Mayor Delivers State of the City Address
4/13/2011 07:18 AM Updated on: 7/13/2011 02:15 PM
Creativity, Capitalism, & Character Unleashed In The City Of York
C. Kim Bracey, Mayor
City Of York, Pennsylvania
State of the City Address
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
William Penn Senior High School
City Of York, Pennsylvania
Distinguished guests, elected officials, neighbors, and friends, it is a distinct honor and privilege to address you tonight.
It is especially an honor to speak at my alma mater, William Penn Senior High School, home of opportunity in our city, and home of the 2010 District 3 Class Quad A champion Bearcats basketball team!
That’s cause for applause, indeed!
FULFILLMENT Of NINE-IN-NINE CAMPAIGN
Every great team needs lofty goals to propel it to greatness.
It has been 15 months since I took the oath of office and announced our first nine initiatives for our administration.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to announce that we have fulfilled each of them.
(1) JOB ONE INITIATIVE.
Under our Job One initiative, your City government has made customer service an essential, shared organization value of all city departments. We have accomplished ten measurable goals under Job One.
Comprised of our director of human resources and front-line staff, a Job One Advisory Committee has met regularly. Experienced customer service facilitators have been contracted to effectively engage city staff to improve front-line services.
A streamlined, efficient website is an essential part of customer service in the 21st century. Friends, I am proud to announce that a revamped, customer-friendly yorkcity.org went live today!
And this new site will include online permitting and e-payments, a first for your city.
Ladies and gentlemen, under my watch, we will not allow our ship of state to rot at harbor when we have new seas to explore.
And, we will ask of our property owners what we ask of ourselves as a government in terms of quality construction, historic preservation, code compliance, and curb appeal.
So getting our own house in order is a high priority to ensure good customer service. Working with Senator Waugh and Representative Depasquale, we aggressively sought a $5 million, matching state (RACP) grant for the acquisition and redevelopment of 101 South George, your new City Hall, and other brick-and-mortar upgrades.
First, our core ship of state as a city government includes our community centers. To better serve our citizens, and thanks to City Council’s support, we have made important upgrades to the Sylvia Newcomb, Rotary Kranich, Princess Street, and Yorktown Community Centers. These centers serve over 25,ooo people each year.
Second, last month, taking advantage of historic low interest rates we purchased 101 South George for your new City Hall.
101 South George will provide quality customer service under one roof in a building that is convenient, cost effective, and dignified. It is the right place, at the right price and at the right time for centralizing and streamlining services.
This is not a Cadillac approach. It’s a Ford Taurus approach – sturdy and serviceable, but neither lavish nor pretentious.
In this busy age, your City Hall will be a convenient one-stop shop where citizens and customers pick up public documents, meet with officials, do your banking, pay your bills, submit building plans, and attend council and other public meetings.
Our citizens and customers deserve a serviceable, service-oriented Police Headquarters well-equipped for 21st century demands.
The existing 32,000-square foot structure’s cramped quarters, deplorable shape, and flooding hurt our services. Into this year, we will continue to refine a cost-effective plan to upgrade this important facility.
Friends, it is inconsistent for city government to promote historic preservation and insist on code and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance when our own City Hall is not adequately preserved and prepared for 21st century demands.
Under my watch, the City of York will practice what it preaches and enforces.
And we will strive for personal professional excellence and excellence in customer service.
That was my pledge last January. That is our continuing commitment tonight.
Our citizens, customers, and employees deserve nothing less.
As we all know, convenient, well-illuminated, safe parking is an important part of customer service.
So we completed $4 million worth of A.I.A. award-winning upgrades to the East Market Street Garage and $500,000 worth of upgrades to the Philadelphia Street Garage, including new security and lighting.
Working with the General Authority and Downtown Inc., together, we rolled back enforcement hours from 6 p.m. until 5 p.m., and all meters now have accurate advertising. And there is “no-charge” parking at the Central Market parking deck, and Lafayette Plaza on Saturdays and Sundays. New, consistent parking hours and well-publicized advertising are good for businesses, customers, diners, and visitors! We will continue to modernize our parking system because, make no mistake about it the City of York, York County’s number one visitor destination, is open for business.
