the basement of the courthouse for employees, jurors, attorneys and the public)
    5. Chili’s 5
    6. Applebees 5
    7. Outback Steakhouse 4
    8. Bob Evans 3
    9. Carabbas 2
    10. Chuckee Cheese 2
    11. Starbuck’s 3
    12. Isaac's
    13. Lone Star Steak House
    14. Cracker Barrel
    15. El Rodeo
    16. Jamba Juice
    17. Joe’s Crab Shack
    18. Perkin’s
    19. A Shady Maple “all you can eat” is affordable
    20. A Brewpub
    21. Macoroni Grill
    22. California Pizza Kitchen
    23. Charlie Brown’s
    24. Fiesta Mexico
    25. Fuddruckers
    26. Chick-fil-a
    27. Panda Express
    28. Clyde Weaver’s
    29. Benihana
    30. TJ Rockwell's

National Chains Lebanon Residents want

bullet Target 27
bullet Ollie’s 8
bulletBorders 5
bulletCostco 5
bulletToys R Us 4
bulletSam’s Club 3
bulletBest Buy 3
bulletJC Penny’s 4 – missed
bulletOld Navy 3
bulletBarns and Noble 3 –a huge book store
bulletTrader Joe’s 3 a chain of innovative grocery stores where quality and prices are exceptional
bulletBabies R Us 2
bulletWegman’s 2
bulletBJs 2
bulletDress Barn – reasonable prices
bulletIkea  -- they use a lot of sustainable materials). Steph
bullet Ross
bullet CJ Banks
bulletPacusn --short for Pacific Sunware, girls clothing & girls fashion accessories
bullet Limited Express --handbags, coats and accessories for women and men.
bulletHome Goods Store owned by TJ Maxx—dishes and furniture
bullet Whole Foods Store
bulletNY & Company  --professional and casual clothing at a reasonable price
bullet A 2nd Roller rink
bullet Sharp Shooter
bulletBon ton 2 missed
bullet Gabriel
bullet Walgreens
bullet Hobby Lobby
bullet Macy’s
bulletBurlington Coat Factory
bullet A building supply chain on the northern end of the County
Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Local Favorites

bulletAC Moore
bulletDutchway Farm Markets, Myerstown and Schaefferstown
bulletGood's Store, Schaefferstown
bulletFoodland on 72 south of Lebanon
bulletHome Depot
bulletJoAnn Fabrics
bulletJono Hardware, Route 22, west of Jonestown
bulletKettering's Tires 422 at 16th & Cumberland Streets
bulletMichael's Crafts
bulletMiller and Bixler Auto Parts --422 near 16th & Cumberland Streets
  • Wilhelm's Hardware Store, Myerstown
  • Zweir's Food Cart at 5 points on S. Lincoln Avenue
  •  TJ Max --on 72 south of the City of Lebanon


    The agriculture museum (Star Barn) offers promise with spin-offs including whole and organic food focuses and will be a unique Lebanon feature. Encouraging statewide networking of natural allies to the ag museum may prove fruitful." Steve

    The Industrial Park out at the Alcoa property is astounding ! !  There are so many businesses back there that you can't see from State Drive.  Since the steel mills left Lebanon, it seems to be the smaller companies that have picked up the slack in employment.  Don't know how they compare in pay for their employees, but at least there are places to find work. Rowena

    It seems like people always have money to go out to eat. Would love to see one of those at the empty Golden Corral. Sherry

    Frankly, I am tired of still one more ubiquitous Dollar Store or drug store.  I wonder how much money leaves Lebanon County during the course of a week's shopping.  Any studies on that?  Estimates? Melanie

    More stores at the LVM. Beth

    Restaurant would be nicely located where the Golden Corral was previously. Mary

    Do you know how many people look for brewpubs close to where they're vacationing?  (My husband is one of those people.)  With Lebanon being as close as it is to Hershey, Lebanon would definitely see the business. What a fun question!  Thanks for asking! Faith

    I'm tired of having to drive to Lancaster or Phila for these restaurants. Deb

    I have given great thought to this question fro many years. Then recently I spoke with someone who goes to the nation convention that promotes cities to Retail/restaurants and they actually said that people were saying "stay away from Lebanon County PA because they don't want progress" This was evidently a hot issue during the WalMart saga. Bev

    Thank you for taking the time to ask people what they want, instead of telling them was is best for them. Which, unfortunately, is the way that government seems to operate nowadays, from school district level, all the way up to Washington, our present administration not excluded. Steve

