The City of Harrisburg’s Latest Report of Fiscal Recovery
On November 24, 2012, the City of Harrisburg—as it’s required to—submitted an update of the progress it is making in the implementation of the Receiver’s Court-approved Recovery Plan. Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED )and the Office of the Receiver took the information from the Thompson Administration and developed the following report. It’s an easy-to-read chart of the initiatives which are ultimately proposed to put the City back on its fiscal feet. It outlines what’s been done so far, what’s happening, and what’s yet to come.
Not only does the chart state who’s responsible to implement each particular initiative of the Plan, but there are also notes and comments in the far right providing explanations of the process, anticipations of reports and studies, and expectations of future goals (interesting to note that some of these comments are left blank).
The are about 130 initiatives listed, and they’re divided by categories/sections/departments found in the Receiver’s Recovery Plan:
- PI=Plan Implementation
- WF=Work force
- I&RM=Insurance & Risk Management
- EL=Elected Officials
- IGR=Intergovernmental Relations
- IT=Information Technology
- LAW=Law Bureau
- POL=Police Bureau
- FIRE=Fire Bureau
- PW=Public Works
- ED=Economic Development
- CIP=Capital Improvement Projects
- OA=The Operating Authorities
- REV=Revenue Generating
There’s a key at the bottom of the first page of the 48 page report. It indicates the system of prioritization and the color coding of stage completion. Throughout the report, there are a little over two dozen shaded blue for complete, which is double the number since June’s report.” As the Mayor repeatedly intimated in her State of the City speech and her 2013 Budget Presentation, she aims to have achieved her directives by the end of her first term as Mayor.
However, a careful reading of some of the complete initiatives indicates that designation of “complete” could be considered premature or maybe even fudging. When you open up the chart, look for the blue boxes, read the comments, and ask yourself as a citizen of the City of Harrisburg, have you noticed some of the public outreach programs declared to be in motion? Have you scene “a proactive crime analysis” or the the effects of a “crime reduction strategy?” Have you noticed an increased recycling movement? Were you aware of a Tax Page on the City website? Does giving more duties to an already burdened position count as fulfilling a position required in the Receiver’s Plan?
Some of the “complete” initiatives can’t really be determined without Right to Knows or insider information. Surely, though, PA DCED and the Office of the Receiver are doing more than taking the Thompson Administration’s word for it.
This report’s defined as “The City of Harrisburg’s Approved Receiver’s Plan: Preliminary Implementation Plan.” Click here to access the most recent version.
To read the Receiver’s Recovery Plan, see Harrisburg Receivership