Joshua Parsons, Vice-Chairman
Josh Parsons has served as an Army infantry officer, prosecutor, no-nonsense fiscal conservative, and take-charge executive. Josh has delivered on promises to fight crime, reduce debt, and run an efficient county government that keeps taxes low and sets conditions for businesses to thrive and create good jobs.
As a new Commissioner, Josh together with a new Warden, organized the turnaround operation of the Lancaster County Prison. They engineered solutions, including a game changing program called PrisonStat, which uses data and metrics to hold leaders accountable for results, dramatically improving the organization and winning state/national awards. Josh is also a founding partner of Joining Forces, the first unified countywide effort to take on the heroin/opioid crisis, which helped facilitate a 36% reduction in overdose deaths in about a year.
He is a leader in implementing conservative reforms to make government more efficient, which have allowed Lancaster County to have the third lowest tax rate of PA’s 67 counties and the lowest of any large county. The County paid off $100 million in debt, built up reserves, and increased its bond rating while never raising taxes.
In the District Attorney’s Office Josh earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor. He worked on thousands of criminal cases, including homicides, and was the DA’s representative to the Special Emergency Response Team (the County SWAT team.) He also explored new ways to stop recidivism as a founding member of the Lancaster County Veterans Court team, which provides a second chance to veterans in trouble.
Skilled in the courtroom, Josh has taught as an instructor for Trial Advocacy class at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law for the last 15 years.
Josh is also a former soldier. The Army reinforced the values he learned growing up in Lancaster County – integrity, responsibility, and service. He served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and primary staff officer for a battalion of 870 soldiers. Among his many decorations are the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge – awarded for becoming an Army paratrooper.
Josh understands the value of hard work and education: he had many jobs growing up, including as a janitor, and earned scholarships along the way. He is a graduate of the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, where he earned a full merit scholarship and the University of Delaware, where he earned an Army ROTC scholarship. Josh has also completed Harvard University’s Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results, a program for senior leaders. Josh and his wife feel blessed to raise their three children in Lancaster County.