(2) COMMUNITY POLICING.
We also pledged to implement sustainable community policing city-wide.
Promises made, promises kept.
For the first time in recent history, the city now has four community police units patrolling different neighborhoods.
Steady for several years, our Southwest Patrols are stationed out of the Eagle Fire Station on Jackson Street, and our downtown patrols, led by Officer McBride, continue to build good relations with downtown business and residents through segway and walking patrols.
Our new West End Unit works out of Dentsply International’s College Avenue campus.
Our newest neighborhood enforcement unit now regularly patrols the Northeast Neighborhood.
The department continues to partner with the County on the county-city Nuisance Intervention Patrols in each of the city’s four magisterial districts, made possible by an allocation of $200,000 from the County Commissioners.
In addition, the county continues its appreciated Criminal Response Unit (“CRU”) patrols in city neighborhoods, cracking down on nuisances, traffic violations, and crimes witnessed directly by sheriffs patrolling our streets.
County Commissioners Steve Chronister, Doug Hoke, and Chris Reilly, and county officials, please stand so we can recognize your leadership and contributions to your county seat!
Truancy is a direct pipeline to dropping out, and dropping out often is a pipeline to jail, society’s most expensive motel. In Pennsylvania, 68% of inmates are high school drop-outs. Each prisoner costs about $33,000 per year. Arresting this trend is more cost-effective and humane than arresting ourselves out of problems.
In launching a new Stay In School initiative, our police are working with the school district and the county’s truancy prevention coordinator. Intensive intervention, counseling, and vigilance are needed to keep our kids in school.
In cooperation with Martin Memorial Library, a new Police-And-Youth Program breaks down barriers by providing after-school interaction between officers and youth.
In 2010, we secured a federal COPS grant for $500,000 to add five new officers. Today, we have a steady complement of 109 officers.
We also secured a Department of Justice grant for new, in-car cameras to aid in evidence collection and prosecution.
Friends, even in the teeth of the Great Recession, intensified community policing works.
Together, they are deterring violent crime and catching criminals.
We will keep multi-pronged pressure on criminals, creeps, and miscreants in 2011 to continue these positive trends.
(3) ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BLIGHT.
Pursuant to our Zero Tolerance for Blight pledge, we performed 13,000 property inspections in 2010 leading to 627 citations.
Our Blight Task Force certified 150 properties as “blighted” under the state’s Urban Redevelopment Law.
As a result and concentrating on strategic properties along main thoroughfares and inner-ring neighborhoods, our redevelopment authority filed 50 declarations of taking.
Through the backbone and leadership of our City Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority we will fulfill our vision to repair the “broken windows” in key corridors and neighborhoods to let the private sector create single-family, owner-occupied homes, improve curb appeal, and increase property values.
(4) ACTION PLAN FOR NEIGHBORHOODS
As part of our Action Plan For Neighborhoods, the new, $4.1 million-plus West End or Salem Square Revitalization Plan, a partnership of the City and the YMCA de-converted 11 blighted, multi-units into single-family, owner-occupied homes. The West End Plan also replaced six blighted properties with five new single-family, owner-occupied homes.
We also secured a $250,000 grant through the state’s Elm Street program for this West End Revitalization Plan. Funding will go to streetscape and lighting which has already begun.
And speaking of curb appeal, to the delight of residents in the Olde Towne East neighborhood, we made sidewalk improvements, planted new trees, and installed vintage streetlights in the 100 and 200 blocks of South Pine.
The fall of 2010 brought the opening of the new $9 million Logos Academy, a private k-8 school, on the banks of the Codorus, and the expansion of New Hope Academy Charter School. Connecting the two is a repaved King Street, part of our Rebuild York initiative.
Speaking of ReBuild York, utilizing a federal HUD loan, ReBuild York has repaved 17 city streets. In 2010, improvements were made to College Avenue, Philadelphia and Sherman Streets.
Our final ReBuild York projects in 2011 include the much-anticipated completion of West Philadelphia Street. This work got underway just last week.
North Street, Belvidere Avenue, King Street, and the southbound lane of South George will follow in July. And I must mention that the “well worn-shock endangering current conditions” at the North George Street Rail Crossing will be repaired later this month.
In September, the 2010 Bring On Play Community Build engaged over 50 volunteers and Public Work staff to build a beautiful new playground at Allen park. This has become a remarkable annual tradition, and in partnership with The York Revolution, Westminster Park is next on the list for 2011. Volunteerism is contagious. From Bobby Bruner to Julie Landis, and hundreds and thousands in between, those that give of their time to make our community better are truly exceptional.
Ladies and gentlemen, our neighborhoods are slowly rebounding, and history is in the making. According to official U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the city, after losing one-third of its population between 1950 and 2000, has turned the corner and curbed a 50 year trend of population loss.
That’s right. From 2000-2010, your city grew by 7% to 43,718 diverse residents!
That’s cause for applause.
This historic shift is not coincidental and not just because of regional trends. It is a testament to city policies and incentives, our quality of life, our embrace of all peoples, our preservation of history, our great value, and our commitment to character.
(5) GROWING INCENTIVE PROGRAMS
Promises made, promises kept.
We pledged to grow our novel incentive programs.
We recapitalized our Fresh Foods Revolving Loan Fund by $40,000. Ours is the only U.S. Department of Agriculture-seeded fund in the Mid Atlantic, and we will continue to help independent restaurateurs and market vendors feed a critical mass.
Many have heard or seen the great works of Artist Homesteaders, Pat and Casey of Salvaging Creativity. Not many realize in 2010, we granted a forgivable loan to the newest Homesteaders, Pete Richards and Lyndsey Keeney, who have a bustling live-above-work studio, gallery, and residence on East Philadelphia Street. For those that have not been to a “First Friday After Party” at Pete & Lindsey’s … this artist homestead is worth checking out.
(6) New Neighborhood Empowering Zoning Ordinance
We promised to give you a new zoning ordinance that encourages functional, attractive neighborhoods; insists upon design excellence; and privileges the person over the vehicle.
The new illustrative, 200-plus page ordinance, which the commission unanimously approved in October, now is in the capable hands of City Council for approval. As soon as council approves the ordinance, I am ready to sign it into law.
We recognize the Alliance of Neighborhood Associations and all citizens who played a part in the zoning rewrite process, especially Planning Commission members – all volunteers with professional expertise -- for their hard work.
In our urban villages, small business opportunities are compatible with walkable neighborhoods – the two go hand-in-hand with curb appeal, recreation and green space.
Equipped with a fresh Strategic Plan and new Zoning Ordinance, we are ready to rev up York.
(7) Faith Net
Seventh, our ongoing Faith Net initiative included a first-ever, multi-day summit among our community’s faith leaders to plan how city government and the faith-based community can work together to improve our neighborhoods and tackle poverty.
Capping off the summit, Logos Academy sponsored an invigorating Faith In Our City event at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
A final Faith Net report was published at the end of 2010, and implementation meetings are scheduled for 2011.
On June 16, a Faith Net II Summit will be held at the Yorktowne Hotel to agree on strategic action steps. This historic assembly will be chaired by Jason Lewis under the leadership of the York County Council of Churches and other fellow members, such as tonight’s Leadership Award winner, Pastor Oscar Rossum.
Promises made, promises kept.
(8) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
To advance an updated Community & Economic Development Strategy, we hosted a dynamic summit attended by nearly 300 civic, business leaders and residents. A follow-up event was held recently to brainstorm specific strategies and mechanisms to build York.
These events will crystallize an ambitious city-wide economic and neighborhood revitalization vision to build on recent momentum.
And we certainly have enjoyed momentum, with over $280 million in public and private dollars being invested in the city over the last ten years, including an astounding over $35 million in private and public investment in 2010, defying the last grips of the Great Recession.
Friends, the beat goes on!
In 2010, our Bureau of Permits, Planning, and Zoning processed and approved 895 building permits and 46 zoning applications.
