Outrage in Perry County over comment by Harrisburg’s mayor

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People in Perry County are firing back in response to what they say is an offensive comment made about their county, by Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson Wednesday.

Thompson was responding to a question about offering up one free day a week where residents could drop off trash at the city’s incinerator.

“Our goal is to make sure that most of the people do it are living in the city of Harrisburg and are doing business in the city of Harrisburg,” Thompson said. “We’re not opening up our flood gates for some scumbag who comes from Perry County who got the money and pocketed it and comes here and wants to dump it for free.”

When that clip made it to the news, a social media firestorm erupted.

One Facebook group, named “Perry County Scumbags who want to see Linda Thompson impeached,” is thousands of members strong.

“Boycott Harrisburg,” said Jennifer Seiler, a bartender at Dugout Sports Bar & Grill in Duncannon. “Why would we go down there and spend money when we’re being called scumbags?”

A spokesman for the mayor released the following statement:

“The mayor’s reference specifically to illegal dumpers from Perry County has been distorted out of contact (sic). 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 everyday 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.”

But State Representative Mark Keller, R-86th District, said it’s just not enough.

“Now she does an apology through a spokesperson? That’s not good enough for me,” he said. “That’s not good enough for me. We need here in Perry County to hear directly from her.”

County Commissioner Paul Rudy Jr. said Thompson did call the commission office Thursday morning to explain her comment, but one thing was noticeably missing.

“In that, we fully expected to hear an apology, but it was more like they really got this wrong,” Rudy said. “Maybe the mayor would like to visit Perry County and get a better appreciation for who we are and what we’re all about.”

Dugout Sports Bar & Grill is planning a Perry County Pride Party for all day Friday.

The business is joining with others to encourage people in the county to keep their dollars local and out of Harrisburg until the mayor issues an apology they feel is acceptable.

“We’re trying to send the message that, making a statement like that, again, whether it be us or any other county is inappropriate,” Seiler said. “We’re proud of where we come from.”


  • killmore trout

    No one else has a comment? Well, I'm a conservative and I believe the statement was taken out of 'contact', just like her spokesman said. The 'scumbag' she referred to would be the person who lives outside the city and dumps trash in the city for free. I doubt seriously that the mayor thinks Perry Countians are all scumbags. She should know too, that those of us who live in the boonies have our own incinerators… a circle of rocks right in the back yard.

    • Sharon

      If she didn't think they were scumbags she would not have said it. All it shows is how city people have no respect for those who live in the country. Yes i have my own incinerator in my back yard. No I am not from Perry County but took offense to her comment.

    • Tyler

      That's what I think. They way that everybody has been acting she should have called them all pu**ies or babies instead.

  • MyTakeOnIt

    In her career with the city, Linda does not know how to get her actual message across without pissing everyone off. She should recognize that and use a professional to speak her message instead of sounding off herself. (LOL, remember that City Council cut her Public Relations office manager position in her first budget year?)

    I roll my eyes whenever I hear about her or she appears on TV. I guess the squeaky wheel get the publicity. I agree that she, herself, needs to publicly apologize to Perry Countians. Watch yo' mouth, Linda.

  • karena

    All I know is that people that call other people names & hold public office should be held to a higher standard . I wish my comments from earlier were still on here . Like I said earlier I burn trash & I recycle & I rent a dumpster , why would I spend $3.65 per gallon of gas to run to Harrisburg & have to wonder if I am going to get shot while I am there.

  • lazrus444

    Ms. Thompson is very familiar with the word scum bag. She works with them every day. She also may want to clean her own closet. Many of the tires and trash piles that are deposited in Perry County are from HER illustrious citizens, not the other way around. I'm surprised she has not been invited to join Obama's band of village idiots. They are two of a kind.

  • dani

    I am confused and while I agree it might have been taken out of context why didn't she say the scumbags who dump it here without regard to others from surrounding areas. Why just point out Perry county? I am from perry county and I don't even travel into Harrisburg if I don't have to simply because I am not familiar with the area and manage to always get lost. I put my trash right out on my curb every Wednesday night in front of my home and the garbage man comes and gets it sometime early Thursday morning I certainly do not now or have I ever had any intention of dumping it in someone else's yard to deal with. Shame on you Linda I do not even know you and would never presume to pass judgement but shames on you.

  • Phil MaCrackin

    So if you call someone walking out of a store a scumbag, does that mean that everyone else in that same store is also a scumbag? You ignorant people who don't understand context are ridiculous.

    • Just Some Guy

      It depends. Are you telling that person that he or she is a scumbag or are you referencing that whole store as a group? I don't recall her calling out someone by name. She referenced a whole county and did so specifically. She could have said surrounding counties, but she chose this one and did so purposefully, or so I believe.

  • Phil MaCrackin

    If you weren't such an ignorant caveman, you would have a better understanding of context. Quit your crying.

  • Kwitcher Bitchen

    To all you "sensitive" Perry countians out there fussing about a word, put your chips and cigarettes down and get your fat @sses back to work.

    • JLD

      Lets compare jobs and houses and cars, I bet my Perry countian a** has better then you do! Grow up!

      • Kwitcher Bitchen

        You can buy whatever you want, but I know I've definitely got you beat in the looks department.

  • SJoneze

    This is the second time she has insulted people from Perry County, the last one was about dogs in Harrisburg. I am not from Perry Co. but, I do live a few minutes drive from the line and; I took offense to her comment. It is not about being babies and crying, clearly those of you who are standing on your high horses think we are, but if it was you instead, I doubt you would be so passive or judgemental. She is a MAYOR, she should not have the word "scumbag" in her vocabulary. If she really and truly did not mean for it to come off as it did, than she should not have singled out an entire county. Period! Since she has done it twice, she clearly has a personal agenda against Perry County and it's citizens. If she can open her big mouth to say something so belittling, she should have to apologize in the same manner.

    • Kwitcher Bitchen

      seriously, you people need to stop your crying. she called the dude a scumbag, not perry county.
      know the difference.

  • Jo Ann Yohn

    I would have been apalled at the word scumbag even without the reference to Perry County. The growing boycott against Harrisburg will be sending more Perry Countians west rather than east to do their business.

  • Pam

    This is coming from someone who shouldn't throw stones when her scumbag self has alot of skeleton's in her closet…..I have lived in PERRY COUNTY for ten years and choose not to go to Harrisburg…Due to the fact that this scumbag was voted in and have seen her do nothing good for anybody besides bail her own brother out of DCP!!!!!!!!!I agree with she could have worded what she said a whole lot different!

  • Just Some Guy

    From everything I have heard and read about this woman over the past few years, I honestly believe that when she said "Perry County" that she was speaking about a certain type of person, not necessarily all people from Perry County. I think she's referencing "good 'ole boys". Not rednecks or hillbillies, but people that hunt, fish, spend time in the country or just don't go to large cities to spend their time and money. People you find in Cumberland, York and Lancaster Counties as well. She only cares about 2 types of people; the poor, black, disenfranchised voters that have put and kept her in office and the high end folks, who live on the waterfront, spend a ton of money in the city and a lot of their time on 2nd Street (who will never be confused for Perry County Scumbags). This is a very easy way for her to categorize a large group of people in a very convenient way and I believe she chose her words very carefully. But hey, that’s just my interpretation.

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