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Harrisburg City Council members call for freeze on parking plan

Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed‘s $215 million parking plan is
meeting with at least temporary opposition from some City Council members and
possibly from a key union.

Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed‘s $215 million
parking plan
is meeting with at least temporary opposition from some City Council members and possibly from a key union.

Five council members today released a letter urging the Harrisburg Parking
Authority
board to reject the plan in a vote scheduled for an authority board
meeting tonight. The plan would see the city lease parking facilities to a
private operator for a $215 million lump-sum payment.

The letter said language in a proposed contract the authority is scheduled to
vote on tonight would leave the authority and ultimately the
city on the hook for $2 million if the city fails to follow through on certain
terms. Those terms include removing certain language from a
union contract, according to the letter. That language requires union workers
to remain on the job as authority employees even after a sale or lease.

But the union – the American Federation of Federal, State
and City Employees District 90 – has rejected negotiations with the potential
operator, according to the letter. That makes it unlikely the language in
question will be removed from the contract, the council members wrote. AFSCME District 90 Director
Mary Schwanger declined to comment this afternoon, saying she wanted to wait
for the outcome of tonight’s vote.

The letter urges authority members to abstain from voting or
to vote no on the contract.

“It would be prudent and we would encourage you not to ratify any contract
until this issue has been resolved,” the council members wrote.

City Council member Dan Miller released the letter. The names of Gloria
Martin-Roberts, Wanda Williams, Susan Brown-Wilson and Brad Koplinski also
appear on the document.

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