January 16, 2014

Commonwealth Seeks To Vacate City Of Harrisburg Receivership

Attorneys representing Department of Community & Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker filed an Application in Commonwealth Court Thursday to Vacate the Receivership for the City of Harrisburg and to appoint a Coordinator to continue working with city officials to implement the Harrisburg Strong Plan.
In the Application, Walker requested the Court, in vacating the Office of the Receiver, allow the appointment of Frederick Reddig as the Coordinator responsible to direct ongoing implementation of the Plan.
“Vacating the receivership and appointing a Coordinator is a necessary and critical step in moving the Harrisburg Strong Plan forward,” said Sec. Walker. “After decades of financial difficulties and nearly three years of fiscal emergency, this action represents the next step in Harrisburg’s path to fiscal stability.”
The application cites the statutory conditions that no longer exist which mandate a Receiver to direct the City on all fiscal decisions.  Last month’s successful closing of the Harrisburg Strong Plan’s two keystone transactions, the monetization of the City’s Incinerator and the parking system, conclusively resolved the statutory conditions that gave rise to the fiscal emergency declared by Gov. Tom Corbett in August of 2011.
The transactions, the result of a collaborative effort put forth by Gov. Corbett, the Receiver, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) William Lynch and his team, Harrisburg City Council, former Mayor Linda Thompson, Mayor Eric Papenfuse and City creditors, retired crippling City debt totaling over $360 million, while providing the City with a balanced budget through 2016.
Secretary Walker requested the Court allow for the transition from Gen. Lynch to Mr. Reddig to occur on March 1, 2014. Reddig currently serves as Acting Administrator for the Office of the Receiver, working in close concert with Gen. Lynch, City officials, and creditors in the development, negotiation, and support of the Harrisburg Strong Plan.
“Harrisburg is well on its way to full recovery and I believe Mr. Reddig will serve brilliantly as Coordinator, should the Court authorize his appointment to oversee the implementation of the remaining aspects of the Plan,” Lynch said.
Reddig has been intimately involved in the management of Harrisburg’s Act 47 participation since its’ initial Act 47 application in 2010.
If the Application is approved by the Court, the same team of professionals and advisors from Lynch’s team shall continue to advise Reddig moving forward in coordinating the Plan.
Gov. Corbett appointed Gen. Lynch as the Harrisburg Receiver to lead a team of legal and financial experts in resolving the city’s fiscal emergency and formulating the Harrisburg Strong Plan.  Lynch’s appointment was confirmed May 24, 2012.
“None of this would have been possible without Gov. Corbett’s leadership,” Lynch said. “By navigating a course to recovery that no other financially distressed city in America has been able to accomplish, Gov. Corbett directed a model of how to save a city from complete fiscal collapse.”