Harrisburg mayoral candidates square off again

Candidates for mayor of Harrisburg debated Thursday night before a large crowd at the Allison Hill Community Center.

The debate was hosted by the Greater Harrisburg Chapter of the NAACP and featured two write-in candidates, Aaron Johnson and Lewis Butts, along with Democrat Eric Papenfuse and Republican Dan Miller, who are both on the ballot.

Butts talked about keeping jobs in the city.

“It is my job as the mayor to make sure our infrastructure jobs and projects are filled first by our contractors in this city,” he said.

Johnson talked of his commitment to youth baseball in the city. He responded to a comment suggesting baseball was his only experience.

“That baseball field saves lives,” he said. “That's all programming. We need more programs for our youth. We need to keep them engaged in positive things.”

The candidates had the chance to ask each other a question. When Papenfuse had his turn, he said this: “Let me ask Dan Miller what his specific plans are for creating jobs here in Harrisburg?”

“I think the way we create jobs in Harrisburg is by making Harrisburg a city that people want to live in,” Miller said. “And as people come to Harrisburg, the jobs start. Jobs follow where the people are.”

Then it was Miller's turn to ask Papenfuse a question.

“What can we do to get your kids in our schools and to get your big warehouse into the city of Harrisburg,”Miller said.

“I do have a warehouse in Harrisburg. It's at 611 South 17th Street,” Papenfuse answered. “I don't feel that the city's school system right now is a good enough school system as a whole; an aggregate for me to send my children and that is affirmed by the test results and by the recovery plan.”

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