Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse on the city's challenges

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 16, 2013 11:40 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, December 17, 2013:

Thumbnail image for Harrisburg.jpeg

Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse was among about a dozen newly elected city officials from across the country who met with President Barack Obama last week at the White House.  The president sees helping cities meet their unique challenges as a strategy toward closing the economic disparity gap.

Papenfuse appears on Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss what he learned in Washington and if the gathering will pay off for Harrisburg in any way.

When Papenfuse is sworn in next month, he will have to confront several major issues, including the city's fragile finances.

A recovery plan is being implemented to eliminate the city's debts which reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Most of the debt will go away when the city sells the trash-burning incinerator to the Lancaster Solid Waste Management Authority.  Parking facilities are also being leased.

While finances have gotten much of the attention, reducing crime will be another hurdle.  The city's 15th homicide of the year occurred last weekend and is under investigation.

Do you have a question for Mayor-elect Papenfuse or an issue you would like to bring to his attention?  Please comment below.

Have thoughts or comments about the Mayoral transition? Email your comments to Or tweet @ericpapenfuse.


Mayor Elect Eric Papenfuse

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 08:53

    James D'Angelo in Camp Hill emails:

    Have you given much thought to how you'll deal with the issue of guns and violence in Harrisburg.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:23

    Dave in Red Lion emails:

    Firstly would a decentralized police force be helpful(sub stations). I was disappointed to read that Lancaster built a big costly police center. Instead of staying with the original and working out of lower cost sub stations. Also as a gun owner-if mine were to be taken it would be my personal responsibility to report it. However the NRA gas fought that law,and I do believe other cities in the area have fought them the NRA and failed.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:35

    Jessica emails:

    I am a mother of young children, and we live in the city. I'm also a big believer in public schools. As my kids approach school age, there is zero chance that I will send my kids to Hbg. public schools, which I expect the Mayor-elect to understand. What does he say to me? Why should I stay in the city? Neither my husband nor I work in the city, so that's not a reason.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:49

    Dave in Red Lion emails:

    Pass laws that when a juvenile is arrested. His or her home and parents can be investigated,and if found that the parents were aware of the illegal activities. Depending on the level of awareness they too can be prosecuted. Let's face it- be it parents,land lord,mate,room mate or anyone else that witnesses someone under their roof engaged in the criminal life style and do nothing ,let's call it aiding and abetting. Because before these people hit the street. There are people watching them walk out the door.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:50

    Karen emails:

    Does Mr. Papenfuse send his kids to public schools?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:54

    Jeff emails:

    Ok, he’s knowledgeable, well-informed, and energized. But can he get on a national top-ten list? :0) Best of Luck Mayor-Elect…the West Shore is behind you. We are interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-17 09:56

    Jim emails:

    Harrisburg is known to be in financial straights yet while sitting in my favorite lunch spot, Pasquale’s on 3rd street, I saw the very functional street light pole being removed and new “Colonial” ones being installed. Was this done through a grant or was it something that was planned long ago and couldn’t be stopped?

  • Jeremy Cate img 2013-12-17 19:59

    Great show. Best of luck, Mr. Papenfuse. From someone raised in an independent bookstore owning family, I think it's the coolest that you have been elected mayor. I will be paying attention to your progress from down the road in Chambersburg.

    Jeremy Cate

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