(The state capitol dome over Harrisburg, 24 December 2004/Pollinator)

 

Pennsylvania’s debt-ridden capital of Harrisburg has tried every form of fiscal belt-tightening, from layoffs to furloughs to filing for bankruptcy. Now, it is turning to God.

Mayor Linda Thompson said on Friday she will join religious leaders in three days of fasting and prayer to encourage “a cooperative spirit among government leaders, the business community and citizens.”

“I am open about my faith and will be participating in the voluntary prayer and fast,” Thompson said in a statement. The city is now weighing a financial rescue plan presented by the state.

The fast and prayers, which will be facilitated by about a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders, will begin at midnight on June 21 and end on June 24.

On Monday, a team of state-appointed advisors recommended the city sell a deeply indebted incinerator at the root of its fiscal problems, renegotiate its labor agreements, cut jobs, sell other assets and assume $26 million in new borrowing.