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City Council Meeting Minutes

December 20, 2011

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on December 20, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Joe Musso, Architect and Landscape Planner, introduced Neil Katz, Developer of the Cherry Lane Food & Vendor Court.
 
Mr. Katz outlined the Cherry Lane Food & Vendor Court project. He said the project is slated for completion in Spring of 2012 and will provide quality and convenient dining under one roof. The food court will offer various vendors and will be located in the heart of downtown next to Cherry Lane Park. He said this will be the only food establishment of its kind to boast extensive Monday through Saturday operating hours and will have daily entertainment with a variety of food and wares, delivery service, plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and within walking distance. For more information on the project, please contact Mr. Katz at (410) 952-9400.
 
Steve Young, city resident, said someone made comments about bringing firearms to city meetings. He said he takes issue with city administrator's meddling with residents' right to bear arms. He then discussed a possible unintentional Hatch Act violation by a candidate that ran for public office regarding contributions. Next, Mr. Young said over a year ago he questioned the costs related to the move to the new City Hall at 101 S. George St. but was met with resistance. He said city administrators need to be honest with the public about our taxpayer dollars . Mr. Young then spoke about the vacant business fronts in the downtown area and how he feels Council is stagnating business development with the laws and regulations being put into place.
 
Marie Rohleder, city resident, questioned enforcement of the zoning code. She said she has followed the processes established under the zoning code and reported violations accordingly but the same problems exist.
 
Bill Schell & Paula Gilbert, Martin Library, outlined programs and services offered at Martin Library and asked that Council continue funding for them in the 2012 budget to allow them to continue to provide these valuable services.
 
Carl Sallade, city resident, spoke against the proposed 11% tax increase for 2012.
 
Evan Mentzel, resident, spoke against Bill No. 38, which was introduced on November 15 seeking to authorize a bond for $5 million to buy back the parking system. (Note: Bill No. 38 was erroneously included on the Dec. 20 agenda but was pulled as Council has opted to not approve said funding.)
 
Franklin Williams, city resident, spoke about the York City Human Relations Commission and noted for the record that current White Rose Community Television Director Steve Busch served as Director of the commission approximately 10-12 years ago.
 
There being no further public comment, President Ray adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic and Community Development, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.
 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of December 6, 2011 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read the following announcements related to tonight's agenda:
 
1)         Two items will be pulled from agenda   (Items #7 and #9)
  • Item #7 -- Regarding the Treasurer's pension and benefits -- has been pulled.
  • Item #9 -- Final Passage of Bill No. 38 --   Tonight's City Council agenda erroneously included             "Final Passage of Bill No. 38." Council has already acted upon all bond-related issues, so this will be removed from the agenda.
 
2)         Budget and budget-related agenda items -- #3 (Bill No. 41), #4 (Bill No. 42), #10 (Bill No. 43) and #11 (Bill No. 44) -- will NOT be voted upon tonight, but Council will allow public comment on budget related items, including the following:
  • Not on tonight's agenda, but also budget-related, is the city's proposed claiming of 50% of the Realty Transfer Tax, 100% of which now goes to the School District of the City of York. We will entertain comment upon this issue, which will not be on Council's agenda until January 3, 2012.
 
3)            Council will meet in General Committee at 6:30 p.m. on December 27 in Council Chambers to further discussion the budget. Council will have its final meeting of the year on Thursday, December 29th at 12 noon to consider adoption of the 2012 budget, tax rate, and related items.
 
4)            President Ray stated that she read that tonight's York Dispatch carries a story that Trinity United Church will be rehabbed not demolished. She applauded all involved in that case.
 
5)            President Ray then reported that the bond issues authorized at Council's November 30 Special meeting have been sold. The total debt service is about a million dollars less than anticipated. The interest rates are slightly lower than approved. She said the rate was projected at 7.5% but the bonds were sold with an overall rate of 7.25%.

