City Council Meeting Minutes
August 8, 2007
City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, 2007, in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Toni Smith, Wm. Lee Smallwood, Vickie Washington, Joseph R. Musso, Vice President, and Cameron Texter, President, with President Texter presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present. (Note: The Council meeting was held on Wednesday, August 8th, as Tuesday, August 7th was the 24th Annual National Night Out initiative, which was observed by Council.)
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, and Kim Bracey, Director of Community Development. Also present were Don Murphy, Treasurer, Stephanie Seaton, Director of the Human Relations Commission, and Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington. Matt Jackson, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, were absent.
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.
A motion was made by Washington, seconded by Smith, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of July 17, 2007, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays - 0.
Council President Statement
President Texter read the following statement in response to an article printed in the York Daily Record about a personal incident that occurred on Sunday, August 6, 2007 between himself, his estranged wife, and his son:
“You probably have heard about the police filing harassment charges and my soon-to-be ex-wife requesting a Protection from Abuse Order and taking other action against me.
I make this public statement about the matter for two reasons. First, I believe the public deserves an explanation. Second, the incident does, in my opinion, raise some pertinent public policy questions and concerns regarding the police department and York County Children and Youth Services.
I wish to state clearly that I acted as any concerned and responsible parent would have acted given the circumstances. My main goal remains to ensure the safety, good health and welfare of my 15-year-old son who, while going through all sorts of growing pains, faces a most difficult situation.
If I committed harassment then I believe every other caring, concerned and responsible parent here in York County would have also committed harassment.
Over the past week I have become aware of allegations of illegal activities going on in my former home. Many concerned neighbors have contacted me about these activities, most of which involve drugs and alcohol abuse by teenagers, but some also involve 22-year old men and the corruption of minors. In fact, I had learned that one teenage boy had overdosed on drugs at the home.
I personally investigated these activities over the past week. I did the right thing by speaking to police even before the incident on Sunday.
For the record, I witnessed 22-year-old men smoking marijuana in the home with 15-year-old children. I broke up a beer and sex party over the weekend at the home that involved some of these same 22-year-old men and four teenage girls. Despite my efforts and my contacting the police, these same men broke into the house that I own on Kelly Drive three times over the weekend.
I caught these actors in the home again illegally on Sunday morning and called the police. However, these characters were released and not charged with any crimes.
Sunday night I learned that my son had gone missing while I attended the NASCAR race at Pocono. My wife specifically told me to deal with the situation after the three-hour ride back to York as she was leaving to go out.
Upon my return to York, an unrelated incident occurred. An African-American teenager confronted me in front of my apartment in the 400 Block of West Market Street.
I believe this child had planned to rob my companions and I. This child, while reaching several times into his waist band as if he was drawing a gun, called me the *N* word, used other obscenities and told me he would ‘shut me up for good.’ I felt my life endangered and believed I was about to be shot. I somehow talked myself out of the situation, grabbed my cell phone and called 911. I stayed on the phone with a 911 dispatcher for 15 minutes as the character and his buddy casually walked down Market Street. At no time did a police officer contact me about this incident. I have talked to the Police Commissioner about it.
When I arrived at my at the home I own on Kelly Drive soon after, I immediately found the same 22-year-old man who had caused the earlier problems and who I had police remove from the house back in February on the premises again. I ordered him to leave the scene, which he refused to do.
I learned my son had not heard from my soon to be ex-wife and did not know where she was or when she would return. He had not contacted her whatsoever, nor did she return home to make sure of his safety. For his protection, I decided to take him to my car away from the 22-year-old and then to my home.
My soon to be ex-wife then drove by the home. I immediately released my son. She and I exchanged words. I left a short time later. At no time did I threaten or harm anyone. At no time did the police speak to me about the incident. I learned that my wife had police file charges against me when a York Dispatch reporter contacted me at 8:30 a.m. Monday.
In the midst of this spectacle, I had contacted and explained the situation to York County Children and Youth Services.
I was told that Children and Youth do not get involved in the protection of 15-year-olds. However, I understand that Children and Youth is now investigating me for my actions in trying to protect my son from illegal, immoral and potentially dangerous matters.
Again, my sole concern remained with my son’s protection. I do not want to have my family life become a source of public discourse. I make this statement because I feel the public deserves an explanation and should know the facts involved, particularly in regards what the police and other agencies did or did not do.
I thank all those who have expressed support in this time of need. Let’s move on to the business at hand.”
