Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Blog Response: CREDC’s Dave Black reacts to “Stick to the Plan.”

I am writing to comment on Paul Barker’s article on the Comprehensive Plan process and the recent meeting at John Harris High School (“Stick to the Plan”). A comprehensive plan is a land use document. This effort will also attempt to identify some economic development strategies. I’m not going to defend the legality of process. That’s up to professional planners and attorneys.

What I will defend and credit Mayor Thompson with in her final months is starting a process that will first begin with community meetings, giving residents a voice. The first steps include community meetings. It is important to note that the process described will take at least 18 months, so the new mayor and council can clearly change, correct or stop the process.

Most importantly, this is an opportunity to start a dialogue between city government and its residents and businesses. It’s abundantly clear, over the last 30 years, there has been a “disconnect” fueled by the fiscal mess. That’s one of the reasons I believe the [mayoral candidate Eric] Papenfuse campaign’s “Together We Can” resonates so well.

My point is dialogue and community input is a very good thing that should be encouraged. Bringing the business and development community together with the larger community to discuss the opportunities we have to build a better city is a very good thing. The process involved in a good comprehensive plan is many times more valuable than the outcome. The appropriate bureaucracy and crossing the legal “T’s” will come in due time.

I sincerely believe that, as a city, we need to focus on things that bring us together rather than focus on things that divide us. Thank you for TheBurg’s continued good coverage of our city.

Dave Black
Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC
213-5032 (dd)  648-7099 (c)

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