A Rational Recovery Plan

A rational Recovery Plan should be agreed upon and should look something like this:

1. Some increases in fees for public services;

2. Some sale or lease of non-revenue producing assets (like some land holdings, etc);

3. Some real discount or full forgiveness of repayment of the monies paid by Assured Guaranty and Dauphin County on guaranties IN EXCHANGE FOR the forgiveness and waiver of their future obligations, a step which would eliminate any risk of future loses;

4. IF POSSIBLE, refinancing some portion of the Revenue Bond-hybrids to obtain lower rates, but without a back end balloon payment;

5. A firm binding commitment to direct new revenue streams directly to the re-payment of future debt service bills that remain from the Incinerator debt;

6. Some significant dollar contributions to a settlement fund from the professional advisors of many stripes who willingly facilitating the reckless deals on public assets that manufactured this debt;

7. Some discount on the future balance owed to bondholders, by buying out their interests or some similar action;

8. Some streamlining of public services AND/OR the transfer of public services to other capable bodies or organizations AND/OR the merger of services;

9. Some short term tax or fee to close the gap between the dollar value of the relief generated by the steps set forth above and an agreed dollar value of a final settlement or resolution of these claims, again with any revenues therefrom firmly earmarked as restricted funds payable to Incinerator debt.

 

We remind our public officials that the answer to this debt crisis is not magic. The MERE APPEARANCE of moving forward to a solution will not fix this problem. Selling or leasing our public parking assets is not a solution. Selling or leasing the Incinerator, which will leave behind a huge stranded debt owed by Harrisburg taxpayers, is not a solution. Doing both together is not a solution. Likewise, having the State establish a new Board to make the financial decisions for this City is NOT a solution.

To be responsible stewards of public assets, public officials must recognize those who seek to profit from our misery and spurn them. Such officials must take the long view, do the work and work the numbers with our creditors to make a responsible plan happen. Let facts and reason rule the day, not constant threats and wishful thinking.

You are in a rare historical moment. Recognize it and rise to the occasion. If you cannot, then it’s time to step aside.

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