- Respectfully Submitted: Cameron Texter, President of Council
Wm. Bolt, 1016 S. Pine St., York, PA, and member of the Veterans Memorial Park Association (the “Association”), applauded the efforts of the Police Department as he has seen a huge drop in the Saturday evening curfew violation activities that were plaguing his neighborhood. Mr. Bolt feels the skating rink is not letting the kids out early enough to allow them to get home before curfew (midnight). Next, Mr. Bolt reported that members of the Association have appeared numerous times in court to testify against property owners in violation of the Nuisance Abatement law. He said they appear and testify regardless of the threats and harassment they get because of it. However, he went on to say, it’s discouraging that members take this risk in vein as he finds that many violators tend to receive second chances. Mr. Bolt suggested shutting down nuisance properties and hit property owners where it counts – in the pocket.
Kim Bolt, 1016 S. Pine St., York, PA, and member of the Veterans Memorial Park Association (the “Association”), elaborated on Mr. Bolt’s comments in that she serves on the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals and is a party to nuisance abatement hearings. She feels she cannot do her job when city officials make deals with negligent landlords. She said these “deals” make the Board and the City look like a joke. Mr. Bolt stated that the purpose of the code is to abate nuisances but the law doesn’t work if deals are being made, she said.
President Texter thanked Mr. & Mrs. Bolt for their comments and assured them that he is working on redrafting portions of the Nuisance Abatement law (Article 1751). He then invited Mr. & Mrs. Bolt to review the Article 1751 redraft (Click here to view Bill No. 19) and to provide any input and/or recommendations.
Bill Evans, 227 Irving Rd., York, PA, ask if anyone responded to the trash complaint Mr. Earl Carter spoke about at the July 17th Council meeting. President Texter responded that after the meeting, Mr. Carter’s complaint was forwarded to Community Development Director Kim Bracey and Kendra Hunter (former) Director of the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning, for further action. Mr. Evans said unfortunately the problem with residents placing trash out in unapproved containers and on non-trash days is still a problem. He said he is embarrassed by the way the city looks. Mr. Evans gave an account of an incident he witnessed where a seeing-eye-dog couldn’t lead a blind gentleman through a neighborhood block because the dog came across trash sprawled all over a sidewalk and didn’t know where to guide the blind man. President Texter said the Administration is aware of this problem and that Operation Clean Sweep is an initiative geared to help clean up our streets.
Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, paid respect to the late Bill Kucker, President of the Southwest Neighborhood Association, who recently passed away. He said Bill was principal and persistent in his efforts to clean up the southwest neighborhood. He stated that Bill was a worker, not a fighter, and was a fine example to the community. Bill will be sadly missed, he said. Mr. Williams then paid condolences to the family of Madeline Mason who also recently passed away. He spoke kind words about Ms. Mason and reminisced on her level of passion for the York community.
Carolyn Stump, 7 W. Philadelphia St., York, PA, announced that on August 25, 2007, the Codorus Creek Improvement Partnership will be hosting the Historic Codorus Creek Boat Parade. The parade will boast decorated, non-motorized boats or homemade floats designed to represent our community groups, business, etc. The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Bantz Park and will end at the Codorus Boat Basin. Mr. Stump said the public is invited to attend. For more information, please visit: www.codoruscreek.com or call CCIP at 718-5431.
Tim Page, 680 E. Princess St., York, PA, said he feels America has gone down the tube and that the Federal government is nothing more than a bunch of crooks. Mr. Page then complained about the junkyard business located in his neighborhood on E. Princess St., which he feels is operating illegally but is being allowed to operate as such because of political corruption. Mr. Page also spoke about those in attendance tonight to discuss the American Ash Recycling (AAR) resolution that do not live in the city but may have been forced to attend because of their employer’s personal financial interests. Mr. Page said he wonders if these AAR employees are being compensated for their attendance this evening. Next, Mr. Page discussed nuisance abatement and agrees with Mr. & Mrs. Bolt that rules are being bent for landlords, which he opines is also a form of political corruption. Mr. Page stated that voters need to take an active role in changing the face of government. Lastly, Mr. Page read a prepared statement about making individuals receiving state welfare checks to take urinalyses tests to prove they are not using illegal substances.
Next, Vice President Musso recalled discussions brought up by Mr. & Mrs. Bolt about the skating rink and the time minors are being let out of the facility. What happed to discussion about providing bus service for these youths, he asked. Police Commissioner Mark Whitman responded that a feasibility study was done and shared with Rabbit Transit who opted not to take part in that initiative. Vice President Musso said he thought the Administration was looking into private, no-charge bus service. He said he would like Commissioner Whitman to pursue funding options to assist with this initiative. Commissioner Whitman explained that Rabbit Transit is a privately owned business so it’s up to them to cooperate in this program. He went on to say that it would be great if parents could assist in transporting children to and from the skating rink. Commissioner Whitman did say that curfew sweeps continue and maybe one day we can look into establishing curfew centers throughout the city.
