Re: "Phila. has a friend in Harrisburg," Dec. 13:

A better headline for Jeffrey Lord's commentary would have been: "Pennsylvania's cities and towns have a friend in Gov. Rendell."

Lord's piece missed the stunning fact that other urban counties have benefited more than Philadelphia during the course of the Rendell administration. Allegheny County, home of Pittsburgh, received $1.26 for every dollar the state invested in Philadelphia on a per capita basis; Lehigh County, $1.08; Lackawanna County and Scranton, $1.04 for every Philadelphia dollar. Finally, Dauphin County, home to the state capital, received $1.47 for every dollar that went to Philadelphia.

The benefits of the economic development dollars are not just limited to large and mid-sized counties. Many smaller, rural counties have received a higher per capita investment than Philadelphia. Tioga County, for example, received $4.58 per capita for every dollar that went to Philadelphia; Elk County received $3.32 per capita.

In my home area of Scranton and in Lackawanna County, the governor helped 49 companies with state investments that will create or retain over 10,700 jobs. Last month in York, the Rendell administration concluded a successful effort to keep Harley-Davidson in Pennsylvania that saved more than 1,050 well-paying jobs. And thanks to Rendell, Westinghouse agreed to keep its headquarters in Butler County and to add 1,400 new jobs to its workforce of 2,200 Pennsylvanians. There is no question that the governor loves Philadelphia. But he has shown his love of all the cities and towns by helping them rebuild from the last recession and weather this one.

Austin J. Burke


Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce