Central Penn Business Journal: Parking union: We were lied to

June 6, 2008

Central Penn Business Journal reports:

The partners who want to lease Harrisburg’s parking garages made a forceful case in a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with the City Council last night, but the immediate decision makers were not sitting in front of them.

Those decision makers are the members of the Harrisburg Parking Authority union, which can block the $215 million deal under the terms of its contract. Union members occupied the left flank of the hearing room and reiterated their passionate opposition to the lease.

“The HPA employees feel like they’ve been lied to from the beginning of this whole thing,” union leader Gail Lewis told the council.

Employees said they were promised repeatedly that they would remain employed by the authority, but the deal now on the table would put them on the payroll of the leasing partnership. Lewis also said Jacob A. Frydman, a leader of the leasing partnership, originally said he would not fight if the union decided against the deal.

Link to Central Penn Business Journal

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WGAL: Mayor Reed, Union At Odds Over Parking Garage Lease

June 5, 2008

WGAL reports:

“It would be incorrect to tell you people should expect no rate increases, but we’re suggesting maybe we’d raise rates a dollar a day, a dollar an hour and possibly 15% or so on monthly parking,” said Jacob Frydman, a proponent of the lease deal. “That’s certainly not unreasonable.”

If the union opposes this deal, the deal – and everything Reed promised with it – will die.

And because of a clause in the contract, the city would owe the parking company up to $2 million dollars for not going through with the deal.

The first of three public hearings was held Thursday night.

The next public hearing will be June 19th with the final hearing June 30th.

Link to WGAL.


Central Penn Business Journal: Parking partners hit impasse with union

June 2, 2008

Central Penn Business Journal reports:

Members of Harrisburg’s parking union are not budging despite the latest round of wooing by a private partnership offering to lease the city’s parking facilities for $215 million.

It’s been more than two weeks since the partnership led by New York City-based real estate investor Jacob A. Frydman mailed individual letters to union employees that promised higher pay and job protections if the deal goes through.

“The members have gotten the letter. We have talked about the letter. They are not interested. And a lot of them just don’t want to talk about it anymore. They’ve made their decision. And that’s basically it,” said Gail Lewis, who leads the union.

The letter was sent after union members voted unanimously not to negotiate with the partnership, Harrisburg Public Parking. Many parking authority employees declined to talk last week when approached by reporters. A handful who did were adamantly opposed to the lease.

Garage attendant Paula Mills had this blistering message for Frydman:

“Get out of Harrisburg,” she said.

Attendant Charles Franklin Jr. had a similar view.

“No one wants this,” he said.

Link to Central Penn Business Journal.