Councilwoman Smith said she has heard from a few retired teachers and other community leaders who have offered to meet with psychiatrists, youths, parents, educators, etc. in discussing disciplinary issues plaguing our youths. She said there are agencies out there that are willing and eager to work with the city in re-engaging our youth in positive growth and entertainment.
Community Development, Joseph R. Musso, Chair: Vice President Musso reported that the C.D. Committee met this evening at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss a report completed by Municipal Resources regarding recommendations and review of the city's current permit, inspection, and plan review processes. He said no action was taken but committee members did review the 65-page report. Vice President Musso thanked Mayor Brenner for agreeing to have this study done. He asked that Community Development and the Fire Department report back in October after recommendations are carried out.
Resolution No. 104, Session 2007, A Resolution approving a school crossing guard agreement between the City of York, the York City School District, and Community Progress Council, whereby the Community Progress Council has offered to assist the City of York and the York City School District in finding, supervising, and retaining an adequate number of reliable school crossing guards and to ensure placement of school crossing guards at specified locations on appropriate dates and times, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 104 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Legislative Agenda (Items were considered out of sequence from the printed agenda.)
Resolution No. 105, Session 2007, A Resolution approving an encroachment agreement with York College of PA to encroach within the public rights-of-way along lands owned by York College within the southern right-of-way along Springettsbury Ave., the western right-of-way line along Pershing Ave., and the southern right-of-way line along LiLac Lane, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 105 came up for discussion.
City Clerk Dianna Thompson announced that an amendment to the encroachment agreement was presented prior to the meeting. Amendments are found on page 2, paragraphs 1, 3, and 5 of the agreement as noted and attached to Resolution No. 105 (located in the City Clerk’s Office).
Motion to amend. A motion was made by Musso, seconded by Washington, to accept said amendments as noted by the City Clerk. The motion to amend passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Tom Connelly, LSC Design, and Ken Martin, York College, were onboard and explained that the college proposes to install ornamental fencing, lighting and improved sidewalks within the public right-of-way, which would also provide a an added level of safety for pedestrians.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 105 (with amended encroachment agreement), passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 106, Session 2007, A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision plan submitted by York College, 725 Grantley Rd., to combine ten existing lots with lots located in Spring Garden Twp. and the City of York (Lots 7, 8, 9, & 10) with Lot 10 having frontage along W. Jackson St. within the City limits, was introduced by Musso, read at length and on motion of Musso, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 106 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Item pulled from Agenda. Councilwoman Smith withdrew agenda item #8, Immigration Resolution from the agenda. Agenda item #8 was a Resolution supporting earned legalization for immigrants to this country in an unauthorized status who have built up equities and are otherwise admissible.
Councilwoman Smith said this Resolution has sparked much controversy, which is worthy of debate. Therefore, she said she’d feel much better pulling this Resolution from the agenda to provide an opportunity for in-depth discussion and debate on this issue. She then thanked Jeanette Torres and Ray Barajas for presenting the language for this Resolution and submitting it to Council for consideration.
Supplemental Agenda. Councilman Smallwood offered a revised version of the Resolution presented by Councilwoman Smith. Therefore, a motion was made by Smallwood to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one Resolution, a Resolution re-writing the Immigration Resolution that was pulled from agenda (agenda item #8) to read as follows:
“WHEREAS, immigrants have been an integral part of the development of the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, we do not condone unlawful entry or circumvention of our nation’s immigration laws; and
WHEREAS, reforms are necessary in order for our system to respond to the realities of life and the demands that compel people to immigrate to the United States;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that We, the Members of York City Council, do hereby call upon the Congress and the President of the United States to take a comprehensive, bipartisan, and responsible approach to solving our broken immigration system; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution approved on this 8th day of August 2007 be forwarded to Congressman Todd Platts, Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey, and President George Bush.”
There was no second to Smallwood’s motion, therefore, the motion to consider said supplemental agenda containing the above-drafted version of the Immigration Resolution died.
Jeanette Torres, 631 N. Hartley St., York, PA, presented Council with research documents relating to immigration law. (The research documents included: a report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police titled “Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement.”; Issue in brief: Immigration Law Enforcement by State and Local Police; Immigration Day Proclamation; and a Resolution of the Council of the City of Lancaster, PA, urging the rejection of all immigration efforts that criminalize individuals because of their immigration status.)
Ray Barajas, 776 Atlantic Ave., York, PA, thanked Council for considering the Resolution he and Ms. Torres presented for consideration. He said they worked very hard to draft this legislation and that he looks forward to discussing this further during the Police Committee meeting. Mr. Barajas rejected the language presented in the Resolution submitted by Councilman Smallwood as he felt it was a minimal attempt to address such a large and controversial issue.
Councilwoman Smith spoke at length about why she supports immigration reform. She said we now have generations of families living in the United States and she would hate to see these families get separated because of irresponsible legislation that seeks to criminalize and de-humanize immigrants.
Joan Maruskin, York County Community Against Racism (YCCAR), said YCCAR will be hosting a series of public meetings to provide dialogue on the issue of immigration. The public is welcome to attend. You may visit YCCAR at www.yccar.org or by contacting them at YCCAR, 116 N. George St., York, PA 17401, Phone: (717) 718-2260; or email: email@example.com. The YCCAR Center is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Councilwoman Washington said she would like to see this Resolution appear before the Police Committee for possible future discussion as she feels it imperative that Council hear from the Police Department on its policies and procedures with regard to illegal immigrants. (Click here to view the Immigration Resolution.)
Vice President Musso said if this legislation is discussed in a future committee meeting, he does not wish to form legislation during the committee meeting but would, however, consider language if it is presented.
Motion to introduce by short title. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Musso, to read Resolution No. 107 by short title only. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution No. 107, Session 2007, A Resolution opposing the application by American Ash Recycling Corporation of Pennsylvania (AAR) for DEP’s re-approval of a comprehensive General Permit Renewal Application for processing and the subsequent re-use of Treated Ash Aggregate, was introduced by Texter and read by short title. On motion of Texter, seconded by Musso, Resolution No. 107 came up for discussion.
Motion to refer to committee. Councilwoman Washington said she came here this evening fully prepared to vote on this legislation. However, after seeing all the AAR employees present this evening and over-hearing concerns from them that if AAR’s permit is rejected, they could lose their jobs, she recommended Resolution No. 107 be referred to committee. After discussion on which committee to refer this Resolution, a motion was made by Washington, and seconded by Smallwood, to refer Resolution No. 107 to the Community Development Committee. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Vice President Musso, Chair of the Community Development Committee, scheduled a Community Development Committee meeting for Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss Resolution No. 107. (Click here to view Resolution No. 107.) Vice President Musso said he looks forward to hearing from both sides of the AAR issue and feels this will be a valid debate with input from AAR and review of the scientific data from Mike Helfrich of the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeepers.
President Texter brought attention to a letter he wrote to Ron Hassinger, Chief, General Permits / Beneficial Use Section, Division of Municipal Waste, outlining: (1) concerns from residents living around the AAR site, (2) scientific data on the effects Treated Ash Aggregate (TAA) is having on the environment, and (3) a request for a public hearing to discuss AAR’s request for re-approval of a General Permit for processing and use of TAA. (Click here to view letter) A copy of this letter is also attached to Resolution No. 107 located in the City Clerk’s Office.
Councilwoman Smith said she lives in Fireside (which borders the AAR site) and is happy to see the huge TAA pile is gone. However, she stated that she still has concerns about the long term and/or lasting affects TAA has caused the environment and whether the residual effects of the TAA has jeopardized the health and welfare of residents.
Councilman Smallwood asked President Texter to consider inviting representatives from DEP to attend the August 28th Community Development Committee meeting to add to discussion.
Dan Muller, President of American Ash Recycling, read a statement requesting Council to defeat Resolution No. 107 should it ever come to a vote. He explained, in detail, the operations of AAR and how TAA is treated and handled. Mr. Muller insisted that the handling of TAA is done in a very safe manner and believes the dust residents are seeing is coming from some other source. Mr. Muller stated that AAR is dedicated to the community.
About American Ash Recycling
The York, Pennsylvania facility is AAR's second full-scale MWC ash recycling facility and the largest of its kind in the United States. This facility incorporates Duos Engineering (USA), Inc.'s third generation technology, updated with many new features, to recycle over 90% of the ash stream. Currently, this facility recycles all MWC ash from the York County Solid Waste Authority's waste-to-energy facility (approx. 160,000 tons per year). AAR's process recovers and recycles substantially all ferrous and non-ferrous metals; removes unburned combustible materials; and sizes and treats the remaining ash into a uniform AggRite® for use in permitted construction applications. The fully computerized facility recycles the entire ash output from the York County Solid Wastes and Refuse Authority MSW Combustor. It is designed to process up to 1,000 tons per day, or 240,000 tons per year, using two work shifts. All AggRite® produced by the plant has been marketed for reuse in permitted construction applications. Additionally, markets have been established for all recycled ferrous and non-ferrous metals recovered by AAR's recycling process (estimated at over 20,000 tons annually).
Mike Helfrich, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, challenged Mr. Muller’s statement about TAA and the safety of its handling. He waived a stack of violations in the air resulting from AAR’s mishandling and storage of TAA. Mr. Helfrich said the scientific data doesn’t lie and this substance is negatively affecting our environment and more so the health of our residents. He stated that the noticeable black dust looming in the air in 2001-2002 he knows was coming from AAR and its TAA pile. Mr. Helfrich then went into detail about the scientific data which he feels clearly reflects AAR’s participation in the mishandling of TAA and how that mishandling has polluted our environment.
