Tag Archives: Steve Reed

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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Mayor Papenfuse Attacks Gloria Martin-Roberts – Harrisburg, PA

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Update: Mayoral Debate review


By: Sean M. Guay

Harrisburg, PA – The campaign of Eric Papenfuse for Mayor has been under heavy fire this week. His team has been accused of forging signatures to get on the ballot, and challenger Gloria Martin-Roberts has called out the Mayor’s conflict of interest involving the mixing of tax dollars and Papenfuse’s personal investiments in Midtown.

The day prior to the debate, in an attempt to divert attention from his many wrong-doings, Pennlive released an article that was critical of the Mayoral Challenger, by tying the Gloria Martin-Roberts for Mayor campaign to Steve Reed and Linda Thompson.

It was Mayoral candidate Jennie Jenkins who stood out in the Midtown Democratic Debate, last week. Of all the candidates, she has also been the most actively involved within the community.

Now, as a follow-up to the debate, Papenfuse’s exclusive publisher, Pennlive, has painted a picture in support of the incumbent, while tarnishing the reputation of his opponents, Martin-Roberts and Jennie Jenkins. To stay on the offensive and avoid being targeted for his repeatative failures, Mayor Papenfuse directly attacked Gloria Martin-Roberts and her Campaign Treasure in Tuesday nights Mayoral deabte.

Analyst agree that any securely seated incumbant mayor ought to take the high road, by touting their accomplishments, while showing respect to the challenging candidates. The actions of Papenfuse are not becoming of a Mayor who is expected to be looked up to for leadership in the beautiful Capital City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Papenfuse took a jab at both Ellison and Martin-Roberts later in the debate when he was asked whether bankruptcy would have been better for the city than entering the state’s Act 47 program for financially struggling cities.

The mayor noted that Martin-Roberts on city council, and Ellison, as chair of the Harrisburg Authority, both voted in 2007 to double the incinerator debt by pursuing a retrofit. – Pennlive

Indirectly on the behalf of Eric Papenfuse for Mayor, Pennlive also used its publishing power as an opportunity to tear down the genuine integrity of Jennie Jenkins, by giving Papenfuse the spotlight, when in the debate it was Jenkins who first mentioned ideas about the significance of fixing the parking deal.

As it currently stands, it is a $286 Million deal that was absoluitely wrong for the city, and has ruined Harrisburg’s downtown economy.

Previously Reported:

Following the Midtown Mayoral debate, trouble has surfaced with the incumbent Mayor Papenfuse’s campaign tactics of using forged signatures to secure his position on the Mayoral Ballot.

The initial report is here: FOX43

According to a Harrisburg Citizen: “The lady who was arrested identified herself by name to a resident who resides on Market Street, who attempted to get her signature. The arrestee was told, “no thanks, I am supporting GMR”, and the arrestee did not want to leave her property.”

We are seeking clarification on this, check back for an update.

Also breaking today is a video interview of Gloria Martin-Roberts calling out Papenfuse’s conflict of interest with his ownership of multiple Midtown properties, while using city resources, and tax dollars to fight for his personal interest in that area.

  • $8 Million has recently gone towards Midtown projects
  • Papenfuse owns 8 properties in Midtown

Eric Papenfuse has no comment today. Or ever.

Harrisburg100 ✌🏽

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