6)         Finally, President Ray announced that the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program interest rate came down, which saved the city over $2 million dollars. 
 
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS
 
General Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: President Ray reported that Council met in General Committee on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to conduct a work session on the 2012 proposed York City Budget.
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
Resolution No. 151, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the application filed by St. Patrick Catholic Church and Hamme Associates for work to be done at 221 S. Beaver St., was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 151 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 152, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision plan submitted by York Habitat for Humanity to consolidate six parcels into three and construct two new dwellings to be identified as 351, 355 & 357 E. Poplar St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 152 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS
 
Note: See “Correspondence and Announcements” above for items deferred and pulled from the agenda.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 47, Ordinance No. 41, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending Article 341 “Income Tax” of the Codified Ordinances to repeal current language and replace with a new Article 341 entitled “York City Earned Income and Net Profits Tax,” which was introduced by Nixon at the December 6 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Nixon, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 47 came up for discussion.
 
Business Administrator Michael O'Rourke explained that because of enactment of Act 32 known as the “Local Tax Enabling Act” (Section 13), it is necessary for municipalities to enact this ordinance to conform to the local income tax currently levied on earned income and net profits by the municipality and to do so within the time frame set for in the Act. As such, he said we are enacting this legislation to comply with state law.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 47, Ordinance No. 41, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 48, Ordinance No. 42, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending Article 185.10 “Human Relations Commission; Powers and Duties” of the Codified Ordinances to alter membership and amend employee provisions, which was introduced by Ray at the December 6 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 48 came up for discussion.
 
President Ray said Council received a proposal from the city's administration months ago aiming to revamp the Human Relations ordinance but it didn't meet with Council approval at that time. She said she wanted to wrap this issue up before the end of the year but wanted to find language that would prove the ability for the city to have administrative oversight over the activities of the HRC. Those activities would include such things as staff vacation, attendance, and other administrative issues. Certain Council members stated that they didn't want to limit the ability of the commission to do its work and wanted them to remain independent but to include a supervision provision. President Ray said those concerns were taken into consideration and there were other changes recommended by the city's administration that were not included in this final draft.
 
President Ray then outlined that the final draft changes the membership by allowing three (3) members of the commission to be from outside the city. It deletes the adherence to the York County Advisory Council, which is not a regularly functioning group. The most important aspect, she said, of the change is that among the duties of the commission are to appoint employees and agents as it may deem necessary, fix their compensation, prior to the approval of mayor and council, subject to Article 167 of the Codified Ordinances, and prescribe their duties in accordance with practices and procedures adopted by the commission. She stated that specific parameters are set solely by the commission. President Ray further detailed other changes, which are clearly highlighted in the Bill. 
 
President Ray said it was her intent to make it clear that no representative of the city can determine what cases are investigated by the HRC and she hopes this language makes that clear. She said she has incorporated suggestions from the HRC executive committee whose members supported a more county-wide, diverse membership to make the HRC more regional.
 
Vice President Hill-Evans asked if the ordinance should be more specific regarding oversight. President Ray feels the details can be hashed out between the commission and the city's Human Resources Department.
 
Councilman Nixon said he feels this legislation is a good compromise. His concern was that if we are to have an HRC, that it not be subject to any politicizing. He stated that we need to have some kind of control over personnel since the taxpayers pay for this service. He feels that the HRC can continue to work and accomplish its mission under the new legislation.
 
Cindy Mitzel, Member of the HRC Board, questioned the language in Section 185.10(a) Powers & Duties, as she feels that sexual orientation is not specifically included in the language.
 
President Ray responded that sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned in Section 185.10(a) but it is mentioned in the body of the ordinance.
 
Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt agreed that it is sufficiently covered in the text of the ordinance.
 
Commissioner Mitzel said she appreciates the work that was put into the changes and the efforts made to come up with the changes.
 
