Mayor-elect Papenfuse pushes for safe city, audit of schools

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Dec 17, 2013 1:00 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- The Harrisburg shooting of a 10-year old who was sitting in his living room watching television has sparked outrage.

Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse calls the Monday shooting heartbreaking, and says he won't stand for such violence.

He says he's working with faith leaders to bring the community together.

"We've gotta harness that energy, and we've gotta put in the context of a variety of programs. But we can be successful in doing it. Other communities have been successful in reducing violence and Harrisburg can too."

The shooting comes days after the shooting death of Tiana Dockens, the 18-year-old granddaughter of City Council President Wanda Williams.

There have been 15 homicides in the city this year.

Papenfuse says his transition team is already working to develop a plan to improve safety.

Meanwhile, Papenfuse is already calling for changes in another contentious area: education.

Papenfuse says he wants to get a complete picture of the School District's finances and an audit is the best way to accomplish the goal.

The district recently discovered more than $11 million in unspent funds, and has a shaky record of a true accounting of its spending.

Papenfuse says since the city now has a better handle of its finances through an audit, the school district should follow in line.

"There is potentially financial recovery which can occur as a part of civil suits that can be brought. I think the Harrisburg Authority is hoping, and potentially, expecting, that their audit can be paid for through civil suits that are brought, and I think the school district could expect something similar."

Many school workers say they're disappointed about the district's accounting problems, as they agreed to salary cuts just before the money turned up.

As mayor, Papenfuse will not have direct oversight over the school district, but says that won't stop his push for an audit.

He's scheduled to be sworn in to office January 6th.

Papenfuse appeared on witf's Smart Talk.

Published in Harrisburg, News

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