State Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry/Franklin) today issued the following statement in reaction to Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson’s apology for the derogatory comment she made Wednesday in reference to Perry County and its residents.
“I give Mayor Thompson credit for issuing a quick apology regarding her outrageous comment about Perry County and the wonderful folks who live here, but I am not satisfied with how it was done.
“The mayor was out of line and I took personal offense to what she said. The negative reaction from Perry County residents who contacted me or my office has been overwhelming, and I called on the mayor to apologize immediately. However, the apology should not come through her spokesman. It should come from the mayor herself, just like yesterday’s ridiculous comment.
“This is not the first occasion the mayor has spoken negatively about Perry County. She has also accused residents of dropping off their unwanted dogs in the city. I chose to hold my tongue in that instance, but this time she went too far.
“Elected officials in the midstate should be working together to move our region forward. This kind of off-the-cuff remark damages the positive relationships needed to achieve that common goal.”
During a city hall news conference she held Wednesday about illegal trash dumping, Thompson said, “We’re not opening up our flood gates for some scumbag that comes from Perry County who got the money and pocketed it and comes here and wants to dump for free.”
Thompson’s apology was released Thursday morning by her spokesman:
“The mayor’s reference specifically to illegal dumpers from Perry County has been distorted out of context. Obviously the mayor was not referring to the citizens of Perry County. Many of the city’s workers, visitors and friends come from Perry County into the city every day and the city has a long, positive relationship with the county. The mayor apologizes to the good citizens of Perry County for any negative connotation implied in her comments on fighting blight in the city.”