Mark Schwartz is the newest lawyer to be hired to help handle the Harrisburg debt disaster. If this disaster is not solved then more cities could face state takeovers. The city is excited to introduce Schwartz into the spotlight because it will help bring a new light into the drawn out battle.
Schwartz “Vowed a legal challenge to a bill now pending before the state Senate that could put Harrisburg and any other city that fails to adopt a fiscal recovery plan under the state’s Act 47 into state receivership.”
This new lawyer on the issue is trying to make a difference and help protect Harrisburg and future towns from facing this dilemma. The bottom line of this dilemma is that Harrisburg needs a recovery plan and fast. If the town cannot decide on one—then the state must take over to avoid any further issues.
Schwartz also said that “he still hopes to engage state, county and city officials in a new round of negotiations that could lead to a mutually acceptable recovery plan by including new tax options for Harrisburg; additional forms of state aid; or even a different, more limited kind of oversight board.”
Everyone wants this issue solved so that the state does not have to takeover. The lawyer new to the team also says that the city needs to figure out where things went wrong.
“Schwartz said more weight should be given to an ongoing audit of the incinerator’s past borrowings, to see if losses could be recouped from underwriters and other participants who led officials into bad judgments. Otherwise, “whose interests are they promoting?” Schwartz asked of the recovery plan’s backers.”
If there is a case that is getting national attention, then Schwartz is sure to find his way in it. Harrisburg city council (most of them) is excited to place him on this case because he is on fire and wants to get things resolved. If the town of Harrisburg wants to keep the state out—then Schwartz is just what they need.
Some of Schwartz’s counterparts have a lot to say when it comes down to fighting the battle in the courtroom. “I could easily see him being hired [in Harrisburg], because we were taken with him, too,” said Matthews, whose board parted ways with Schwartz before dropping from the case. “But I’m afraid when it gets to the courtroom argument, it was a little flat. I just don’t know if he’s up to it.” states James Matthews.
Mark Schwartz states that he is not in it for the spotlight or to take the city for their money. He does not expect to make thousands of dollars off this case and has said his work for this city will be “pro bono.” However, he is still quoted saying
“It’s not going to be my normal hourly rate, and it’s not going to cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Only time will tell if Mark Schwartz is in this for the money, fame or just for the right reasons.