The following Statement was given by Nevin Mindlin at a Press Conference on Monday, October 7, 2013:
Over the course of a number of years, I have spoken out on issues critical to the well-being of our Harrisburg community. I have done so in order to provide an articulate, well-reasoned and statesman-like voice for the concerns and objectives of both my fellow citizens and myself, so that the message would be heard and could not be dismissed. I have gained the trust of many, because of my integrity and my willingness to speak the truth as I understand it, and for this I am humbled and grateful.
The issues on which I step forward are always about good public policy and accountable government. I ran for Mayor, because Harrisburg needs a serious and honest conversation about its future and what needs to be done to achieve its potential. I ran for mayor because Harrisburg also needs a serious conversation about its past, so that there is a just result to the abuse of public trust that has gotten us to our current situation, and so that moving forward we do not deceive ourselves and repeat the same mistakes.
I am standing here today with Dan Miller to endorse his candidacy, and to ask you, my fellow citizens, to consider Dan as your candidate. Step up and work with us on his campaign, and most importantly, get out and vote for Dan Miller on November 5th.
I have known Dan (and his opponent) for many years. I have participated in this year’s election process through the primary and its debates. I will tell you without equivocation that Dan Miller is the only candidate on the November ballot who is straightforward in his conversation with the people of our community, and who has the honesty and integrity to address the difficult issues facing our community in a forthright manner. He is not the public face of special interests with a well-funded public relations campaign constantly remolding its message.
Needless to say, Dan and I have different competencies and different styles – as we all do. Nuances aside, I have come to understand that Dan and I share substantially the same perspectives and positions on the important issues facing our community – the fundamental problems that must be addressed for Harrisburg to thrive – crime, blight, taxes, workforce development, and the rebuilding of community (and I mean community in the human social sense) from the neighborhood up.
If you believe that I was worthy of being your choice for Mayor, I would urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to vote for Dan Miller as your Mayor.
I will close with one more comment. Dan has been criticized for his opposition to the so-called “Harrisburg Strong Plan.” The measure of the integrity of that plan is not whether there is an alternative before us at the moment. The measure of that plan is whether, on its own, the “Harrisburg Strong Plan” can work, in the light of honest, public scrutiny. The truth of the matter is that it does not, and cannot.
The “Harrisburg Strong Plan” is a continuation of the same Ponzi scheme, created by essentially the same players that brought us the incinerator debacle, using the same deceptive arguments:
a) There is no better alternative to the “Harrisburg Strong Plan”; it is the best way forward.
b) The “Plan” is “self-liquidating” – trust our rosy financial scenario.
Why are we in such a rush to close this deal, without the same rush to bring this continuing Ponzi fraud and its perpetrators to justice?
Harrisburg will only survive and thrive, if we clean up and grow our city –
- The “Harrisburg Strong Plan” increases taxes and fees – even though, the total public cost for living in Harrisburg is already too high, and
- This plan gives tax dollars to private, non-profits in order to fund economic development projects for their friends – yet, nothing in the plan addresses or funds correcting the problems of crime and blight.
Perhaps most critically, just as this self-serving group forced the Incinerator plan through without a key element in place, the performance bond – this time, the effort was to force a plan without a key element of performance, the parking contract, that, likewise, makes or breaks the deal. Based on the term sheet for the yet, unseen parking contract:
- There is no financial closure for Harrisburg in this deal; the financial liability does not end – On the contrary, the “Harrisburg Strong Plan” privatizes profits and socializes losses, with the real prospect for increasing taxes and fees for decades to come, in order to assure profits and bond principle payments for investors and creditors. All the risk is with the taxpayers.
- The city stands to lose complete control of any city policy that might impinge on those profits and repayments, including policies that are important to our ability to survive and thrive.
Dan Miller and I may not completely agree on all of the details about how to resolve the incinerator debacle and the city’s insolvency, or on the “Harrisburg Strong Plan”. But make no mistake; we fully agree that this current “deal” does not stand on its own merits, and that, unless its flaws are addressed, it would be a disaster for Harrisburg and its citizens.