    I’d love to see the Londonderry Shopping Center (aka the abandoned movie theater and Festival Foods) become a Target, Kohls, and TJ Max. I also think I’d love a Wegman’s, but then again, maybe not – as I’d never have any money left from my paycheck after shopping there! Todd

    I don’t want any more retailers at all. There is a group of your constituents who is very unhappy with increased development with ever worse traffic. Bring back the rural county designation!! I HATE DEVELOPMENT!!! Dan

    I don't know what it would take to get these businesses to open in Lebanon area. All we have of the national chains is Friendly’s and Ruby Tuesday. Lucille

    Perhaps, the Commissioners could get involved in attracting a Target or similar large department store at that site, so Walmart would have some completion, which, in my opinion, is always healthy. But, a couple of years ago, why couldn't the Commissioners have gotten more involved in helping get the proposed Cabela's store in Fredricksburg? As I understand it, the store was built at the intersection of PA 61 and I-78/US 22 in Hamburg, because of opposition from the Twsp. Supervisors to a site at a I-81 and I-78/US22 location. That would have been and ideal business for Lebanon County, considering all the hunters in this area, and would have generated quality jobs and tax revenues for the area, with minimal negative impact on small local businesses. Steven

    Any other fish place. Elmer

    I think Lebanon has plenty of locally owned businesses that would benefit from our patronage, as opposed to subsidizing for yet another corporate franchise. Janelle

    A lot of residents in Lebanon shop other places because there are no places to shop. So the monies that is being spend outside of the Lebanon. Could stay in Lebanon. $$$$$ Myra

    They would have little to no competition in the area.

    We need a good restaurant in Lebanon County so that we can stop taking our business to Lancaster or Dauphin counties. Mark

    That’s interesting, my wife and I were just saying, “We need an Olive Garden in Lebanon.” Barry

    My concern is what impact does bringing the national chains to Lebanon have on existing businesses and the quality of life in the County. After fighting traffic and driving mile-after-mile of chain stores, etc in Lancaster recently, I was glad to get back to Lebanon. I'll take the Blue Bird, Quentin Haus, Nikos, Trat Frat, Gin Mill, etc over a national chain any day. We should encourage and assist small business in Lebanon. Tim

    Maybe an outlet like VF in Berks County or the Outlets in Lancaster….sooo many people go to those places to shop b/c the prices are good. Michelle

    I don't have a favorable view on box houses. Big chains present the following issues. They hurt small business. They set up corporate HQ in states that cater to corporations and take their profits there and take the tax dollars there. They make demands to get property tax breaks in the area they move into without consideration on the additional municipal services they will require, leaving the local taxpayer to pick up the tab. The construction is usually run by outside firms and outside subs. This doesn't support local construction jobs and eliminates the local income taxes since the companies are from outside the area. Small business and local investment puts money back into the community. They employ local construction. That results in local good paying jobs that put revenue in the local economy and the local tax base. They pay local property taxes and generate local income taxes, more revenue for local governments [more revenue overall means lower tax rates]. They use local maintenance for upkeep of property and services [big boxes have people that travel the nation]. last but certainly not least, they employ local personnel, usually with better working conditions than the box houses, since they don't look to pick up and move when the tax credits run out or go out of business [Silo, Circuit City, Tweeter, American Appliance,etc...] Commenting on restaurants isn't possible for me because of business relationships. The exception is, a number of national restaurants are franchised, not company owned chains. Franchised units may be locally owned." Scott

    A few decent restaurants….you mention Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Joe’s Crab Shack are just a few that come to my mind. I certainly like to patronize locally owned/locally operated restaurants rather than a chain as these mentioned but the restaurant business is a tough business (long hours, weekends, hiring dependable help, etc.) It seems we have a few that are what I would consider good restaurants that have been able and willing to make the commitment a quality restaurant requires but the list is short…Blue Bird, Quentin Tavern. The successful national concerns have certain developers that they work with….they will not deal with a property owner that has a single property to sell. One of these developers that have earned the respect of such quality nationals is Joe Deeren who leads a group of investors that now own the property formerly owned by Tom Siegel…they operate this project under the name of Springwood Development. If we want good retail to come to Lebanon we need to work with developers such as Springwood. I realize some people think people like you and I are just a bunch of “hicks” that have lived in Lebanon County our entire lives and do not know anything! #2 – Other than Wal Mart, Boscov’s, Sears and Kohl’s we don’t have many choices in Lebanon County for department stores? You mention Ollies which I enjoy shopping at but we certainly could use a Target type department store….again Springwood has Targets’ ear and if we are ever going to get such stores to come to Lebanon County we need to work with developers. Sometimes it seems that out of town “developers” (Springwood is all the way from Lancaster!) are given a negative connotation but lets face it, how many people do we have in Lebanon County that have the resources, ability and desire to make things happen when you are talking about a $100M+ project?

