Harrisburg deserves a bright future

August 27, 2013

A debt recovery plan for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was filed on Monday after a year of negotiations with creditors, unions and other stakeholders. The plan’s most important attribute is that it saves Pennsylvania’s capital city from declaring bankruptcy and it may fiscally stabilize the municipality for years to come.

Free speech or securities fraud?

June 25, 2013

Mark Funkhouser, the director of the Governing Institute and a former mayor and auditor of Kansas City, took a few swings at the SEC for its securities fraud prosecution of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Funkhouser has three concerns with the SEC’s case.

Harrisburg joins Jefferson County with muniland securities fraud charge

May 7, 2013

The near-bankrupt city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was charged this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission with securities fraud. Here is the official language (emphasis mine):

What Harrisburg learned while waiting to file for bankruptcy

November 21, 2012

Last year, muniland watched as the mayor, city council members and state legislature went through a tortuous period of fighting over filing municipal bankruptcy for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The city council filed a bankruptcy petition, but the mayor objected. Then the legislature passed a law that denied Harrisburg the right to file until November 30, 2012. The bankruptcy judge threw out the bankruptcy petition and the governor appointed a receiver to take control of the city’s finances.

Watching Harrisburg crash and burn

April 3, 2012

We are now watching Harrisburg crash and burn. The busted Pennsylvania capital of 49,000 is crushed by $463 million in city debt and an additional $282 million in debt for the public school system. The state senator representing the area, Jeff Piccola, used his power last June to pass state legislation (Act 47 amendments) that shackled Harrisburg with accepting a receiver appointed by the governor and barred the city from filing bankruptcy until June 30, 2012.

Harrisburg back to square one

November 28, 2011

Federal bankruptcy judge Mary France dismissed the Harrisburg City Council’s petition to file municipal bankruptcy last Thursday. According to Bloomberg her ruling stated:

Harrisburg needs the bankruptcy option

November 18, 2011

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett took the next step in the process of pushing the bankrupt capital of his state towards fiscal recovery today. Bloomberg reports:

Harrisburg’s leadership shortage

November 14, 2011

Harrisburg is a town that’s been crushed by debt and years of incompetent management. The city has been led by a mayor, Linda Thompson, who is unable to work with a majority of her city council and who will likely find her role greatly diminished as the state takes fiscal control of the insolvent city. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a politician who has so little control over the affairs of her city. Edith Honan and Kristina Cooke of Reuters did an outstanding backgrounder about the level of dysfunction among the Harrisburg’s political class:

The sharks circling Harrisburg

November 9, 2011

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is being smothered by its outstanding debt of $463 million. The sharks are circling and the city has only about $244 million in assets that can be liquidated easily. Let’s guess how this game will play out.

Harrisburg is insolvent

October 20, 2011

The capital of the Keystone State is swirling with political infighting and power grabs over the issue of money. There is just not enough of it to pay all of Harrisburg’s creditors who have appeared at the door. Now that the county has said “Enough!” to providing more loans to cover debt payments, it’s the end of road and events are accelerating.