Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Local attorney, non-profit executives appointed to Harrisburg’s financial oversight board.

Democratic state lawmakers have appointed three members of Harrisburg’s newly created Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), which is charged with overseeing the city’s finances beginning in 2019.

Audry Carter, Kathy Speaker MacNett and Tina Nixon were all appointed to the five-member oversight board this month, according to government spokespeople.

As members of the ICA, they will control a $100,000 annual budget, approve a five-year financial plan for Harrisburg, and review annual budgets and quarterly financial reports for the city through 2023.

Appointing power to the ICA lies with five members of state government: the governor, president pro tempore of the Senate, minority leader of the Senate, speaker of the House and minority leader of the House.

President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai are expected to make their appointments in the new year.

The ICA was a requirement of House Bill 2557, which allowed Harrisburg to retain its taxing authority for five years after exiting Act 47, a state oversight program for financially distressed cities. The ICA will dissolve when Harrisburg’s taxing authority expires in 2023.

Appointees must live or own a business in the city and must have financial management experience. They cannot work for state government, which significantly limits the number of eligible residents in Harrisburg.

Italian Lake resident Audry Carter was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf, his spokesman confirmed on Monday. Carter’s resume lists her as the principal of her own consulting firm, which provides management and fundraising guidance in the nonprofit, educational and healthcare fields. She has also managed fundraising campaigns and donor relations programs at hospitals and universities.

She currently serves as the vice chair of the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design and as the president of TheBurg Foundation, which provides marketing grants to nonprofits and acts as a fiduciary agent for several community organizations.

Speaker MacNett, a labor relations attorney at Harrisburg-based Skarlatos-Zonarich law firm, was appointed by House Minority Leader Frank Dermody. A resident of downtown Harrisburg, Speaker MacNett sits on the steering committee of Capital Area Neighbors and is on the board of the Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa appointed Tina Nixon, vice president of mission effectiveness and chief diversity officer at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg. Before she joined Pinnacle in 2015, Nixon was the CEO of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg. Her resume touts more than 25 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications in the nonprofit sector.

Nixon was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission on Women and also sits on the board of the Pennsylvania STEAM Academy, a charter school that has applied to open in the Harrisburg school district in 2019.

ICA members are appointed to serve five-year terms, but they can be replaced if there is electoral turnover among appointing authorities.

The state secretary of the budget and Harrisburg’s finance director will also sit on the ICA as non-voting members.

Once it’s fully populated, the ICA must hire an executive director, who will earn up to a $100,000 salary. The director has 60 days to draft a formal agreement between the ICA and Harrisburg, granting board members broad access to the city’s financial data.

When the ICA and the city enter their agreement, Harrisburg can petition the state Department of Community and Economic Development to release it from Act 47.

Harrisburg officials expect that day will come in spring 2019.

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