Tim Page, 680 E. Princess St., York, PA, said he has video footage of how the ash piles are filtering into Willis Run and the Codorus Creek. He stated that he doesn’t think Mr. Muller is being completely honest.
Final Passage of Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 24, Session 2007, A Bill repealing in its entirety Article 137.11 “Unclaimed Moneys Fund” of the Codified Ordinances, which was introduced by Smallwood at the July 17, 2007 meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smallwood, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 24, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Final Passage of Bill No. 27, Session 2007, (Click here to view Bill No. 27) A Bill establishing Article 153 “Historic Monument Preservation Fund” of the Codified Ordinances, which was introduced by Smallwood at the July 17, 2007 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smallwood, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 27 came up for discussion.
President Texter explained that at the July 17th meeting, Assistant Solicitor Hoyt explained that the Treasurer is recommending Bill No.’s 26 & 27 for amendment as a measure to remove a fund (Unclaimed Moneys Fund), which we no longer have authority to put money in and to establish a new fund (Historic Monument Preservation Fund) to put those dollars.
Treasurer Murphy explained that money previously escheated to the City of York in the Unclaimed Moneys Fund established by §137.11 of the Codified Ordinances, and the interest earned by the Fire Escrow Fund, established by §1512 of the Codified Ordinances, will be used to establish the Historic Monument Preservation Fund. The City of York may make additional contributions to the Fund. The initial contribution into the Fund will consist of $40,000 from the Fire Escrow Fund and $4,000 from the Unclaimed Moneys Fund, which is being abolished. Additionally, he explained, funds contributed, as described, will be invested in the York County Community Foundation with full title to be held by it as the property of the Foundation in its corporate capacity. Assets of the Fund will be invested and reinvested as described in Exhibit A attached to Bill No. 27. Distributions will be made annually upon the City submitting to the Foundation projected expenses for costs directly associated with routine and annual maintenance of historic monuments and cemeteries. Distributions from the Fund may be made for other than routine maintenance (major cleaning, reconstruction, etc.) from the principal, if necessary, if the request is made by the City of York’s Investment Committee (consisting of the Mayor, Controller, and Treasurer).
Vice President Musso questioned why historic monuments are being earmarked for these funds (~$40,000) and could these funds be used for any other purpose besides historic monuments. Treasurer Murphy said preserving our historic monuments and historic cemeteries is key to preserving York’s rich history.
Vice President Musso agreed that historic preservation is important but feels some of this money could be used toward other purposes like saving our youth programs. Vice President Musso discussed at length the Wellington Youth Sports and Recreation Program that’s being started up by city resident Marion Kinard. He said Mr. Kinard is looking to provide a free football and cheerleading program to help get kids off the street and needs funding assistance to get his program up and running. So far, he said, Mr. Kinard has raise nearly $13,000 in private donations but needs a total of about $23,000 to purchase uniforms and equipment for approximately 160 kids participating in the program. Vice President Musso asked why we couldn’t provide some sort of start-up funding to assist this program especially in light of the youth violence and complaints from the public about getting our youth off the streets.
Treasurer Murphy agreed that saving youth programs deserves attention but argued that if we were to earmark this money for youth programs, there is no guarantee that we could continue to support funding. However, he said, historic monuments and cemeteries have been here for centuries and to preserve them for centuries more is of significant historical importance. When looking at youth programs, he said, there is no guarantee that these programs will be in existence come next year.
A discussion and debate ensued on how monies from this fund could be appropriated and Council’s role in the appropriation process.
Vice President Musso said he couldn’t support this legislation without answers on how and if some of these funds could be used for purposes other than historic monuments. Vice President Musso became very frustrated that Council seems to be left out of the loop when it comes to city finances.
Motion to table. As there was no resolution to this discussion, Councilman Smallwood made a motion to table Bill No. 27. The motion was seconded by Washington, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Final Passage of Bill No. 28, Ordinance No. 25, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Bureau of Housing Services for the CDBG and HOME programs to reflect changes resulting from unallocated funds allowing for a change to the 2007 Action Plan, which was introduced by Musso at the July 17th meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Musso, seconded by Washington, Bill No. 28, Ordinance No. 25, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Introduction of Bill No. 29, Session 2007, A Bill vacating a portion of Newberry St. running between Springettsbury Ave. and York College Main Campus parking lot, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the September 18, 2007 meeting of Council.
President Texter announced that in accordance with Section 2916 of the 3rd Class City Code, street vacations must sit for at least 28 days prior to consideration of final passage. Therefore, Bill No. 29 will be considered for passage at the September 18th meeting of Council.
