Harrisburg City Council Opts For Transparency With Act 47 Meeting

Pennsylvania’s capital city officially entered Act 47 in December, thereby officially making Harrisburg a “financially distressed” municipality and eligible for state help to emerge from their enormous debt, caused by the retrofit of the Harrisburg incinerator.

Four Harrisburg City Council members publically declined a “private” meeting with the new “Act 47 financial guru’s” today.  Council members objected to private meetings with the Act 47 taxpayer-paid team.  The meeting was characterized as a “get to know each other” routine introduction by officials from the Department of Community and Economic Development.  To get around the open meeting requirements, “Sunshine Law”, the meetings were to take place with three or fewer members of Council at a time. 

These four courageous councilors feel the process is too important to not involve residents of Harrisburg.  The public should have the opportunity to hear the information as it is delivered to Council.

We give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Harrisburg City Council’s observance of the Sunshine Law and transparency in city government.  Harrisburg has a long road ahead to get out from under the incinerator debt.  The public deserves the courtesy of open meetings when this important issue is discussed.

Scranton Triple-A Baseball Park Grant – No Comment

An interesting article appeared in yesterday’s Morning Call about PNC Field in Moosic, a Scranton suburb.  The 22-year-old, 10,000 seat stadium is in need of repairs to its concrete and steel structure.  PNC Field is the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, a Triple A farm team for MLB’s New York Yankees.

So along comes Fast Eddie offering a $20,000,000.00 grant to help repair the aging stadium.  This would be the largest grant ever given during the Rendell administration’s tenure.  The money would come from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

It seems officials would like to see PNC Field become more like Coca Cola Park in Allentown, which is more family-friendly. 

Now the catch is, there must be matching funding for the project.  As of Monday, there was no definite answer where the other half of the money would come from.  The entire project is being kept a secret for some reason.  Rendell’s office is not commenting on what exactly the money will be used for.  At this juncture, one can only speculate what the project will entail.

The Rendell administration is braying about the economic impact of fixing the stadium.  That is all well and good but why all the secrecy?  The Yankees are making no comments either.  It is time for new leadership in this state who believe in transparency!