Attorney Sandra Thompson, President York NAACP, said she was expecting more of the HRC commissioners to be here tonight and is a little disappointed they are not fully represented. Attorney Thompson stated that she met with a few Council members to discuss the proposed ordinance and appreciates Council's commitment to residents that use this service. She went on to say that the NAACP was approached by some HRC commissioners about the administrative oversight aspect of the ordinance. She said she understands the intent will be to have a committee that will include someone from the HRC and city staff.
 
President Ray responded that it was her intent to include the Human Resources Director but she didn't want to dictate the particulars.
 
Attorney Thompson replied that the current language is open for interpretation and that the HR Director may feel he/she is the person to set those parameters. She said she would like to suggest that Council dictate the oversight language in the ordinance. In reference to discipline, she said being a prior HRC employee, the concerns have been that there is some degree of strong-arming from big organizations in the city who are being investigated. She said it is very important to try to mention disciplinary issues to be handled by the commission because of the potential of pressure from outside or even internal forces.
 
President Ray asked Solicitor Hoyt if we should set oversight parameters.
 
Solicitor Hoyt answered that he will not suggest policy issues. However, administrative oversight of employee activities is the question. He said he sees this approach as tiptoeing into this issue to see how it works down the road. Solicitor Hoyt reminded Council that the city's administration had previously suggested having HRC employees fall under the city, however, Council rejected it at that time.
 
Attorney Thompson said she understands Solicitor Hoyt's comments to basically mean that Council can establish the language as it wishes.
 
President Ray said she loathes establishing those policies.
 
Solicitor Hoyt said the city's Human Resources staff will monitor attendance and behavior of HRC staff, which is what the Human Resources staff does for every other department in the city.
 
Attorney Thompson reiterated that she feels the language is very broad and open to interpretation and that “Personnel will oversee the activities of the HRC” is the issue. President Ray said the language is clear to her and she will leave it up to the Human Relations Commission to work out the particulars.
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke added that the issues are the accountability of employees and whether work is getting done. He explained that some employees are non-exempt and we have to keep accurate time records because of overtime complications. There are some issues with the fact that the HRC commissioners are a group of volunteers who are not present at the HRC office keeping track of what employees are doing. As such, there is a potential liability to the city because these are city employees. He said there is a gap between supervision and accountability and he believes that was the purpose of rewriting some of the HRC provisions.
 
Vice President Hill-Evans again asked if we have an attorney saying we should be more specific, then should we make it more specific on the personnel matters?
 
Solicitor Hoyt responded that the argument was that there is a professional HR staff of the city who helps every department of the city. The commission is a group of volunteers that have already been asking for the professional help from the HR Department and that oversight ought to be written into the ordinance. He further stated that there have been numerous meetings that he and city staff have attended with the personnel committee of the HRC and those volunteers have admitted that this is above their skill set. He said they did not necessarily want to get involved in personnel discussion like docking pay and keeping track of time. The entire year that this has been going on, he said there has been continued requests for Human Resources assistance. Solicitor Hoyt stated that clearly President Ray has met with members of the commission and they have all agreed to this so if all agree, why not give it a try.
 
President Ray's final comment was that she feels Council shouldn't dictate personnel policy and that the commission members and Human Resources staff can hash out those particulars.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 48, Ordinance No. 42, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – Hill-Evans – 1.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 46, Ordinance No. 43, Session 2011, (View) A Bill repealing pension and health benefits for the members of City Council and the York City Controller, which was introduced by Ray at the December 6 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 46 came up for discussion.
 
President Ray said we are elected officials and the thought of the expenses incurred in benefits over the years from current and prior elected officials is ridiculous. She did say she has used the health benefits and was grateful because she has no other employment. However, if the city will be asking all of its employees to sacrifice, she feels it is time for Council to do the same. President Ray explained that the Controller was included because this is also an elected, part-time position. She stated that the Treasurer was not included because that position is funded by the County, School District and City.
 
