Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Receive City Updates
{ Live, work, play in York. }

City Council Meeting Minutes

December 18, 2012

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on December 18, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: David Satterlee, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Jeremy Holtzapple, York, PA, suggested Council amend Article 333 (specifically 333.15) of the Codified Ordinances regarding sidewalk food vendors as he feels one license total for Continental Square is unfair. Mr. Holtzapple then discussed tax-exempted properties owned by the RDA in that the city should block future purchases by the RDA and require them to list for sale the properties they currently own so they can be added back to the tax rolls. 
 
Robert Brunner, York, PA, asked for donations to assist fire victims. He also asked for toys and clothes donations to help allow those less fortunate an opportunity to enjoy Christmas. 
 
Mike Rhine, York, PA, alleged that he was harassed by an off duty police officer on November 30, 2012 at Holy Hound Bar. He said the officer poured water on him at which time Mr. Rhine said he went after the officer. He later visited internal affairs officer Dana Ward who told him that charges were filed against him. 
 
Manuel Gomez, York, PA, agreed with comments made by Jeremy Holtzapple. He went further to suggest that a timeline be implemented for the RDA to list its properties for sale. 
 
Franklin Williams, York, PA, discussed traffic issues with regard to motorists failure to yield to pedestrians.  
 
There being no further public comment, President Hill-Evans adjourned the General Committee meeting and convened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, with the following members present: David Satterlee, 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: Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson-Mitchell, City Clerk.
 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of December 4, 2012 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Hill-Evans read correspondence and announcements.
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
Committee Work Session: Next work session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss items for February's legislative agenda.
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: No reports.
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
Resolution No. 132, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving the recommendations of HARB in issuing a permit to Nancy Green for work to be done at 129 E. Philadelphia St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 132 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 133, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving a final land development plan submitted by WellSpan Health to construct a one-story building at 1401 Roosevelt Ave., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 133 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Resolution no. 134, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution consenting to the appointments made by the Mayor of Jamiel L. Alexander and Neil Weaver to the York City General Authority which terms shall expire January 1, 2018, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 134 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0. The City Clerk then administered the oath of office to both appointees. 
 
Resolution No. 135, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending fees for the Bureau of Permits, Planning and Zoning to become effective 10 days after approval by Council, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and deferred until the first meeting of January 2013. President Hill-Evans explained that fee legislation must sit for one meeting prior to final passage. 
 
Resolution No. 136, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Medical Excess, LLC for 2013 stop loss insurance, was introduced by Helfrich, read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 136 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 137, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution establishing Council's first meeting for the year 2013 for January 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. (public comment to commence at 6:30 p.m.), was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 137 came up for discussion.
 
Motion to amend. Council debated amending its first meeting for 2013 due to scheduling conflicts. Therefore, a motion was made by Helfrich, seconded by Nixon, to amend Council's first meeting for the year 2013 from January 2, 2013 to January 15, 2013. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
There being no further discussion, on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 137, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Council will hold its first meeting of 2013 on January 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.in City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, 17401.
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS & RESOLUTIONS
 
Resolution No. 138, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending Bill 34 (2013 Budget) to increase line items for the York City Human Relations Commission in the amount of $2,658.00, was introduced by Helfrich, read at length, and on motion of Helfrich, seconded by Satterlee, Resolution No. 138 came up for discussion.
 
Councilwoman Nelson said although she supports the work of the Human Relations Commission (HRC), she does not support this Resolution. She stated that the HRC is in turmoil and is looking to hire an attorney to investigate the inner workings of the Commission. She said there is enough money in the budget to cover staff salaries and that she would not support any additional amendments until the investigation is completed. 
 
Councilman Helfrich stated that he is struggling with this as the Executive Director of the HRC is on administrative leave pending investigation so he questions the work being done. 
 
Councilman Satterlee said he supports the HRC and stated that holding off on this amendment would not be in the best interest of the HRC in continuing its mission to serve our residents. 
 
Vice President Nixon said he also supports the HRC and stated that he doesn't want to cripple the good work they do so he would vote to approve this amendment. 
 
President Hill-Evans stated that should would vote to approve this Resolution because funding their efforts is in the best interest of our citizens. 
 
Manuel Gomez, resident, opined that the HRC is in complete shambles but he hopes the Council will support continued funding.
 
Bobby Brunner, resident, said he would like Council to hold off on funding until completion of the investigation. 
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 138 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – Nelson – 1.
 
Motion to waive Rule 215. A motion was made by Helfrich, seconded by Nelson, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of one Resolution amending the 2013 Budget for the Department of Economic & Community Development. The motion to waive Rule 215 FAILED by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – Nixon, Satterlee – 2. The motion failed as a unanimous vote of all Council members present was required to waive Rule 215. 
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 34, Ordinance No. 34, Session 2012, (View) A Bill adopting the 2013 Budget, as amended by Resolution No. 138, which was introduced by Helfrich at the November 20 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Helfrich, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 34 came up for discussion.
 
Councilman Helfrich said we are looking at a huge pension obligation in the near future so it's prudent that we tighten our purse strings. He stated that in the past, there were nickle and dime reductions made to help reduce the tax burden and although there are several items he does not support, he said for the sake of providing services to our residents, he doesn't want to strip the city to the bare bones.
 
Vice President Nixon agreed that we are dealing with some serious financial issues and that we may need to take drastic measures in the upcoming months. However, he said he does support the budget presented this evening. 
 
Councilman Satterlee said he supports safety and services for our residents so to shave small amounts here and there won't solve our budget woes. He stated that he supports working on the budget early on and moving in a direction that will allow us to make serious headway instead of number crunching over a few short weeks. 
 
Councilwoman Nelson said she would like to go on record to say she is disappointed that we have less firefighters with fewer vehicles, WRCT failed to raise adequate funds to support its own operations, turmoil exists within the Human Relations Commission, and that there was no appropriations made for Council to secure its own attorney.
 
President Hill-Evans said she is also disappointed that WRCT has not become self sustaining as promised and that the HRC is in such turmoil. Additionally, she said she is not in favor of some of the new positions being created in the 2013 budget but is pleased that there will be no tax increase. 
 
Manuel Gomez, resident, stated that if Council doesn't restructure its debt or address the deficit, we are headed for serious trouble. He too said he was dismayed that neither WRCT or the HRC raised funds as promised. He said Council has the power to hold off on this budget and urged Council to do so. He stated that Council raised some legitimate concerns that should be addressed before this budget is approved. 
 
Franklin Williams, resident, questioned why we had a 17% tax increase in the 2012 budget but there is no increase in the 2013 budget. He wondered how the city was able to accomplish that. 
 
Cindy Martin, resident, asked Council to vote their conscience and cut things from the budget that need to be cut.
 
Jeremy Holtzapple, resident, said next year's budget should reflect the bare necessities.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 34, Ordinance No. 34, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson – 3; Nays – Hill-Evans, Helfrich – 2.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 35, Ordinance No. 35, Session 2012, (View) An ordinance adopting the 2013 tax rate ($20.37 on each one thousand dollars of assessed valuation), which was introduced by Helfrich at the November 20 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Helfrich, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 35, Ordinance No. 35, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nixon, Helfrich, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None
 
COUNCIL COMMENT
 
President Hill-Evans made some final comments reflecting on the past year from City Council's perspective. She touched on the passing of Councilwoman Joanne Borders, hiring of new public safety positions, development initiatives like the Homes at Thackston Park project, new businesses such as Chick-Fil-A, trash collection contacts, license plate scanning systems, Council's new committee structure, and much more. She said we look forward to even greater things in the coming year.
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for January 15, 2013 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 December 18, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:07 p.m.