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Harrisburg City: One Political Party’s Complete Catastrophe

Harrisburg City is a complete catastrophe.

By any measure, my beloved city and the home of my father’s family in an unbroken chain since 1745, is now a non-functional wreck. A shambles. A disaster.

Our combined city millage rate is an incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal record of 71 Mills! See the official Dauphin County millage rates below. Harrisburg City is at the bottom.

Those readers who do not understand what millage is, it is the local tax rate for public services like fire, water, police, sewers, and sometimes schools. Most Pennsylvania communities have a millage rate of about 6-10, total.

Millage rates are supposed to reflect the quality of public services that taxpayers receive. After all, we are paying these incredibly high tax rates for a reason.

But here in Harrisburg, we taxpayers have no such illusions or expectation of receiving much of anything in return for our hard-earned money. Most of our city taxes are squandered by unaccountable bureaucrats and politicized mayors who come and go, come and go, spending all the way. Our city council is completely non-functional, filled with bitter personality disputes and zero achievements for the actual people underwriting the bills.

And then there is the Harrisburg School District, a study in unabated and completely open incompetence and corruption. Our city school district has been run by the state, only to be set aside and allowed to fester and rot, for the whole public to see. And still nothing is done to fix it. The school children here, mostly black kids, suffer the worst, because for all their time spent inside four classroom walls, they actually get very little education.

And now the latest example of just how badly Harrisburg is run is revealed in a lawsuit by Michael Brenner, owner of the building where the Harrisburg City Public Works Department is housed. Brenner has leased the building to the city for many years, and he is owed $717,000.00 by the city in back rent, unpaid taxes, and damage to the building that the city cannot or will not fix.

For those readers who do not understand what a city Public Works Department is or does, it is the one place where taxpayers expect to see something happen, because it is all about the roads, streets, sidewalks, potholes, etc. No matter where you go in America, the city’s Public Works Department is the place where the can-do guys work, the guys who know how to fix things, weld things, bend metal, pour concrete, and operate machinery to get snow plowed and fallen trees out of the roads.

Except here in Harrisburg, it seems our city Public Works employees don’t do much of that kind of work on their own building. And it turns out the city won’t pay the owner the rent the city agreed to pay.

Folks, this is a failed government. This is a failed city. When the government cannot or will not pay its most basic bills, or properly run its most basic departments and school functions, then we have a failed government. Plain and simple.

And like almost every other American city with high taxes, poor services, failed schools, and bad government, Harrisburg shares the distinction of being overwhelmingly Democrat, black, and poor. And yet… black people run very few of the city’s functions! Those jobs are reserved for the oh-so-sophisticated White Liberals, who lord it over their Democrat plantation serfs like they are running one of their old Democrat plantations back in the 1850s Deep South.

This abject failure is the price of having just one political party in power, endlessly and forever. That one political party is the Democrat Party.

At some point, city residents will begin to ask the simple question: “What have I got to lose by voting for a different political party that has different ideas of how to run things?”

To my black city neighbors, all I can say is that the solution to this bad situation is fully in your hands. You are the majority of the voters here. If you want things to change for the better, and we know you do, then you can start voting differently. Vote for candidates who represent different values and behaviors than the same-old White Liberals who have led you down this proverbial garden path for how many decades….

Dauphin County 2018 Millage July

Harrisburg City makes legal mistake after legal mistake

I am a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Harrisburg City, over his unwillingness to comply with longstanding state law and remove anti-gun ordinances from the city laws.

Papenfuse is a 1960s-1970s-style liberal, for whom ignoring the law, subverting the law, abandoning the law, undermining the law all represent some vague “Yeah, man!” hippie stand against laws he personally believes are wrong.

The problem with this approach is that once elected to office, a mayor cannot pick and choose which laws to follow or ignore.  The rule of law requires that all laws be upheld equally, or changed through the political process.

Being an elected leader means that you accept the legal and law-making process.  But then again, Papenfuse is an adoring fan of Obama, who also believes that he is a Government of One, able to do whatever he wants, rule by fiat, contrary to democratic norms.

Under Papenfuse’s hippie-fist-in-the-air don’t-have-a-care approach, Harrisburg City is making huge legal mistakes right and left in this lawsuit.

Two days ago, our attorney, Josh Prince, scored a default judgment against the city for $21,000 plus additional costs.  The city lawyers failed to file the correct paper work, failed to correctly fill out the paper work they did file, and missed key deadlines, and so the city failed on many counts to respond in court to legal documents presented to them.

While Papenfuse struts and preens to prove some undemocratic point, the city taxpayers are on the hook for ever increasing amounts of legal fees and judgments.  Eric fails, and the taxpayers here pay for his arrogant attitude.

If this is not failed government, then nothing is.