Vice President Hill-Evans said she thought for years that we shouldn't be getting benefits although we are doing basically work full-time. She said she fully supports this ordinance and feels it is a good move.
 
Councilwoman Smith stated that she introduced similar legislation a few years ago but it wasn't received well. She said she never accepted any health benefits from the city although she has opted for the pension benefit.
 
Joanne Borders, city resident, asked why this is not immediately effective. President Ray responded that according to law, current seated Councils may not adopt salary and benefits legislation affecting currently seated elected officials. Therefore, legislation has to be put into place for the next seated officials.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 46, Ordinance No. 43, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Resolution No. 153, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Housing Services in the amount of $10,000 for RDA Acquisition to RDA Stabilization, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 153 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 154, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution amending the 2011 Annual Action Plan to reflect changes resulting from allocating funding in the amount of $10,000 for RDA Acquisition to RDA Stabilization, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 154 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 155, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution appointing and re-appointing members to various boards and authorities as follows:
 
 
  1. Reappointment made by the Mayor of Garrick Solovey as a member of the York City Sewer Authority Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2017.

  2. Reappointing made by the Mayor of R. Eric Menzer as a member of the Downtown Inc Board (YBIDA), which term shall expire December 31, 2016.

  3. Reappointment made by Council of Justine K. Landis as a member of the Historical Architectural Review Board, which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2017.

  4. Appointment made by Council of James E. Leaman as a member of the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB), to fill the expired term of Joan Burgasser, which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2017.
 
The Resolution was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 155 came up for discussion.
 
Motion to amend. President Ray said she has spoken with members of HARB including current member John Fox who serves as an alternate, and James Leaman who was recommended for appointment as a regular member. She said Mr. Fox and HARB members have requested Mr. Fox be appointed as a regular member and Mr. Leaman be appointed as an alternate member. All parties involved have agreed. Therefore, a motion was made by Ray, seconded by Nixon, to amend Resolution 155 to remove #4 above (Leaman appt.) and introduce separately as Resolution No. 156. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Therefore, Resolution No. 155, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 156, Session 2011, A Resolution of Council consenting to the following:
 
  1. Appointment of John M. Fox from an alternate member to a regular member of the Historical Architectural Review Board to fill the expired term of Joan Burgasser, which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2017.

  2. Appointment of James E. Leaman as an alternate member of the Historical Architectural Review Board to fill the unexpired term of John M. Fox, which term shall expire the first Monday of January 2016.
 
The Resolution was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 156 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 157, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for City Council in the amount of $1,200.00 from Printing/Binding to Advertising to cover legal advertising through year end 2011, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 157 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 158, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution establishing the 2012 Council Reorganization meeting date for Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 158 came up for discussion. 
 
Motion to amend. Council discussed the reorganization schedule and chose to begin the meeting at 6:00 p.m. in stead of 7:00 p.m. Therefore, a motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, to amend the reorganization meeting time from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Therefore, Council will hold its Reorganization meeting on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.
 
BUDGET DISCUSSION
 
President Ray announced that at this point in the meeting, Council will allow the public to discuss their concerns, suggestions and ideas on the budget and related items.
 
James Duff, York City School District, discussed the “Realty Transfer Tax (RTT)” He said back in the 1960's the earned income tax, being the largest, was shared by school districts and municipalities which created a stable tax. He said real estate transfer tax was thought to be fluctuating while Business Privilege Tax (BPT) seemed more stable. Municipalities were concerned because they had small budgets compared to the school district. Therefore, municipalities preferred to take all of the Business Privilege and Mercantile Taxes (MT). So there was cooperative discussion between the parties on which group would take which tax with the school district then taking the RTT. All taxes were allowed to be levied by the school and municipalities. However, he went on to explain, a Gentleman's agreement was made back then which was thought to be in the best interest of each entity. The agreement was that the school district continue to receive the RTT and the City could have the BPT and MT. If you take half of the RTT, he said the School District can't replace that loss. We are facing a difficult budget year and any loss of revenue would be detrimental. Mr. Duff stated that there are school board directors present this evening and we hope that you will understand and appreciate what appears to be to us an unfair position. He stated that this will be taking away our revenue source which years ago was approved through a Gentleman's agreement.
 
