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City Council Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2012


CALL TO ORDER:  City Council reconvened in Special Session on October 22, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, to continue its special meeting of October 15, 2012 (8:00 a.m.), with the following Council members present: Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Mayor C. Kim Bracey and Assistant Solicitor Mark Elion.
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson-Mitchell, City Clerk.
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
President Hill-Evans announced that today's meeting is being reconvened from the October 15, 2012 meeting that was recessed in order to allow for background checks on the five candidates interviewed to fill the vacancy on Council. She announced that Council will select one of the following five candidates to fill said vacancy: Jessica Fieldhouse, James Norman, David Satterlee, Larry Homsher and Bryan Tate. She then summed up the process Council has followed thus far in its attempt to fill the vacancy on Council created by the death of Councilwoman Joanne Borders on September 24, 2012. 
Resolution No. 115, Session 2012 (View), A Resolution appointing a member to fill a vacancy on York City Council to serve in said capacity until the first Monday of January 2014, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 115 came up for discussion.
President Hill-Evans asked that each Council member preliminarily discuss their thoughts on who they would like to see fill this vacancy and why.
Vice President Nixon thanked all candidates who applied for this position. He said this is not an easy spot to be in and he acknowledged the passion each candidate has for the City of York. He said he supports the appointment of Bryan Tate as he would bring legislative experience having served for Congressman Todd Platts. He stated that he feels Mr. Tate would be able to hit the ground running and that he would be a valuable member of Council.
Councilwoman Nelson thanked all candidates and said she wasn't sure how the interviews would go but was very pleased with how each candidate responded. She said she watched the interviews over and over again on WRCT and as she is a proponent of support for mothers, veterans and the minority population, she feels David Satterlee would be the best candidate to fill this vacancy as he shows a strong commitment to the community that serves this sector of our population. 
Councilman Helfrich applauded each candidate for their willingness to serve. He stated that this is a very difficult decision and he respects the talents of each candidate. As the City of York seems to struggle with its cooperation from the state, he said he feels that Bryan Tate's legislative complexities and experience would serve as an invaluable tool in assisting City Council. Therefore, he said he would support Mr. Tate's appointment.
President Hill-Evans acknowledged each candidates' interest in and service to the City of York. She said she has been fastidiously reviewing each resume and going through her notes in her quest to select the candidate she feels would best serve this position. She explained that her nomination is based on someone she feels would offer open mindedness and would stand strong on their own merits. She stated that the characteristics of compassion, open mindedness, and ability to share new ideas were best presented by David Satterlee. As such, President Hill-Evans said her nomination would be to appoint David Satterlee. 
President Hill-Evans stated that it appears that Council's preliminary statements reflect a possible split vote. 
Assistant Solicitor Elion explained that Section 413(b) of the Optional City Charter Law states, "[t]he mayor may attend meetings of council and may take part in discussion of council but shall have no vote except in the case of a tie on the question of filling a vacancy in the council, in which case he may cast the deciding vote." Therefore, if a formal vote is taken and there is a tie, the Mayor will cast the deciding vote. 
President Hill-Evans asked Mayor Bracey if she had questions for Mr. Tate and Mr. Satterlee as it appears a split vote is more than likely to result as both of these candidates appear to be of particular interest to Council. 
Mayor Bracey congratulated Council on a successful process in selecting a candidate to fill this vacancy and she thanked all who stepped up to the charge. She said she watched the interviews on WRCT and the level of commitment and compassion for our city expressed by the candidates was quite impressive. Mayor Bracey urged those not selected to take part in the upcoming election by voting, volunteering or running for office. Mayor Bracey then reminisced on the late Joanne Borders whom she described as a tireless activist who was involved in and cared deeply for our community. She asked Mr. Tate and Mr. Satterlee how they plan to help keep her legacy alive and their political affiliation. 
David Satterlee said he is a registered Democrat. He stated that he believes in the democratic process as he embraces differences and the fundamental values created through this process which helps us to make difficult decisions. Mr. Satterlee said he did not know the late Councilwoman Borders but he believes in York City and feels his commitment to the community, coupled with his involvement with students through the education sector, will be contributing factors in carrying on Councilwoman Borders' legacy. 
Bryan Tate said he is a registered Republican. He said he is rooted in our community, his mother served on the school board, and he lives, works and plays in York City. Mr. Tate stated that he believes in a smaller more productive government that represents different ways of thinking. He then gave a brief background of his education, and public and community service. He stated that he has consistently been involved in the City of York and although he cannot fill the late Councilwoman Borders' shoes, he feels his education, community involvement, volunteerism, and advocacy makes him a strong candidate.
President Hill-Evans thanked Mr. Tate and Mr. Satterlee for their responses. She then opened the floor to public comment.
Manuel Gomez urged the candidate selected to carry on Councilwoman Borders' legacy. He said she was a true believer and strong community activist. He then encouraged the candidate selected to disclose whether or not they contributed to any elected officials' campaign. 
Residents Joan Burgasser and Craig Smith spoke in support of Bryan Tate's appointment.
There being no further discussion, President Hill-Evans nominated David Satterlee to fill the vacancy on Council. The motion was seconded by Nelson and tied as follows: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans – 2; Nays – Helfrich, Nixon – 2.
President Hill-Evans explained that a tie vote has occurred and as such she announced that Mayor Bracey will cast the deciding vote.
Mayor Bracey voted to approve David Satterlee's appointment. Therefore, David Satterlee was officially voted to fill the vacancy on Council to serve until the first Monday of January 2014. 
Swearing-in. Mr. Satterlee was administered the Oath of Office.
Resolution No. 116, Session 2012 (View), A Resolution appointing David Satterlee to fill a vacancy on the following Council committees to serve until the first Monday of January 2014:
  • Chair of the Public Works Committee
  • Member of the Police Committee
  • Member of the Fire Committee
  • Member of the Rules & Administrative Code Committee
  • Council's Liaison to the Officers and Employees Retirement Board
Resolution No. 116 was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 116 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – 0.
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for November 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the October 22, 2012 special meting of Council adjourned at 5:37 p.m.