Introduction of Bill No. 30, Session 2007, A Bill amending Article 714 “Noise Control” of the Codified Ordinances to simplify the ordinance and make it more enforceable, was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and came up for discussion.
Motion to refer to committee. A motion was made by Washington, seconded by Musso, to refer Bill No. 30 to the Police Committee. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0. President Texter, Chair of the Police Committee, scheduled a committee meeting for Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to discuss Bill No. 30. (Click here to view Bill No. 30)
Councilwoman Washington asked Assistant Solicitor Washington to provide a written opinion on the legality and possible challenges, if any, prior to the committee meeting. Assistant Solicitor Washington said she would provide said opinion.
Introduction of Bill No. 31, Session 2007, A Bill amending Article 513.14 “Parking Prohibited in Specified Places” of the Codified Ordinances to add language to allow businesses around the Sovereign Bank Stadium (baseball stadium) to qualify for a residential parking sticker, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the September 4, 2007 meeting of Council. (Click here to view Bill No. 31)
Resolution No. 108, Session 2007, A Resolution reappointing Linda Hengst, Clara Anderson, and Phyllis Dowling as members of the York City Human Relations Commission, as recommended by the Mayor, which all terms shall expire July 16, 2010, was introduced by Smallwood, read at length, and on motion of Smallwood, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 108 came up for discussion.
Stephanie Seaton, Director of the York City Human Relations Commission (YCHRC), spoke in favor of the reappointment of these Commissioners and thanked them for their willingness to continue service on the YCHRC. Director Seaton then outlined several initiatives of the YCHRC including the recent Unity March, which was very successful. She apologized to residents of S. Newberry St. because she found out that a few water bottles were left on the curb. Ms. Seaton stated that they try very hard to ensure litter is cleaned up and apologized that these bottles were missed.
Phyllis Dowling, 452 Salem Ave., York, PA, thanked Mayor Brenner and Council for considering her reappointment and said she’d be honored to continue her service on the YCHRC.
Councilwoman Smallwood stated that he knows all of these ladies and knows they have and will continue to do a fine job as Commissioners. He said he played a major role in creating the York City Human Relations Commission so this is something very dear to his heart. He thanked all volunteers for their willingness to serve the York Community.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 108 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
President Texter called for a recess at 9:15 p.m. to allow for a bathroom and water break.
President Texter reconvened the meeting at 9:30 p.m.
Resolution No. 109, Session 2007, A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in denying a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the application (48-07H) filed by Mary Cantrell Tellez for work to be done at 125 W. Philadelphia St., was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 109 came up for discussion.
President Texter explained application 48-07H. He said Ms. Tellez is proposing to apply a mosaic, with a blue and green color scheme, to the unfinished concrete block wall at 125 W. Philadelphia St. Some HARB members felt the mosaic would draw attention away from the Friends Meeting House, which is one of York’s most significant structures. Additionally some HARB members felt a more geometric design with more earth tone colors would complement the streetscape better. HARB motioned to table application 48-07H; however, the motion was withdrawn as Ms. Tellez requested HARB vote on the application so the case could be forwarded to Council at which time she would appeal HARB’s decision. Therefore, HARB denied the application and forwarded its recommendations to Council.
Mary Cantrell Tellez, 401 Hillcrest Rd., Spring Garden Twp., PA, thanked Council for considering her appeal. She said she would like to create a mosaic mural at 125 W. Philadelphia St., which would be tastefully done in tones of blue and green. She said Met-Ed has granted her permission and a neighborhood meeting was held in which she received support for this project. Additionally, Ms. Tellez stated that 125 W. Philadelphia St. is located in the Arts District and her design is in keeping with Mayor’s vision for the Arts District. Ms. Tellez presented Council with photos of other mosaics she has done as representation of her work. Ms. Tellez stated that she feels her training and ability as a professional artist who specializes in mosaics allows her to be a good judge of artistic values and compatible color schemes. She feels that HARB’s vision is not her vision and furthermore she feels HARB is acting outside of its purview when they start interpreting art.
Vice President Musso agreed and said he’s in favor of Ms. Tellez design and color scheme. He said he doesn’t understand why this type of project would be denied and he agrees with Ms. Tellez that HARB has no business deciding what’s art and what’s not art. Vice President Musso said we have downtown parking meters painted in all sorts of colors and styles so he doesn’t understand why HARB is making such a big issue of this, especially seeing the type of work Ms. Tellez represents.
Councilwoman Smith asked if HARB’s opposition was based on the color scheme or the design. Ms. Tellez said HARB wants her to design a mosaic using earth tones (browns & tans). However, she said her color scheme of greens and blues matches the plants and other foliage in the area.