Councilwoman Smith said a few years ago she was fighting hard to get RTT into the city because the school district was getting funding from the state in the amount of $5 million. Mr. Duff said those funds have been dramatically cut. Councilwoman Smith said that is her point. She explained that during the time the school district was getting those funds, she supported the RTT option. However, this is a different fiscal year, and a different leadership. She said she no longer supports the RTT sharing because of those changes.
 
Margie Orr, President, York City School Board, explained that the $5 million Councilwoman Smith is speaking of was the state's reimbursement to the school district for charter schools. We no longer get reimbursement for charter schools and that's the financial difficulty our district now faces. She said this is a direct result of our Governor cutting our funding for charter schools. She said charter schools is what has caused us financial distress.
 
President Ray asked what is the amount that the school district now receives from the RTT.
 
Shawn Hain, York City School District, said they have $514,000 budgeted for 2012 but if this ordinance is approved, that will take us down to about $270,000. He said we urge you to take the RTT off the table. He said to take $270,000 from the school will take away teachers and that will negatively affect our children.
 
Mike Helfrich, resident, agreed that it appears you are taking money from one pocket and putting into another but from the same taxpayers. He said this only looks good on paper.
 
Next, Mr. Helfrich questioned the removal of five police officers. He said are those position funded through HUD dollars.
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke explained that funding for the five police officers is through a COPS grant, not HUD. The grant terms say that we cannot supplant with using federal grant money. He said they want to pay for us to have more officers than we can afford. If we eliminate police officer positions, the issue is are we supplanting.
 
Carl Sallade, city resident, said tax increases de-valuates your property. He said he has now lost 30% of the value of his home and it's difficult to sell. Raising taxes will create even more devaluation. He then quoted figures out of the financial section of the newspaper and devaluation of houses being sold. He said a tax increase will do tremendous long-term damage. He invited Council to circle the square with him to see the 4 empty spaces on each quadrant. Mr. Sallade said there are two choices, either move or go under because there are no other options. The solution is not raising taxes. It will only get worse. If it gets worse, you are looking at bankruptcy. Re-open some of the contracts you said you cannot re-open. Put your agendas aside and do whats in good conscience for the City of York.
 
Joel Jackson, city resident, seconded Mr. Sallade comments. He said tax increases hurt low income residents and lowers investment.
 
Cindy Mitzel, Human Relations Commissioner, asked that the HRC be given a year to operate at the 2010 budget levels so they can continue its mission. She stated that they want the opportunity to show they can make improvements.
 
Nina Aimable, city resident, asked Council to reconsider the 11% tax increase. She said several years ago, some of the ladies that use to live on her street moved because they couldn't afford to be here. She said not only are our taxes going up but so are public utilities. She said those women were senior citizens on a fixed income and Council should consider that fact.
 
Joanne Borders, city resident, stated that she hasn't heard anything about our state reps looking out for us and getting us some money. We need to rally them instead of squeezing us. When they make some concessions, then we can make some concessions. She stated that we need to go to the source. 
 
Jay Andrzejczyk, city resident, said he appreciates Council's openness to the parking system buyback option. He quoted expenses for running the parking system from 2006 to 2012. He said that outside of the box thinking will get us through these tough times.
 
Sandra Thompson, York NAACP, said to effectively try out the amended Human Relations ordinance, you need to have the resources. Although there are some drastic cuts that need to be made, there are certain things that you definitely need. We need to think of the HRC in that vein. She said the city has a history of underprivileged and under-served people who are hurting and need a place to go. She said she knows Council has a concern about accountability but she asked Council to give them the tools to do the job so they can succeed under the new ordinance. She urged Council to continue funding the HRC.
 
