York City Council Moves Forward On Plans To Hold City-FOP Informational Hearing

York City Council will hold an executive session with the city’s solicitor during the next few weeks to determine whether to push forward with an informational hearing about the issues between the city and the local police union that almost resulted in the firing of two officers.

Council president Carol Hill-Evans said Wednesday night that she expects the session to be held within the next couple of weeks, at which point the members will decide what direction to take.

At the end of last month, city officials publicly acknowledged their intentions to fire officers Michael Davis and Jeremy Mayer, both local police union officials, for what the city characterized as their poor handling of another officer’s accusations of a criminal enterprise within the police department.

The city and the police union reached a settlement that ultimately allowed both officers to stay on the force, but many questions about the allegations made against the department, its investigation of itself, why the city sought action against the two officers and the settlement the city and union came to have been unanswered, council members said Wednesday.

Read more:

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_28201704/york-city-council-moves-forward-plans-hold-city

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Vote Clears The Way For Food Trucks In York City

Free-market ideology narrowly overpowered fears of the unknown Tuesday with the York City Council’s 3-2 vote to legalize and regulate food trucks on city streets.

The decision marks the end of a long and sometimes divisive debate over the financial impact roving restaurants could have on traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.

Where some saw food trucks as a potential boon for a growing downtown business landscape, others saw a potentially diluted customer base wreaking havoc on profit margins.

In the end, mobile food proponents got what they’d asked for and more.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_27869256/vote-clears-way-food-trucks-york-city

York Residents Complain About Trash Around City

Instead of the first capital, York should be called the trash capital of the United States, one resident told the City Council on Tuesday night.

Soiled diapers, cat waste and other household garbage pile up in alleys and on sidewalks, creating horrendous odors and an appalling situation across the city, said Teresa Johnescu, who lives at 31 S. Queen St.

Two other Olde Towne East residents spoke during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s council meeting, urging council members to address the city’s trash problem.

“I’ve never seen trash like it anywhere else,” Judy Fry said after she addressed the council. Fry, who lives on East Locust Street, said she recently came home and found plastic foam packing materials, paper plates and plastic bags strewn all over the alleyway behind her house.

Read more:

http://www.ydr.com/yorkcity/ci_27732156/york-residents-complain-about-trash-around-city

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York City Girefighters Laid Off Because Of Budget Cuts Hope To Return

Wednesday was a typical day for York City Firefighter Clifton Frederick IV: He helped install smoke detectors in a house, responded to a medical call and continued to familiarize himself with where equipment is stored at the Vigilant Fire Station.

Then he was laid off.

But he remains hopeful that he will return to the City of York Department of Fire/Rescue Services.

“Eventually, I’ll be back,” the 31-year-old said during the last few hours of his shift on New Year’s Eve.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_27251607/city-firefighters-laid-off-because-budget-cuts-hope

York City Budget: Parties Scramble To Find Solutions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York’s budget woes have set off a scramble to find ways to save positions in the departments that could face the deepest losses — police and fire — and triggered a whirlwind of questions about what would happen to the city if a balanced budget can come only at the cost of cutting public safety personnel.

Mayor Kim Bracey‘s budget, which she introduced Tuesday, would cut 46 positions in the police department and eight fire-fighting jobs, and would cut the city’s work force from 412 employees in 2014 to 315 next year, documents show. Bracey said she was faced with few options and asked community partners, legislators and the county for outside help.

As of Friday, “no one has knocked on the door,” she said.

She has called for union concessions. Bracey said she will meet with fire union President Fred Desantis on Monday, and the city already is in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police. Police union president Mike Davis said he is “committed” to reaching an agreement before the end of the year.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_26992449/york-city-budget-parties-scramble-find-solutions

York Budget: Backlash Against Proposal Begins

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hours after York Mayor Kim Bracey outlined her proposal to dramatically reduce the city’s work force, including deep cuts to public safety forces, in order to close an anticipated $7 million budget gap, public backlash began.

“I’m ashamed for the city,” said James Waughtel during public comment at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, calling the potential loss of police and fire personnel “extremely devastating.”

Read more from Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Members of the fire union also lined the council chambers to listen as Bracey presented her plan to council members.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/politics/ci_26971075/york-budget-backlash-against-proposal-begins

York City Commuter Tax ‘A Very Real Possibility’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A majority of York City Council members said they are willing to consider authorizing a new tax in 2015 that would reach into the pockets of many more people.

The distressed pension earned income tax — more commonly known as the commuter tax — has been on the city’s menu of revenue-generating options for the past several years.

But, so far, city officials have been able to balance York’s budgets without wading into the controversial waters of taxing commuters’ earnings.

That might change next year.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26465818/york-city-commuter-tax-very-real-possibility

York’s New Arts And Culture Liaison Hopes To Connect Artists, Community

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The words effortlessly pour out of Carla Christopher’s mouth whether she’s behind a mic reading an original poem, or sitting at a coffee table at New Grounds talking about arts in the City of York.

She’s no stranger to the talk or the mic, as she just completed a three-year stint as the city’s poet laureate.

But now, York has tasked her with a new goal — one that’s already near and dear to her heart: arts and culture liaison.

“Carla’s ability to connect to so many different people needed to be capitalized upon,” Mayor Kim Bracey said.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25714953/yorks-new-arts-and-culture-liaison-hopes-connect

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Former York City Financial Officer Says Mayor Asked Him To Resign

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York City’s former top financial officer said the city’s mayor showed up at his house on a Sunday in April and asked for his resignation.

This week, former business administrator Michael O’Rourke said Mayor Kim Bracey did not provide an explanation for the request, and he still does not know the reason.

“I asked her why, and she said, ‘I just want to make a change,'” O’Rourke said.

That contradicts Bracey’s original characterization of the situation.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25682926/former-york-city-financial-officer-says-mayor-asked

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Proposed York City Budget Has No Tax Increase, But Includes New Expenses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the second year in a row, York City is poised to approve a balanced budget that does not hike property taxes.

But there are some new expenses in Mayor Kim Bracey‘s 2014 proposal that the York City Council could target if council members want to trim the budget before approving it next week.

Most significant among them is the $550,000 pricetag on a new financial-management system. The city secured a grant from the state to cover $150,000 of that cost.

Business administrator Michael O’Rourke explained during a marathon budget hearing Wednesday that the city’s current system became obsolete years ago.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24706975/proposed-york-city-budget-has-no-tax-increase

York City Mayor Proposes No Tax Increase

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York City Mayor Kim Bracey is proposing a 2014 budget that does not increase property taxes.

The proposal is now in the hands of the York City Council, which has scheduled two hearings in early December to discuss the budget. It is scheduled to be adopted at the council’s Tuesday, Dec. 17 meeting.

“This was a tough budget,” Bracey said Tuesday at a press conference.

The city’s costs continue to rise, and revenues haven’t kept pace, Bracey said. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s “antiquated” local-government system greatly limits the options for officials in third-class cities like York, she said.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24553629/york-city-mayor-proposes-no-tax-increase

York City Residents Worry About 17 Percent Tax Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

York City home and business owners will pay 17 percent more in property taxes this year following the Saturday morning conclusion of a long and bitter debate over the city’s financial future.

That’s on top of an 11 percent increase this year. By far, city residents pay more in property taxes than residents of any other York County municipality.

For the owner of a $50,000 house, the tax bill will increase by $149.50 to a total of $1,018.50.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_19659779

York Mayor To Veto Removal Of Residency Requirement

On July 20th, the York City Council repealed the residency requirement for certain city employees.  There are pros and cons for residency requirements depending on how you look at the big picture.  At the July 20th meeting, City Council eliminated the residency requirement by a vote of 3-2. 

Mayor Karen Bracey had requested that the motion be tabled for further study and a survey of city residents be taken.  Her request was denied and the vote proceeded.

Now it appears Mayor Bracey will use her power of veto to stop the elimination of the residency requirement until a survey of city residents can be conducted.