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Papenfuse declines to have inaugural ball, says financial focus should be on important things

Updated: Tuesday, December 31 2013, 04:44 AM CST
Reported by Jesse Knutson:

HARRISBURG -  Harrisburg Mayor-Elect Eric Papenfuse has announced that he will not be having an inaugural ball on Monday, Jan. 6, when he’s sworn into office, saying it says the wrong message to the people of Harrisburg.
 
“In this time of austerity, as we’re recovering from the deep financial crisis that Harrisburg has been in, an inaugural ball or other festivities would be inappropriate.” Papenfuse said. “Every dollar that would go to that would take a dollar away from somewhere else.”
 
Instead of hosting the inaugural ball, Papenfuse is asking people to donate their time and money to things that will help the city directly.
 
“We decided to send out a call for people to donate their time for the Martin Luther King Day of Service, and if they want to donate financially, we’re establishing a fund for helping to fix-up City Hall.” Papenfuse said.
 
The Harrisburg City Hall is in major need of renovations, according to Papenfuse. He says the floors need fixing, roofing panels need replacing, and numerous other projects need to be completed.
 
The decision to ditch the inaugural ball has stirred up on support on social media, with most people saying he’s doing the right thing.
 
“It sort of blew up over the weekend,” Papenfuse said. “The Huffington Post put it out to 3.4 million followers, they’ve been tweeting it in Russia and all over the world. It seems like there’s a common denominator that voters really prefer their politicians to live within their means, and who wouldn’t, and we’re trying to exemplify that here in Harrisburg.”
 
Papenfuse said his swearing in will be simple with no frills, taking place at City Hall, and costing the taxpayers no money.
Papenfuse declines to have inaugural ball, says financial focus should be on important things


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