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City Council Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013
Signed Resolutions
No Bills Approved

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on March 19, 2013 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
 
Tim Weaver, York, PA, and city employee, urged the administration to release the results of employee job description survey done back in July 2012. 
 
Joe Haberle, York, PA, invited residents to take part in the White Rose Senior Center's Meals on Wheels program. For more information please call 843-9704.
 
The following residents spoke in support of the mission and goals of York City Human Relations Commission (HRC) and its executive director who was terminated after an internal investigation, and some questioned violations to HUD rules and lack of due process in terminating the HRC's executive director: Attorney Sandra Thompson of the York Branch of the NAACP, Leo Cooper, Martin Kearney and Heather Roth of the PA Human Relations Commission, Sharee McFadden, Norma Johnson, Manuel Gomez, Jeff Kirkland, Tina Hunter, and Stephanie Seaton.
 
Genevieve Ray, York, PA, said she hopes there is a future for the HRC and that vacancies on the commission need to be filled. 
 
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: No members of the Administration were present.
 
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 March 5, 2013 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Hill-Evans read correspondence and announcements.
 
PRESENTATIONS
 
Women's History Month: Vice President Nixon read a proclamation declaring March as Women's History Month in the City of York. Anne McFeely and Suzanne Robinson, Co-Presidents of the York Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), were in attendance and thanked Council. (Read Proclamation)
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
Committee Work Sessions: Scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss items for April's legislative agenda.
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS 
 
Economic & Community Development Committee – Renee S. Nelson, Chair: The landowner curative map amendment submitted by York Building Products is scheduled to appear on the York City Planning Commission's April 8th meeting agenda for discussion. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. (ViewUPDATE: On March 26, 2013, York Building Products withdrew its request for a landowner curative amendment.
 
Fire Committee - Henry Hay Nixon, Chair: A Bill amending the Fire Prevention Code of the Codified Ordinances to phase out the requirement for connection to the city's gamewell system will be further discussed at Council's March 27th committee meeting. (View)
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
Resolution No. 19, Session 2013, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Dan Dwyer for work to be done at 17-19 W. Market St., and Erin Kilby for work to be done at 156 N. George St., was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Helfrich, Resolution No. 19 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Satterlee, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 20, Session 2013, (View) A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision and land development plans submitted by Darrah Realty to combine 3 parcels into one and redevelop an existing building into an 8 unit multi-family and neighborhood commercial land use at 237-241 S. Court St., was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 20 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. 20, Session 2013, (View) A Resolution approving the re-appointments of William D. Guntrum as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2016, and Don Hake as a member of the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals, which term shall expire April 1, 2016, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 21 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 4; Nays – 0; Abstain – Satterlee – 1. Councilman Satterlee abstained as Mr. Guntrum is his partner. 
 
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None
 
 
COUNCIL COMMENT
 
Councilwoman Nelson said she wanted to see the Human Relations Commission come up with a definitive plan before any support funding was approved. She said it is now March and not only has the HRC lost its executive director, there is also no plan in place to continue to address the needs of the community. She said she feels Council needs to seek independent legal advice to assist in situations such as this.
 
Councilman Helfrich stated that one of the components crucial to the continued existence of the HRC was fund-raising, which unfortunately did not happen. He said he did not see the findings of the investigation on the HRC executive director so he doesn't know the reasons supporting her termination. He said he is embarrassed how this situation was handled and stated that Council may need to consider amending the HRC ordinance.
 
Vice President Nixon said he has always supported the existence of the HRC but would not support expending taxpayer dollars for a dysfunctional commission. 
 
President Hill-Evans stated that during the budget meetings she said she would not support a budget that did not fund the HRC. However, she said she is appalled how the HRC has conducted itself over the past year and that she lost confidence in the commission. She said it is her hope that we can get this commission back up and running and that she supports amending the HRC ordinance to make it stronger. 
 
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for April 2, 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 March 19, 2013 meeting of Council adjourned at 7:40 p.m.