Oct. 25, 2016 Harrisburg, PA – Mayor Eric Papenfuse is demanding that the residents of South 14th street affected by the sinkhole disaster be treated with courtesy and respect and not subjected to media or official tours without their consultation.
“The residents of South 14th Street have suffered enough,” said Mayor Papenfuse. “They don’t deserve to be used as backdrop for political speeches, media tours, or victory laps.”
Mayor Papenfuse is responding to complaints from area residents about a tour of the sinkhole area organized Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
The Mayor refused to participate in the tour and asked the department to delay holding any event on South 14th Street until residents could be informed and prepared for media coverage.
Residents have contacted the City to complain about the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development conducting a tour and press conference in the area without informing them. In one phone call the City received Tuesday, the family of a 92-year-old resident objected to his being disturbed by the onslaught of media and officials in the neighborhood.
In a message sent Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Mayor asked that the press event it organized for Tuesday without the Mayor’s approval be delayed until area residents are consulted.
“These residents have been through a lot and should not be viewed as backdrop for a photo op,” Mayor Papenfuse stated. “To the extent this event is important, there needs to be outreach first and a clear set of priorities conveyed to the residents.”
The Mayor is calling on all officials to respect the privacy of residents of South 14th Street and ensure they are informed in advance of all events taking place in their neighborhood.
“Now that funding has been secured to address the sinkhole issue, all agencies involved should be sitting down and rolling up their sleeves to make sure relief comes as quickly and efficiently as possible for those affected,” the Mayor said.
For more information, contact Joyce M. Davis, Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717 255 3015.
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