    #3 I also realize we need more manufacturing type employers that offer stable employment with decent wages and benefits…I do not feel qualified to have an opinion of what we need to do to attract such.

    I hope this answers your question. Thank you for the opportunity. Randy

    Lebanon county really doesn't want any businesses.  We just want to tell businesses how many of their building can be here.  If they have the money to build it then I'm also sure they know there is the clients to buy.  Lebanon county needs to get out of the back woods and understand if we want jobs and tax income there will be a increase in traffic and people.  Go to a wal-mart or a target and look at the parking lots they are full and provide a lot of jobs for people if they want to work and not for peanuts.  The benefits are not bad either.  But to answer your question red lobster, olive garden, target etc..  To get these places you need to have the big stores like target,  best buy, and wal-mart to bring the customers at good shopping prices which then leads to people going out to eat.  for example:   On any Sunday red lobster has a 30 to 45 min wait and then the ladies go shopping and the men do what ever. This is what brings the money in from other areas not just Lebanon county, which we can tend to be cheap.  I'm glad to see someone is looking at this and not just letting Harrisburg and Lancaster reap the taxes from these establishments.  I'm sure there are a lot of merchants that would love to come to Lebanon similar to the wal-mart we just chanced out with dirty politics.  Yes crime could follow but that is part of moving ahead.  People are lining up to hand over their taxes and businesses can help a lot in helping to get extra tax income for the county. Heath

    For Red Lobster - We have a continuously growing population of retirees moving into the area from larger areas (Phila., New York, New Jersey) who are moving into the high end developments on the outskirts of the City. They are accustomed to having choices to go out to eat and shop. They want to see names of stores that are familiar names to them. They want them in their neighborhoods and without having to drive an hour to get there. I think the lines that form at the Lancaster and Harrisburg Red Lobsters are an indication that the area could certainly support another one. Pam

    "That's my biz - HACC stands by, ready to help aspiring entrepreneurs. But funding for retail is nearly impossible to find - hence, the proliferation of the chains. Ya'll know who PA's largest employer is, right? I'm spending a good portion of my life trying to help undo that statistic!!" "Local entrepreneurs can do similar businesses and their revenues stay here, not getting exported outside the county. Restaurants are a tough go, as 80% don't make it past 5 years. Just because you're a good cook doesn't mean you have the skill to manage a restaurant. If we have to have a big box store, I vote for Target; they give away $3 million a week and support their local communities." Kathy

    "A boardwalk pier with diving horses. Probably what it would take to lure it here is global warming." Paul

    "I am not picky, something other than fast food. I think something that would attract them is the fact that when it comes to chains all we have is fast-food." Nicole

    We don't need another junk store like Ollie's. An Olive Garden or Red Lobster would be nice. Since Eli's closed there are practically no medium cost restaurants that are accessible except Rubys.

    Soup Thyme used to be nice for lunch, but they no longer exist. John

    Anything but Chuck E Cheese, please. As for attracting entities, in addition to great schools, safe and welcoming communities, most CVBs are pushing cultural attractions as major draws for employers and recruiting (but I am also prejudiced here). Corrine

    Let's get real about this area - we need a higher class of retail business. Not discount stores. Why should we have to shop in Lancaster, Reading and Hbg to get quality clothing and products.

    As for restaurants - anything that ISN'T a buffet - all you can eat, would be very appreciated. Sandshell

    My one suggestion, to keep the rural feel of our county, which is important, would be to build Town Centers rather than more strip malls, which I really do not like. Also, it would be good to attract more business to our only remaining indoor shopping center. Thanks, Sandy

    Until we get decent restaurants in the immediate area, our retail business will be nothing more than mediocre. This is the reason that people go to Lancaster and Harrisburg to shop. They want to be able to have a choice of where to stop for lunch, dinner, or just a snack. Retail will never be good in our area until we get the eating establishments. Also, it is very hard to compete with Wal Mart in our area because of our lower income.  Just my opinion, thanks.  Lori


    I am dismayed and saddened that local residents even feel a need to have "chain" restaurants in Lebanon.  There are so many local restaurants that need our patronage.  I can't believe Red Lobster and Olive Garden are considered quality restaurants and people drive miles to eat at such establishments.  Their food is typical corporate taste and plenty of PR (public relations).  "Chain" restaurants also lack regional/local flavor.  If you visit one Red Lobster you know them all, menu and layout.  Let's eat local!  Thanks for accepting my comments,  Suzanne

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