Former Lebanon, Pa., mayor Jackie Parker, will lead the nascent Harrisburg, Pa., economic development team, Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced.

Papenfuse was expected to introduce the team Jan. 10 - four days after his swearing in - at a City Hall press conference.

The move comes two weeks after Harrisburg financial recovery team closed on a plan designed to erase about $600 million of debt that has made the city a pariah in the capital markets. Key components were the sale of the city incinerator to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority and a long-term lease of parking assets from Harrisburg Parking Authority to Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority.

Parker, most recently the executive director of the Chester Economic Development Authority, will supervise a team that includes Roy Christ as director of building and housing, and Lenwood Sloan as director of arts, culture and tourism. Sloan's department will assume duties of the former parks and recreation department.

Earlier in the week, Papenfuse announced key members of his cabinet, including former City Council attorney and Debt Watch Harrisburg co-founder Neil Grover as city solicitor; former councilman Bruce Weber as finance director; Karl Singleton as senior advisor for education and youth; Catherine Stetler as special assistant to the mayor; and Joyce Davis as communications director.

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