PA DCED Secretary Appoints Recovery Plan Coordinator for Harrisburg
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Austin Burke today named a team, led by the Novak Consulting Group, to be the coordinator for developing and implementing a recovery plan for the City of Harrisburg. The team will begin work immediately.
Novak will be supported by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals assigned to address Harrisburg's financial situation. It will include Bob O'Donnell of O'Donnell Associates, the Pennsylvania Economy League, and the law firm of Stevens and Lee.
"This team will bring objectivity and experience to the city of Harrisburg," Burke said. "Each member brings their own area of expertise to address Harrisburg's complex and unique financial issues and, together, their knowledge of municipal financial expertise will be a great asset to the city."
Burke said the team encompasses individuals who have extensive experience in working with Pennsylvania municipalities in distress, particularly municipalities that are already in the Act 47 program.
Harrisburg became the 20th municipality active in the Act 47 program after the secretary declared the city financially distressed last month.
Under Act 47, the coordinator is responsible for working with city officials, employees, DCED, and the broader Harrisburg community to develop a comprehensive recovery plan that address all areas of municipal operations. The plan will recommend improvements to Harrisburg's organizational structure, financial administration, debt situation, municipal service levels, and overall economic base.
Once a recovery plan is drafted, it will be subject to public hearing and comment. Following the adoption of the plan by the city, the coordinators will then help the city implement the recommendations.
"There is no magic bullet that will be the cure-all for Harrisburg's financial situation," Burke said. "We are assigning great resources to the city through this team but it's vitally important that city officials and stakeholders be committed to working together to make the tough decisions to get our capital city back on track."
Act 47 of 1987 directs the commonwealth to provide oversight and develop a formal partnership with municipalities in financial distress to ensure that taxpayers receive vital services. Pennsylvania's oversight includes fiscal management; technical assistance; planning and financial aid, with emphasis on long-term fiscal management improvements, service delivery efficiencies, intergovernmental cooperation, and economic/community development initiatives.
For more information on the resources available for local governments experiencing financial distress, or additional information on Act 47, visit www.newpa.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
Media contact: Jamie Yates , 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
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