Justine Landis, HARB member, believes Ms. Tellez’s color scheme would not mesh with the contemporary buildings to the right and left of the Friends Meeting House. She said this mosaic would become a permanent fixture, which would be embedded in stone on a building located on one of the city’s main arteries (Philadelphia St.). Ms. Landis believes Ms. Tellez color scheme and design would detract attention from the Friends Meeting House.
Leada Dietz, 433 Lindbergh Ave., York, PA, and Clerk for Friends Meeting House, said the consensus from members of the Friends Meeting House is that HARB’s recommendations of earth tones for the mosaic is not in line with the foliage surrounding the Meeting House. Ms. Dietz feels Ms. Tellez’s design and color scheme would mesh very nicely with the color scheme of the Friends Meeting House as the colors flow well with nature.
Ruth Fitz, Friends Meeting House, feels Ms. Tellez’s design and color scheme would play a significant role in enhancing Friends Meeting House and the neighborhood in general.
President Texter said Economic Development Director Matt Jackson has conveyed that he supports the Tellez design and color scheme and feels it is in line with the Arts District vision.
Councilwoman Smith said she feels Ms. Tellez’s design would give life to the neighborhood and she’s not sure why HARB doesn’t see this vision.
Councilman Smallwood said it’s time that we expand our vision or we’ll end up being a very bland and boring city.
Carolyn Stump, York, PA, stated that as a fellow artist, she supports what Ms. Tellez is doing and believes her design would be a great addition to this blank canvas.
Motion to amend. There being no further discussion, a motion was made by Musso, seconded by Washington, to amend Resolution No. 109 as follows to approve application 48-07H: (bolded-underlined text was added, text in parenthesis was deleted)
“Council hereby (denies) approves a Certificate of Appropriateness for work to be covered in the following application as (recommended by) submitted to the Historical Architectural Review Board:
1. Mary Cantrell Tellez for work to be done at 125 W. Philadelphia St. (48-07H).”
The motion to amend Resolution No. 109 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Motion to amend. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Washington, to amend Resolution No. 109 to remove the following sentence: “The foregoing work to be done in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Historical Architectural Review Board.” The motion to amend Resolution No. 109 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 109, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 110, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with the YMCA of York and York County for a Ground Lease for the Farquhar Park Pool site, which the YMCA will improve said site to include a new outdoor public swimming pool and a new indoor competitive swimming pool, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 110 came up for discussion.
Larry Richardson, President, YMCA, thanked the Mayor, Administration, and Council for its ongoing support. He said the YMCA has committed to building an indoor and outdoor pool facility. “The indoor pool complex will be a state-of-the-art aquatics facility that will become a York City destination for thousands of visitors each year through competitions and events. It will create new programming opportunities for the community such as swimming classes, diving, and water polo as well as allow branch pools to have more lap swimming and class time. The outdoor pool will run similarly to the current outdoor pool but will feature improved recreational opportunities such as a spray-ground, a volleyball court, and appropriate “age zones” for multigenerational fun. The Aquatics Center is still in the design process, and many individuals are working diligently to develop the perfect plan. With everything on schedule, the groundbreaking should be sometime in early winter”. – Source: www.yorkcoymca.org/newsletterymca.pdf
Vice President Musso asked if round abouts in the roadway would be added to this project. Mr. Richardson said they are working with a construction contractor and have been in the e process of raising private funds to allow follow through with some of the scaled back design features, such as the round abouts.
Councilman Smallwood asked if N. Newberry St. would be repaved after construction. Director Gross said it would be.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 110 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 111, Session 2007, A Resolution waiving the payment of any and all demolition and associated fees for work to be done by Conservative Environmental Services (CES) related to the demolition and clean-up of the former Graybill site (118 N. Broad St. / 200 N. Broad St.) as the payment of such fees would come from resources of the City of York, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 111 came up for discussion.
President Texter asked Council to join him in approving this Resolution; otherwise, he said, the City would be paying itself for demolition and clean-up fees. As outlined in the Resolution, President Texter explained that Council has approved the Broad Street Redevelopment Plan, which calls for and greatly depends upon the removal of the former Graybill Building. Additionally, the structure poses a great danger to the surrounding neighborhoods and the City as a whole as it has partially collapsed and serves as a blighted structure that attracts the dumping of trash, loitering by vagrants, and has served as a site of many criminal offenses.
President Texter went on to explain that Council, through approval of the Redevelopment Plan, as well as action by the Planning Commission and the Historical Architectural Review Board, have all recognized the need to demolish the blighted structure to provide for the public safety, health and welfare of the surrounding neighborhood and the City as a whole. Additionally, the York City Redevelopment Authority has undertaken (for the City) responsibility for demolition of the structure by requesting bids for the demolition of the Graybill structure in order to select a professional, credible demolition team to completely, effectively and expeditiously raze and clear the site. The York City Redevelopment Authority selected CES (Conservative Environmental Services) for a bid of $257,900.00 as the lowest responsible bidder that can demolish and clean up the site by the start of the school year, thereby ensuring that students walking to and from classes at the nearby Alexander D. Goode Elementary School would not be affected by the project. As the York City Redevelopment Authority serves as an arm of the City of York to help remove blight and redevelop properties so as to place them back on the tax rolls, the waiver of fees associated with the demolition of the Graybill structure would not benefit the contractor but would instead directly benefit the City of York.
Councilman Smallwood asked how this fee waiver differs from the school district’s request to waive fees for the York High renovation project, which Council did not approve. Vice President Musso responded that the difference is that this is our money. If we were to charge fees, he said, the city would be taking money out of the General Fund Budget to pay fees, only to turn around and place those fees back into the General Fund once the city cashes the check.
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 111 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 112, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer in the 2007 Budget for the Police Department in the amount of $2,500 to cover miscellaneous expenses (decrease other supplies & materials / increase salaries & wages), was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 112 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays –0.
Resolution No. 113, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with the PA Department of Health to continue its contractual relationship with the City of York to provide maternal child health programs for city residents for the period of October 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010 for a total of $200,583.03, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 113 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 114, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Planned Parenthood of Central PA to provide STD testing and treatment services for city residents for the period of July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 114 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Resolution No. 115, Session 2007, A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing certificates of appropriateness for work to be covered in the applications filed by Clayton Shenk, Tidings of Peach Mennonite Church, for work to be done at 329 E. Poplar St., Don Fisher, Peak Mobility, for work to be done at 143 S. Pershing Ave., Kendra Hunger, York City Bureau of Permits, Planning and Zoning, for work to be done at 350 N. George St. (Western Maryland Railway Freight Station), Domingo Mateo and Fidel Calcagno for work to be done at 101 E. Market St., Erbin Rivera for work to be done at 250 E. Princess St., Dora & Michael Markle for work to be done at 114 N. Queen St., and Eric Salzano for work to be done at 228 E. Market St. rear, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 115 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.
Requests for Future Meetings (Click Resolution No. or Bill No. to view)
Resolution No. 21-07: Amending the list of licensing and inspection fees as they relate to day care facilities to be imposed in accordance with Article 1761 "Licensing and Inspection of Tenant Occupied Residential and all Institutional Occupancies" of the Codified Ordinances (retroactive to January 1, 2007). Resolution No. 21 remains in the Fire Committee. No additional meeting dates scheduled at this time.
Bill No. 13-07: Repealing Article 193 "Advisory Council on Recreation and Parks" of the Codified Ordinances. Bill No. 13 referred to the Public Works Committee. Meeting date to be determined.
Bill No. 19-07: Amending Article 1751 "Abatement of Public Nuisances" of the York City Codified Ordinances, by the addition and/or deletion of citations within Article 1751 relating to "Title 18 - Pennsylvania Crimes Code", the "Pennsylvania Dog Law Act 151 of 1996", and "Title 7 - General Offenses" of the York City Codified Ordinances, and establishing points assessed for federal violations. Bill No. 19 referred to the Police Committee. Meeting was held on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Discussions continue, therefore, Bill No. 19 remains in committee.
Bill No. 25-07: Establishing Article 1729 "Vacant Property Registration" of the Codified Ordinances to establish guidelines for the registration of vacant properties in the City of York and the payment of related fees. Bill No. 25 was referred to the Economic Development Committee. Committee meeting was held on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Discussions continue, therefore, Bill No. 25 remains in committee.
Bill No. 27-07: Establishing Article 153 "Historic Monument Preservation Fund" to preserve historic monuments located in the City of York. Bill No. 27 was tabled at the August 8 Council meeting and referred to the Rules and Administrative Code Committee. Committee meeting to be scheduled.
Bill No. 30-07: Amending the City of York Noise Control Ordinance to remove language to simplify the ordinance and make it more enforceable. Bill No. 30 was referred to the Police Committee. Committee meeting was held on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Bill No. 30 was released from committee and is scheduled to appear on the September 4, 2007 Council legislative agenda for consideration of final passage.
Resolution No. 107-07: Opposing the application by American Ash Recycling Corp. of PA (AAR-PA) for DEP's approval of a comprehensive general permit renewal application for processing and the subsequent re-use of treated ash aggregate. Resolution No. 107 was referred to the Community Development Committee. Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Immigration Resolution: Supporting earned legalization of immigrants to this country in an unauthorized status who have built up equities and are otherwise admissible. This Resolution was pulled from the August 8 Council agenda to allow for possible future discussions and debate.
Next Meeting: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA 17401.
Adjournment: There being no further business, the August 8, 2007 meeting of Council adjourned at 10:25 p.m.