The 2003 City Council Vote on the Harrisburg Incinerator Retrofit
The 2003 Vote on the Harrisburg Incinerator Retrofit.
In the past week, there has been much mention and curiosity about the various decisions made to get the City of Harrisburg where it’s at—in financial crisis.
One of the most significant decisions made was City Council’s vote to approve the 2003 retrofit of the Harrisburg Incinerator.
On November 5, 2003, Harrisburg City Council voted 6-1 to approve the City’s guarantee of the $125 million financing of the Incinerator retrofit. City Council members were:
- Richard House, President (yes)
- Pat Stringer (no)
- Eric Water (yes)
- Linda Thompson (yes)
- Otto Banks (yes)
- Vera White Reynolds (yes)
- John Wright (yes)
Below are links to the audio of that November City Council meeting. They are especially interesting to listen to in light of former Mayor Stephen Reed’s sworn testimony last week at the Senate Local Government Committee hearing on the Incinerator’s financial transactions. He declared not only that the public did not “question or challenge” the project costs, but also that “in no independent review, nor or any testimony or submittals was there a conclusion or a warning that the project was significantly underestimated in costs, and that the project would therefore be far more expensive to undertake.”
A presentation by the Interdenominational Ministerial Conference urging City Council to vote against the Incinerator retrofit. Founder and head of the Coalition Against the Incinerator Mike Ewall repeatedly warns, “This project will bankrupt the City.”
See Ewall’s presentation here.
Continued presentation by the Interdenominational Ministerial Conference urging City Council to vote no. Activists speak about racial and discrimination issues involved in the proposal to retrofit the Incinerator.
After suspending the rules, Rick Aldridge of Buchart -Horn responds to the presenters challenging the 9/18/2003 report issued by the company.
The public takes the mic, and all but one speak against City Council voting for the retrofit. Speakers:
- Sandra Mosten
- Diane White
- Clare Jones
- Tom Lupke
- Rebecca Myers
- Reverend Hicks
- Mike Florentino
- Wendy Taylor
- Marshall Waters
- AJ Overton
- Jeff Schmidt
- Bill Cluck
- Evelyn Warfield
- Debbie Bickey
- Mike Hyman
- Don Brooks
- Darnell Williams
- Brooks Mountcastle
- Camille Bennett
- Tim Jauchuck
- Susan Wilson
The City Clerk reads an amendment to the bill to guarantee the financing of the Incinerator retrofit and City Council member (current Mayor) Linda Thompson tearfully speaks about how she’ll vote. “The spirit came to me and told me, ‘let your yes be yes and let your no be no.” She goes on to say, “I think my vote tonight will be another test of honor to show that I’ve done no more than champion your causes. And if 15 or 20 years from now it proves that I made the wrong decision, charge it to my head and not my heart.”
Harrisburg City Council members speak before the vote.
Harrisburg City Council members speak before the vote, continued. Then the vote.
Roxbury News video of former Mayor Stephen Reed’s testimony at the PA Senate Local Government Committee: