Archive for Harrisburg City Council

Top Ten Potential Theme Songs for The City of Harrisburg

This post really shouldn’t require much of an explanation, but with the Sunday morning, eleventh-hour press conference held by Governor Rendell and “Mayor” Thompson about the state bailout (it IS a bailout)yesterday combined with the announcement of a HUGE lawsuit filed by TD Bank against the City and the half a million dollars we’re short on payroll and the looming clouds of bankruptcy gathering up the Susquehanna River, I thought it was a great time to suggest a new theme song for Our Fair City.

So here, in no particular order, are my Top Ten Potential Theme Songs for The City of Harrisburg. ©

Tennessee Ernie Williams- Sixteen Tons

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

Merle Haggard- Working Man Blues
Sometimes I think about leaving, do a little bummin around
I wanna throw my bills out the window catch a train to another town
But I go back working I gotta buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes
Yeah drink a little beer in a tavern,
Cry a little bit of these working man blues

Desmond Dekker – The Israelites
Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
so that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

Cast of Annie – It’s A Hard Knock For Us

It’s the hard-knock life for us
It’s the hard-knock life for us
No one cares for you a smidge
When your in an orphanage
It’s the hard-knock life
It’s the hard-knock life
It’s the hard-knock life!

Elvis Presley – In The Ghetto
Then one night in desperation
a young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car,
tries to run, but he don’t get far
And his mama cries

As a crowd gathers ’round an angry young man
face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto

Steve Miller Band- Take The Money and Run
Billy mack is a detective down in texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He aint gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin off of the peoples taxes

Bobbie sue, whoa, whoa, she slipped away
Billy joe caught up to her the very next day
They got the money, hey
You know they got away
They headed down south and they’re still running today

The Beatles- Taxman
(if you drive a car, car;) – I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) – I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) – I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) – I’ll tax your feet.

Bruce Springsteen and The Sessions Band – Pay Me My Money Down

Oh pay me, oh pay me,
Pay me my money down,
Pay me or go to jail,
Pay me my money down

Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want –
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”

P. Diddy, Puffy Puff Daddy – All About The Benjamins
You should do what we do, stack chips like *Hebrews*
Don’t let the melody intrigue you (uh-uh)
Cause I leave you, I’m only here
for that green paper which lead you

Linda Better Start Promoting

Today is June 23. It’s about 5:30 in the afternoon and a Wednesday. The “Harrisburg Jazz and Multi-Cultural Festival” Hosted By, er, was-Hosted By-But-Now-It-Ain’t-By-Mayor Linda Thompson begins in ten days and there’s nary a calendar, schedule, email blast, Facebook invite or even a TWEET to be found.

Sure, the city is in rough shape and whether or not this poorly-renamed “festival” was even going to happen was up in the air until only about a month ago, but you’ve got an event that you’ve known about since BEFORE you took office and there’s been nothing but BAD INK about it since the renaming- it’s time to HIT THE STREETS.

To make matters worse, the “headliner” of the “Jazz and Multi-Cultural Festival” has been announced…but it ain’t much worth getting excited about. The Duke Ellington Legacy Band – a band formed by the Jazz legend’s, ahem, grandchildren. (which, I guess is better than last year’s American Music Fest headliner – an Asia tribute band)

Look, I might not be qualified to comment on the finances of the city or the wacky situation involving the Harrisburg Authority and the incestuous nature that the appointments are taking, but I DO know a thing or two about booking a show and promoting events and I can say with full confidence that the 2010 American Music Fest Harrisburg Jazz and Multi Cultural Festival is going to be a major disappointment unless the new parks and rec director pulls a gigantic Raven out of his hat and brings back Jerry Garcia, John Lennon and Jim Morrison from the dead to headline a show on a stage borrowed from Pink Floyd and has Bill Graham come down from the skies to promote it.


Are there any bands booked for this thing? I titled the post the way I did because Linda Thompson is hosting this thing- so, who better to ask than the HOST, right?

Get with it, guys. And if you can’t figure out this part of the administration, HIRE someone to do it.

Sports Hall Of Fame- PUBLIC MEETING

Interested in the latest word on the SHAF-Sham?

Monday, December 15th is your day.

An Admistration Committee Meeting is to be held at 5:15PM in Council Chambers on the first floor of the Martin Luther King building – 10 N Second Street in downtown Harrisburg.

Invited to the meeting is none other than John Lavenda himself.

(If you’ve never attended a meeting, simply enter the building through the main entrance and proceed through the doors to your left.)

Why is this meeting important?

The Sports Hall of Fame is the latest in a very long string of Mayoral Blunders over the past twenty-something years: it’s essentially a giant scam set up for John Lavenda- the alleged, ahem, “partner” of Mayor Steven Reed- who has earned nearly one hundred thousand dollars per year for doing what appears to be very little nothing at all.

CBS affiliate WHP21‘s Jason Bristol has been doing an incredibly commendable job in his coverage of the scam. (Catch up on the details here, here, here, here, here and here.)

If you’ve got a free ninety minutes-or-so, please, for the good of your city, attend this meeting.

It’s sort-of the “must see movie of the year” of public meetings happening right now.

The iron is hot. Now’s the time to strike.

There will be a public participation time at the end of the meeting. Want to speak your mind? You should. Some tips:

Write out a few notes of the point(s) you want to communicate to council. They’re pretty strict on the 60 second rule, so it’s best to have your thoughts organized and concise. Plus, it’ll prevent you from stumbling over your words and possibly forgetting a point you want to make.

Rehearse what you’ll say before you say it. Again, this is to make sure your point is heard loud and clear.

Be brief- but effective. Your most effective time in speaking to council is within the first thirty seconds which you are at the mic. Make sure your thoughts are organized and planned out and you’ll maintain full attention from your audience.

Be firm- but polite. Council meetings have a tendency to get quite emotional and heated. Don’t succumb to the desire to yell and make a scene. Your points will be much better recieved if they’re pleasant to listen to. (Remember- it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.)

With election season brewing and us as a city being on the verge of what will certainly be one of the most important elections in recent Harrisburg history, now is the time to speak our minds as a community and let our council know just exactly what we expect from them.

Jersey Mike For Council?

Perhaps it’s my own delusions of grandeur, but I feel compelled to write this piece regarding the upcoming City Council/Mayoral Elections.

You see, about two years ago, I danced around the idea of throwing my hat in the ring and making a run for a seat on Harrisburg City Council, but decided that, at the time, I just wasn’t ready to make that commitment.

Instead, I dedicated much of my time in the months and weeks leading up to the primary (and subsuquently, the election) to campaigning hard for Susan Brown-Wilson, Gloria Martn-Roberts and Kia Hansard. Ultimately, it came out as two-outta-three-ain’t-bad and we retained Wilson and Roberts and accepted Brad in the third elected position.

And about six months ago, I started kicking around the idea of taking a run at a council seat for this coming election.

I’ve grown to fully understand how our local council is run and absolutely believe that I can be a valuable, driving force with a seat on Harrisburg’s City Council. I understand that the only effective Council is one which communicates openly and respectfully with one another. A council that may disagree on certain items, but is level-headed and clear-thinking enough to make intelligent and progressive decisions.

And I know that the communication amongst our current city council is strained, at best and has fully melted down, at worst.

I genuinely believe that a strong, unified City Council can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the general well being of our city and I also believe that with the right people in charge, we can affect proactive change in the political, social, and general safety landscape of our City.

But this coming November, I won’t be running for Harrisburg City Council.

And it has nothing to do with confidence or ability. I’m certain that I’d muster enough support to make a splash and recalling council members of yesterday…if Vera White could be a city council president, I’m sure I’d make a pretty good Parks and Rec committee member.

However, now isn’t the right time for me to run.

I’ve got too many irons in the fire right now- and don’t feel that I’d be able to give 100% of my resources to the job. Either that or it would overtake and trump everything else I’ve been working on. And I’m not ready to quit rock and roll just yet. (Plus, I don’t want to wear a suit)

So in the coming weeks, we’l begin talking about the candidates who are running. (I know several of them personally; and have yet to learn about a few more.)

We’re going to see some surprising announcements before the first of the year regarding this upcoming race.

And I’ll be sure to offer my suggestions on who I believe will be our best bets to lead this city in the right direction over the next four years.

Stay tuned, Harrisburg. It’s gonna be a fun year.

Whose Leg Do I Gotta Hump To Get A Liquor License?

“Who’s leg do I gotta hump to get a liquor license in this town?”

Mayor Stephen Reed’s, apparently.

Jason Bristol continues his beatdown of the National Sports Hall Of Fame Fiasco which has been nibbling away at tax dollars and charitable donations for about five years now.

His latest report (video below) indicates that a city-owned liquor license (obtained from the default of a loan made to the late Violets on Walnut) was given…given…for free to John Lavenda and the National Sports Hall of Fame.

A liquor license costs just over a hundred thousand dollars.

And man, I’d love to open a music venue someday- but know that the two biggest expenses would be the PA system and the liquor license.

But if my name were John Lavenda, I guess I wouldn’t need to worry about all of that.