Update

Friday 5-6-2011: Request to Harrisburg City Council  to Authorize Cravath, Swaine, & Moore to Undertake Drafting Alternative Act 47 Plan Components. Click to read: Notice to City Council.

  • Saturday 5-7-2011: Harrisburg City Council President Gloria Martin Roberts response to 5-5-2011 Request.
From: Gloria Martin Roberts
To: Neil Grover
Sent: Saturday, May 07, 2011 3:12 PM
Subject: Re: Request for Immiedate Action
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Neil, how do you suggest we pay for this service?  Also, why would you want this action before you give the state a chance?  You are making many assumptions that may not have merit in reality.  Who represents your group, names specifically?
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Gloria Martin-Roberts,President, Harrisburg City Council
Caring cannot be limited to those with which we are comfortable. Our hearts must be open to receive everyone, otherwise we block our own Blessings.
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  • Neil Grover’s Response on behalf of DWH:
From:Neil Grover
To:Gloria Martin Roberts
Sent: Saturday, May 07, 2011 4:39 PM
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Gloria,
 I think you misunderstand our point.  Perhaps I have not been clear, so let me attempt to clarify.  We see the task that we are proposing that Council direct CSM to undertake as already within the scope of work that they stated they were willing and able to undertake.  In other words, it seems within the pro bono work proffered.  We think that the City should maximize the use of the quality services while they have this resource.  We do not expect — and I would guess the City does not expect — that the opportunity to employee such free service to continue indefinitely, so we think the City should get the most out of it while it lasts.  We’re not looking for the City to incur new bills and debts.
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On why we want this action, perhaps we just have different views on how  to proceed.  It seems that for many years and in many situations, our local governments have just blindly relied on what one advisor, contractor, official or office has presented.  It has got us to the horrible point we are at now.  It just seems prudent to be prepared to fully address any forthcoming proposed Plan.  The options the Act 47 Team may be the very best that our community can hope to arrive upon, or maybe we can do much better.  But the time to review it and make that informed decision is very limited by state law.  It will be very hard to meaningfully review the proposed Plan and then — IF the City thinks any one or many options are unwise or unacceptable — to only then start identifying other options for any or all parts of the Plan.  IF the City waits until after it is received to start that work., it will have insufficient time left to do that work.
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It will be great if the City Council, the Administration, the Act 47 Team and the public all come out at the same place on what needs to be in and out of the Plan.  But our local government should be prepared ahead of time to deal with the question they have known is coming since an October 2010 application was submitted.  In its most basic terms, it is no different than a local government not waiting until the first snow to ready its salt plies and inspect its own plows and trucks.  It is the government’s duty to be prepared to act on things they can foresee occurring.
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In a business, if you have the resources, you set multiple groups to work through plans and variations for future steps that will have a major impact on the future of the company.  Harrisburg is fortunate enough to have CSM as a resource right now.  They should task them with examining alternatives, as their work can confirm, clarify or refute the various findings that will be the underpinnings of the Act 47 Team proposal.
We are not rejecting the Act 47 Team’s proposals or we are not saying that they should not be given a chance.  We  are simply stating that Harrisburg apply a common sense approach of being fully prepared for know events.  The coming events that will determine the future and well being of an entire City.
As to “who represents”  DWH, I take that to mean who do we represent.  Every person on the CC of your email who was not a public official or employee of a local governmental body is part of the founders of DWH and what I have tagged as the DE FACTO EXEC Board.  We are an unincorporated association, with roughly 145 local taxpayers as members.  To be a member, you must pay real estate, earned income and/or mercantile/business privilege taxes to the City and you cannot be an elected or appointed public official.
I hope this clarifies our views.   Also, I am including all persons that were included in the original email on this reply too, plus teh City Clerk as Ms Williams bounce back.  These are not private, personal issues.  These are public matters of the highest importance.
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Respectfully,
Neil A. Grover
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P.S.     If you mean that we are assuming the City is not working on options to include in response to an Act 47Plan, that we are assuming.  There has been zero evidence or information to date that any such work has been undertaken.  If it has been undertaken, the City needs to communicate that to the general public.  If they are unwilling or unable to do so in a meaningful and open way, then the lessons of what placed Harrisburg in this long-developing crisis already have been lost.
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Friday 5-6-2011: Letter to The Harrisburg Authority Stating Debt Watch Harrisburg’s Position on LambdaStar, JF, LLC offer to lease Hbg Parking & Incinerator. Click to read: Debt Watch Harrisburg Initial Position Statement to Board of THA 

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