On the morning of October 24, 2012, the City of Harrisburg's Receiver, General William Lynch, and the Receiver's financial advisor, Steven Goldfield, held a meeting with various employees of the Harrisburg Parking Authority (HPA) to discuss the impending lease of the City's parking system to Harrisburg First, LLC.
On October 10th, Receiver Lynch announced that the City of Harrisburg would enter into exclusive negotiations with Harrisburg First, LLC a venture led by Guggenheim Securities and includes also Standard Parking and AEW. Those negotiations began almost immediately; however, the Receiver's Team has been very private about what the terms of the deal being brokered.
During the 70 minute meeting with about 35 HPA employees, Lynch and Goldfield explained in general the Receiver Team's approach to the establishing fiscal recovery for the City of Harrisburg declaring the Team's responsibility is the the City first and not the creditors, as many people believe. Goldfield told the anxious crowd, "The first order of business of this team is to take care of the City, not the creditors. The first order of business of this team to fix the structural deficit."
After Receiver Lynch opened up the meeting by saying "We'll tell you what we know, what we think, and where we would like things to go," Goldfield asked each HPA employee to give her/his name, job position, length of time of employment, and to pose any questions. One by one the people assembled---administrators, maintenance personnel, security officers, cashiers, custodians with a range of tenure from 11 months to 29 years---laid out the same primary concern of job security.
In response to the common worry in the room, Lynch and Goldfield assured them that the Receiver Team shared the same concern as the employees telling them, "Maintenance of jobs is a high priority of what we've been doing." Goldfield said the goal of negotiations with Harrisburg First is to secure a job for everyone who wants one.
Overall, Receiver Lynch and Goldfield asked the HPA employees for patience and trust as the process unfolds.
by Tara Leo Auchey