Harrisburg mayor says news conference exploited south side residents

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HARRISBURG, Pa, (WHTM) – Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse says it is important that government and elected officials do not use the residents of sinkhole-plagued South 14th Street as political pawns.

Papenfuse says that a news conference organized by the Department of Community and Economic Development exploited people who have had their lives turned upside down.

“They don’t deserve to be used as a backdrop for political speeches, medial tours or victory laps,” Papenfuse said. “These residents have been through a lot.”

Papenfuse says people contacted the city and complained about the media event. He says the focus needs to be on the people devastated by the sinkhole disaster on the south side of town.

“Now that the funding has been approved to secure the sinkhole issue, all agencies involved should be sitting down and rolling up their sleeves to make sure relief comes as quickly as possible for those affected,” Papenfuse said.

City Council President Wanda Williams attended Tuesday morning’s news conference. She says there was no political agenda.

“The event helped people understand that all of the agencies involved are on the same page,” Williams said. “It was important for the residents to see the support in person.”

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