BUDGET WORK SESSION DISCUSSION
 
Council then went over the list they developed in Council's work session held on December 13. Since that time, Administrator O'Rourke has gone through the list and expressed how it impacts the General Fund (GF) Budget.
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke explained that everything discussed during the budget work session does not affect the General Fund at the full impact originally thought by Council. He said as we talk about reducing the tax increase, its important to understand the numbers. Here are some of the highlights:
 
Human Relations Commission: Figures were not considered at this time. 
 
Newsletter: Budgeted at $24K in Central Services. All of the various departments contribute to the Internal Services fund. 77% of what's budgeted would go back to the GF if expense is eliminated.
 
Martin Library: Line item is found in Central Services – 77% of GF.
 
Recreation Fund: Money for parks youth programming. All recreation fund. Eliminating would increase rate to reduce deficit but doesn't go into GF.
 
Eliminating 5 police: $240K impact. Would not hire 5 new officers. This would save the amount of annual salary for cadet and probationary officers, cost of uniforms, travel, meals, and cost of new equip.
 
President Ray asked if laying off employees would result in a larger amount saved. Administrator O'Rourke responded that we would have to pay unemployment benefits so the savings is not as big an impact as thought - only about $240K. Laid off employees are entitled to unemployment compensation.
 
Eliminate 1 Firefighter: $48-50K impact on GF. One employee would have to be laid off. The budget already eliminates 3 firefighter positions. The position would remove annual salary, clothing allotment, etc. of one firefighter.
 
Eliminate York Fest: No gain.
 
Merge Jobs of ED & Marketing Director: Not sure if achievable.
 
Professional Services: $16K savings in GF.
 
Eliminating $60K in Other Professional Services: Reduces GF by $60K.
 
Reducing Public Works Special Events: Doesn't have an impact on GF because it is funded in Recreation.
 
Cutting funding for WRCT: Funded through outside sources. Difference between outside sources and our cost is about $15K.
 
Horticulture: Doesn't impact GF.
 
Police Officer Furniture: Reduces GF by $1,500
 
Employee service awards: Reduces GF by $3,200
 
Eliminate Council Travel: Reduces GF by $1,000
 
Eliminate Council Bonus Pay: Not sure achievable without adopting ordinance to reduce the pay.
 
Eliminate Health Dept. Subsidy: Would lose several hundred thousand dollars because of how the health grants are structured. There is a 50/50 match for state health grant. Every grant is budgeted to contribute to HR, risk management, information services, solicitor, etc. The total contribution of grants would be around $500K. So if we eliminated $100K from GF, we would lose $500K from internal services fund.
 
General Authority (GA) Parking System: None of those recommendations save money because all revenue and expense. Parking Enforcement Officers are a separate from the parking system. Cashier is GF funded. To eliminate would result in zero gain.
 
Vehicles: Previously budgeted amount to pay for lease purchase agreements.
 
Other Contractual Services: Paid for by GA so we get no benefit eliminating it and no burden keeping it.
 
Business Administrator O'Rourke went on to discuss other line item suggestions made by Council that did not amount to more than a few hundred dollars to the greatest savings of $8,000.
 
President Ray encouraged residents to not wait until the last minute to share their suggestions and concerns.
 
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS 
  • Council will meet in General Committee at 6:30 p.m. on December 27 in Council Chambers to further discussion the budget.
  • Council will have its final meeting of the year on Thursday, December 29th at 12 noon in Council Chambers to consider adoption of the 2012 budget, tax rate, and related items.
  
COUNCIL COMMENT: None
 
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
 
NEXT MEETING: Council will meet in Special Session on December 29, 2011 at 12:00 noon in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to consider passage of the 2012 budget and related items, and end of year items.
 
The Reorganization meeting of Council is scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.
 
 
ADJOURNMENT:There being no further business, the December 20, 2011 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:43 p.m.