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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 says city needs more $

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 10, 2015 9:00 AM
Harrisburg skyline from east 600 x 340.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, September 10, 2015:

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse started his 2015 State of the City Address earlier this week with a history lesson.  The mayor described how the U.S. Constitution was amended and improved in the eyes of opponents who didn't think it went far enough, when the Bill of Rights was adopted.

Papenfuse was laying the groundwork for changes he is proposing to the "Harrisburg Strong" financial recovery plan that helped get the city out of hundreds of millions in debt and erase a structural deficit Harrisburg had at the time.

The Democrat says there still is a $6 million shortfall in city finances that the plan's earned income tax and parking revenue didn't rectify.

Papenfuse is proposing a three-part solution that includes raising the weekly local services tax imposed on those who work in the city from $1 to $3.

Mayor Papenfuse discusses his proposals on Thursday's Smart Talk.

We'll also ask the mayor about his views on closing the National Civil War Museum and a roving group of teenagers who vandalized a store and vehicles this past weekend.

EricPapenfuse mayor.jpg (600x340)

Eric Papenfuse is the mayor of Harrisburg.

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  • Bob Nunn img 2015-09-10 08:48

    What is the mayor doing to address the hate crime that happened this past weekend? Has he asked the Federal government for assistance?

  • Ronald John img 2015-09-10 09:20

    With an additional $6M, will current deficient services such as streets (pothole filling) and the maintenance of our parks (Sunken Gardens) be restored?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-10 09:28

    Andrew from Harrisburg writes:

    I would like Eric Papenfuse to address city employment. I live in the City and would love to work with the City in a clerical position. It would be nice to walk or bike to work instead of driving out of the city. Can The Mayor address this?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-10 09:30

    Thomas from Manheim Township writes:

    I would like to ask this, has the city considered selling off the water/sewer system to a company like aqua america? A shareholder owned company would have the capital to improve the aging system.

    Regarding increasing the local services tax, to $3per week: if Harrisburg is like Lancaster, York, and Lebanon, the jobs that are being created are mainly service jobs low wage jobs. this just continues to drive out jobs.

    One other item, do law makers in Harrisburg pay the local services tax?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-10 09:42

    David from Susquehanna Township writes:

    If a municipality wants to know how parking is done, it’s authorities should visit Asheville, NC. Safe, well-lighted and free parking garages are prevalent all over downtown. This is a clean, thriving, vibrant, and diverse community. I haven’t talked to anyone who wouldn’t want to live there.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-09-10 09:53

    John from Harrisburg writes:

    Mr Mayor,

    You said earlier in the program that trash pick up charges are based on volume. I have vacant properties where there is no trash being picked up, but I am paying the same rate as properties where there is trash being generated. Can you explain why?