Tag: Harrisonburg City Manager Eric Campbell
City leaders added a commitment to address “climate change challenges” as one of it’s short- and long-term goals during their biannual retreat over the weekend. And their debate over that — as well as a discussion over the city’s diversity — revealed the challenge of crafting lofty priorities to be specific but not exclusionary.
Larry Propst, by his own admission, is not an economist. His job, as city director of finance, is to help set the city budget — he calls it “entirely different” from the work of an economist. And on March 14, 2020 — a Saturday — Propst watched as the city of Harrisonburg declared a state of emergency as COVID-19 spread nationwide. Over the next several months, Harrisonburg administrators — Propst’s office included — would watch the city’s finances plummet as tax revenue from restaurants, hotels and other businesses shriveled. Within weeks, millions of city tax dollars vanished.
Harrisonburg city leaders hired Kelley D. Warner, a deputy chief from a Pennsylvania police force, to be the first woman to serve as Harrisonburg’s police chief.
Hiring a city housing coordinator, attracting higher paying employers, providing more incentives to developers and establishing a housing trust fund were among the 17 recommendations consultants suggested Tuesday to the Harrisonburg City Council.
Almost six months since construction on Harrisonburg’s second high school was suspended, the project remains in limbo, with no timeline yet established to resume work. COVID-19, though, has prompted competing takeaways about the wisdom of moving forward.
As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in the Central Shenandoah Health District, the Harrisonburg City Council is considering emergency measures to offer relief to citizens and businesses by waiving certain late fees.
Possibly delaying the new high school by a year hints at the city’s tough financial decisions to come
Harrisonburg leaders are looking at a starkly different financial reality now than they were less than four months ago when the city council approved the $100 million needed to build and open a second high school, which has the Harrisonburg School Board considering a one-year delay of its construction.
With funding decisions for the new high school now being debated by the school board and city council, the term “debt capacity” is getting a turn in the limelight. It refers to the city’s ability to borrow money, which, like personal lines of credit, has a limit.