Tag Archives: Bruce P. Weber

Will the Harrisburg-Amazon deal be lost to official egos and political agendas?

By: Sean M. Guay

Harrisburg, PA – “The announcement that Amazon would build a $5 billion facility supporting 50,000 jobs immediately lit up social media. Some local citizens and officials suggested that the sprawling, for-sale Harrisburg State Hospital grounds off Cameron Street would be a perfect fit.” – theBurg

However, varying political agendas almost squashed the deal before it gained traction. An essential component of the proposal requires cooperation between Harrisburg Mayor and the president of the Regional Chamber, among other opposing forces.

David Black, president of Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and CREDC initially said: “Harrisburg is too small to put in a bid, but I do think there’s an opportunity to put in a bid with partners in York and Lancaster.”

Harrisburg City Councilman Westburn Majors expressed motivation to engage local government and private entities together in this process. “It is my hope that the administration can work with the county, the commonwealth, local business groups such as the Chamber, CREDC, etc., to determine if putting in an application is something that they would consider,” Majors said.

Brandon Flood and Beau Brown, who are both active in local & state politics, also engaged in the social media conversation. Brown expressed deep interest and insight into the potential Amazon deal, and began drafting preliminary concepts for a proposal in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, Bruce P Weber (HBG City Director of Finance) who is very active on social media, often echos the perspective of Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. The tone of Weber seemed to brush off the Amazon deal as a no-go.

Jennie Jenkins makes an excellent point that preparing and proposing to Amazon executives would serve as a terrific protocol for organizing forces in Harrisburg, and potentially bringing future investment to the region.

Beau Brown flips the script on Weber when he compares former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed to the short-falls of the current administration. The City of Harrisburg was transformed under Mayor Steve Reed. He had an unmatched love for Harrisburg and equal drive & determination to get results.

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A bold proposal was made by Beau Brown, who offered free services to help draw 50,000 Amazon jobs to Harrisburg. Brown published an advertisement for his proposal stating that in fact Harrisburg can fulfill the requirements, and the posting was circulated around on social media.

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Perhaps Harrisburg leaders and CREDC heard the calls of the community, because within 2 weeks, a new twist to the story was reported by Pennlive on 9/25/2017 when David Black says: “We’re pulling apart the RFP Amazon issued to see what we need.”

Harrisburg will partner with Lancaster, York, Cumberland & Lebanon counties to fulfill the metro requirement of the RFP.

Brown says that this is an opportunity to get face-time and build rapport for Harrisburg in front of one of the most powerful corporate owners in the world. Also, this experience will serve as excellent practice for pitching our region to investors. He also makes the point that proposing to Bezos would only be to the potential benefit of Harrisburg and the entire region. We should not pass up such an opportunity, as we are negotiating with an unpredictable entrepreneur, not a legislative body with strict rules to follow.

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Beau Brown is uniquely qualified. He has a Reed-like drive and passion for the City of Harrisburg. Brown’s advocacy for the city is evident through the multiple published reports and editorials that have appeared in the Central Penn Business Journal, including this following article where Brown lays out a road map plan to land a deal such as the Amazon headquarters.

If Harrisburg and regional leaders are serious about this huge proposal, Brown’s negotiating and real estate experience should be utilized in making this deal.

Here, in a rare moment of clarity, Weber comes to his senses and recognizes the brilliance and potential in Brown’s proposal:

Original report by theBurg:

theBurg follow-up:

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Harrisburg Not A Warzone? Mayor and Police Chief Disagree

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Update: Mayor Papenfuse Signature Fraud

By: Sean M. Guay

Harrisburg, PA – Mayor Papenfuse has defended the City of Harrisburg against the label of being called a ‘warzone’.

This warzone description first was used to reference the Sinkhole Disaster block of S. 14th Street, in 2014, and more recently it was used by Trump after his visit to the city in 2016.

Of President Trump visiting the city, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said: “I hope he will look around and understand that he needs to do more than rally his supporters. He needs to listen to and speak with those who didn’t vote for him.” – Washington Post

This statement was made as Mayor Papenfuse organized a counter-protest, specifically targeting the President of the United States of America.

It’s unfortunate that Mayor Papenfuse would make this stand against the President, at a time when the City of Harrisburg is still counting on the Federal Government for much needed disaster relief funding, as well as the fate of a proposed Federal Courthouse lingers under the hand of President Trump.

Now, Mayor Papenfuse has been referencing the statistics which he says support a reduction in reported crime. However it doesn’t feel that way in the streets, and does not align with the earlier sentiments of the Chief of Police in Harrisburg.

It is concerning that these statistics are complied based on data from a broken police computer system.

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In fact, it was the Chief of Police who himself described Harrisburg when he said it “looks like Beirut.” That was his statement regarding a 30 round shots-fired incident, resulting in one man injured, on the 1400 block of Market Street.

Some time has passed since that event, and our hats go off to the great work of the Harrisburg Police Department, however crime is running rampant in our streets, and the constant shots-fired after dark, and daytime shooting events can feel commonplace.

Today, while campaigning around the area of 15th & Calder, it was Harrisburg city councilman Ben Allatt, who experienced first hand the violent fouls of the drug trade that has run rampant in our city.

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It remains to be a discouraging fact that our police computer and reporting system is inadequate, as pointed out by Jennie Jenkins in the Mayoral Debate. This system was developed through a lowest bidder contract, and it has not satisfied the needs of the department.

Due to the shortcomings of this computer system, it is difficult to determine the accuracy of our city’s crime reporting.

In regards to the excessive neighborhood crime, Bruce P. Weber, Finance Director for The City of Harrisburg said: “Crime is down, but still too high, esp. as it relates to illegal drugs and guns.”

Bruce has recently become the most vocal supporter of Mayor Papenfuse and his ideologies.

He later attempted to clarify his crime facts by making a rather ambiguous statement about how the city hasn’t been able to find any solution the to the gun and drug problems that are plaguing our neighborhoods:

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In follow up commentary regarding the inadequacies of our police computer system, Bruce Weber elaborated on his earlier remarks by saying that in his opinion, “All data reported is true. The slow data throughput has nothing to do with the actual data reported.”

We continue to received conflicting messages from our leaders in the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Today it was also Mayoral Candidate Anthony Harrell who was unhappy with recent public statements from the city Director.

Although we all have different perspectives, after the primary election we must come together for the common good of our city.

Update: It has since been reported that the shooting event, that was witnessed by Ben Allatt, was part of a larger domestic dispute incident.

 

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