New Harrisburg city councilor to be sworn in Monday night

The sudden passing of one of Harrisburg’s City Councilors has left a void.

Eugenia Smith died in April after 25 years of public service.

12 people applied for the job and council narrowed that down to 4 on Thursday.

Smith died last month just three months into her second term of office.

“It is with great sadness that we have to go through this process…”

Since Smith’s dead last month, the six other city council members have known they would have to decide who would fill this seat once the cloth and her nameplate are removed.

“This moment in Harrisburg is a turning point,” says Stanley Gruen.

Tonight council will vote one person into Smith’s vacant seat.

The candidates include someone with a lot of experience with the city, former city councilor Kelly Summerford, who lost re-election.

“Most of you have heard people are not happy in the city with the parking situation. And, that’s one of the things that we would have to resolve,” says Kelly Summerford, city council candidate.

There’s also Michelle Blade, who has far less experience.

When she submitted her application for council, she wasn’t even sure where city hall was.

“So, I had read some comments from the mayor and also from councilpersons, and it seemed to me that there was sort of a breakdown of communication going on,” says Michelle Blade, city council candidate.

Alex Reber and John Baltimore spoke Thursday about the city’s financial recovery and efforts to implement the Harrisburg strong plan.

“I don’t have any preconceived notions about what the solutions to all of our problems are, but I would want to work with all of you and the consultants to try to figure that out,” says Alex Reber, city council candidate.

“I think the city is on its way to recovery, and I want to be a part of that. I don’t want be a bystander as things happen around me. I want to get in there,” says John Baltimore, city council candidate.

Council President, Wanda Williams, who was close with Eugenia Smith, says she’s looking for someone who’s knowledgeable about the city’s challenges.

“Also, we’re looking for someone who will be independent, who will be an independent thinker, who is not aligned to anyone in administration,” says Wanda Williams, city council President.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 5:30 and we’ll have the results of the vote and who is sworn in as the next Harrisburg city councilor on FOX43 News at 10.

Stay with FOX43 for updates.