Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse
(Harrisburg) -- Harrisburg's mayor-elect is calling for the creation of a collaborative governing process in which city council is involved even before day one.
Eric Papenfuse has invited all current and incoming members of council to serve on the transition team committee of their choice. He says nearly all of them are already confirmed.
"This is going to be a truly collaborative process right from the get-go," Papenfuse explains. "You're going to have city council and the transition team chairs and the next mayor all working closely together to make sure that we're on the same page, and the process runs smoothly."
He calls it a new era of cooperation in Harrisburg.
Papenfuse has already tapped chairpersons for seven transition team committees, including public safety, public works, administration and the arts. He expects to release a full list of members in about a week.
As co-chairs of the public safety committee, Harrisburg Police Chief Thomas Carter and Susquehanna Township Police Chief Robert Martin will be considering a reorganization plan to include police, fire, emergency management and codes.
"We need to focus on codes enforcement in the city," Papenfuse says. "I've pledged a war on blight and I think conceiving of codes within public safety is a future way to go."
Papenfuse has also tapped Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency CEO Brian Hudson and Community Action Commission Executive Director Kathy Possinger to head the economic and community development committee.
"This is a department that does not exist here in Harrisburg, but it's one that I think has to exist and should exist," says Papenfuse.
Papenfuse adds that he's already met with outgoing Mayor Linda Thompson and the state-appointed receiver's office. Both have pledged their support for a smooth transition process.
Eric Papenfuse's transition team leaders
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