At the back of the article comes these insights that need attention.
Ravenstahl set to meet governor, legislators The Legislature approved a tax boost for the city in late 2004, but city leaders have said it isn't enough to cover rising costs expected a few years from now.The Legislature provided a "bail out package" for the city. The bail out was a joke. Everyone in Harrisburg needs to take ownership and blame for the bailout.
The consensus in political circles is that no new help for the city will be coming this year, since most state officials are fighting for re-election.
Part of the Harrisburg bail out was a mandatory reduction in taxes that the city could charge. The city raised its parking tax to 50%, the highest in the country. The backlash in Harrisburg was such that the parking tax must drop in future years. Those forced cuts mean the city has millions in new holes to its budget.
Suburban legislatures, such as Orie, Turzi, Petrone, and city members of both chambers such as Diven, Frankle, Readshaw and others fumbled in great ways. Most, if not all, need to carry a great deal of blame. They should start all their conversations with a big sorry statement as to what they did and failed to do for the city. They were worthless. And, in the long-term, they were downright harmful.
Bill Peduto recently talked about the five year budget plan and said that the year by year outlook is bad in future years. He used a college word, something like, the budgets in years two, three and four are exponentially more difficult to balance.
The 'exponential' qualification is a over lavish statement and just false. But, it is harder in those out years to balance the city's figures due to what the state legislature did -- with Rendell's okay.
Lynn Swann and all the candidates who are running against sitting candidates should blast them for their hand in giving a hole-filled bailout to the city.
The bailout for the city was a feel good deed on the part of those in Harrisburg, because we had a jackass as a Mayor, Tom Murphy. Meanwhile, the bailout comes on like a kick in the teeth to city residents year after year -- as it keeps on giving, but only worse.
Then the news article from the P-G quotes 'political consensus' without any attribution. Think again Rich Lord. These folks in Harrisburg are not going to do anything for the city at this moment -- so I agree with the consensus part -- but for many other reasons. They are hardly fighting for re-election. That is not reality. Most of the people who work in Harrisburg from the Pittsburgh area have a free ride in their re-election bids. I wish that there was much more fighting for re-elections.
The Harrisburg government officials are not going to do anything for the city because they are ignorant of the facts. They don't know how the parking tax has been a boost to the city's budget. They don't understand how the gambling money has been a false savior and incomes were put into the budget from gambling by Tom Murphy two years ago. Such a joke from Fast Eddie Rendell and the dual overlords. They are clueless because the real facts of the matter are so poorly covered.
Furthermore, the folks who work in Harrisburg in official roles are not going to do anything for the city at this time because the folks who are on city council and who are in the mayor's administration don't have the vision, nor the drive, nor the crafted statements to take to Harrisburg.
The news article says Luke is going to Harrisburg to build bridges. Well, he should have been doing that as soon as he was elected, if not as soon as he began to campaign, if not as soon as he thought of himself as a potential advocate and citizen.
For years, people on city council have been told to 'butt out' with dealings in Harrisburg. They have. So now we have to send our Mayor to Harrisburg to build bridges.
Luke should be going to Harrisburg now to blow up tunnels, if you ask me. I'm speaking about those expensive light-rail tunnels that are going to go to the North Side stadiums -- a PAT project.
Luke, I could give you a long list of ideas to share with those in Harrisburg. They need to be given an education on matters that impact the city in grave ways.
Tell them the re-do of Point State Park is boneheaded and what we really need is a new governmental structure to allow for the creation of a park district so volunteerism soars around this region.
Tell them about the parking tax and how much was projected and delivered to the city's general fund, year in and year out. Then talk about how folks in the suburban reaches of the county can ride the bus to town and avoid traffic, lessen traffic, and skip out on the parking tax. Besides, PAT subsidizes them already while fare in the city, zone 1, are to climb to $2.50.
There has been a tax shift away from the ones who benefit from sprawl and to the ones who reside in the city's core. Mention the county's tax assessment mess.
Tell them about the city's school situation and how our special needs kids get excellent treatment and educations. Therefore the families in suburban neighborhoods with children with challenges often move districts, into the city, to get a better education. And, the state does little to support those educational needs. Futhermore, the formulas and caps have been working against the city school district for more than a decade.
Luke, you can begin to recruit for a new police chief too. Tell people you need top candidates for the new opening. Plus, as the new police officers are headed to the force, as part of a hyped-filled promise by some campaign somewhere, -- you'll be wanting to hire crossing guards for city streets. Crossing guards are effective and affordable. And, you'll empower them like never before and make them new darlings of enformcement and communications -- plus safety.
Finally, Luke, tell the governor and others seeking re-election that you won't film any campaign commercials for candidates while seated behind your desk on Grant Street at Tom Murphy did four years ago. And, if that was to happen again, you'd file charges yourself.