NPR logo The Guy Trying To Save A Broke City Just Quit


The Guy Trying To Save A Broke City Just Quit

Unkovic's out.

The guy in charge of getting the city of Harrisburg out of debt has left the building. His one assistant is no longer answering her phone.

Harrisburg is in such financial trouble that the governor of Pennsylvania appointed Dave Unkovic as receiver, to fix the city's finances. We had a story about Unkovic last week.

He came up with a 200-page recovery plan to get the city out of debt. He shopped it around Harrisburg, taking suggestions and negotiating union contracts.

He seemed like a pretty mellow guy. Bowtie. Glasses. Surrounded in his office by tiny busts of Lincoln's head. Someone very driven by ideas of right and wrong.

This week, in an impromptu press conference, though, Unkovic flew off the handle a little bit, calling out the people he saw as responsible for Harrisburg's debt debacle.

He closed with this:

I'm trying to do the best I can. All I know is I'm dealing with a lot of public officials who ... are pushing their agendas. And so what choice do I have? To sit there and do nothing? And watch this plan deteriorate and have this city descend into financial chaos? ... And I'm trying to do what's in the best interest of this city, and I'll continue to do so.

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Unkovic couldn't be reached for comment. It's not clear what will happen to his big plan to get the city out of debt.

For More: Follow all the Harrisburg drama at Today's The Day Harrisburg