Spearheaded by different private ventures, highlights of new projects and expansions over the last year include:
- The 34,000 square foot expansion of York City Industrial Park-based, and winner this evening of the Entrepreneurial Award, Tooling Dynamics, a manufacturer of precision micro-metal stamping for the electronic, solar, computer and automotive industries, leading to over 30 new jobs, family owned and locally operated here in York.
- New $4.8 million CODO 28, the first LEED certified residential building in York County, featuring 11 state-of-the-art, market-rate apartments and first floor “coming soon attraction” the Stage Door Deli.
- New, multi-million dollar, 156,000 square foot, adaptive re-use, mixed-use project, featuring over 90 market-rate apartments, off-street parking, and landscaped gardens at historic 700 Linden Avenue, built in the 1800s.
- A long blast off right field from Sovereign Bank Stadium, home of the 2010 Atlantic League Champions, York Revolution, takes us to the long vacant Gable Tobacco Warehouse. Built in 1855, Gable is back to life with 13 upscale, brick and hardwood apartments, further contributing to downtown’s walkable energy.
- C-Town Supermarket, a long-awaited grocery store will inhabit the Yorktown Mall and will ensure that our residents have regular access to fresh and nutritious foods.
- The Northwest Triangle continues to “take shape” as streetscape and vertical construction is underway at the Thomas Somerville building and within the project site.
- Also within the Triangle, the YorkCounts-inspired York Academy Regional Charter School, an international baccalaureate magnet school is underway and will open its doors in the fall of 2011. The school already has received more than 50 applications. This is a sparkling collaboration of the City, York Suburban, and Central York School Districts.
Speaking of the Northwest Triangle, plans are in the works to dedicate a pocket park there named in honor of long-time civic leaders and proud graduates of this high school, Henry and Dorrie Leader.
Because of these and other projects and because of many champions, York has weathered the Great Recession with dogged resilience and dignity.
Unemployment now has decreased in York County for four consecutive months and is below Pennsylvania and national rates.
We are poised for long-term growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the recovery.
To continue these trends, our downtown districts and neighborhoods must foster a flurry of high quality development in 2011 and beyond.
Our City secured just shy of $11 million in competitive federal and state grants and appropriations for our York to do just that.
We are fortunate to be one of the only county seats in Pennsylvania with two authentic, 19th century markets. Central Market and Farmers Market are poised for major renovation thanks in part to a nearly $800,000 commitment from the federal government, courtesy of Senator Casey.
Tonight, I am proud to boast that the city has more fresh, eclectic, and ethnic restaurants, cafes, and market eateries than at any time in recent history. Including Central & Farmers Market vendors, we have over 50 eclectic restaurants and eateries within walking distance of Continental Square alone.
To further develop our Arts and Market District around Central Market, we tirelessly work to receive the over $3 million Commonwealth commitment to develop the multi-purpose Arts Center at the FOE building, make improvements to Central & Farmers Markets, and improve the surrounding streetscape.
The shared kitchen incubator at Central Market known as YorKitchen will grow small businesses and jobs by lowering operating costs for upstart food producers.
Mudhook Brewpub is brewing up new energy and hand-crafted brews at Central Market. To the best of our knowledge, Mudhook will be the only authentic brewery operating in a 19th century market in all of Pennsylvania.
On the opposite side of the Arts and Market District, sandwiched between CODO 241 and the Barry Group, Liquid Hero Brewing Company now calls 50 East North Street home. Liquid Hero will soon be up and running as downtown’s second brewing company.
With York’s German D.N.A., I am confident that both venues will thrive!
Friends, we must continue to seize this opportunity to bring more folks to our City so that they can embrace our authentic, walkable, charming village and unleash their own creativity.
(9) Public Relations And Marketing
A ninth pledge was to develop a cost-effective public relations and marketing campaign to market our historic real estate and incentives, and broadcast that York is ripe for business and ready to unleash creativity.
Accordingly, we distributed 9-in-9 cards to city residents and stakeholders in early 2010 so they would have all city numbers and info at their finger-tips.
We launched a combined property listing section for one-stop shopping to market all privately and publicly owned commercial and residential properties for sale.
Partnering with Downtown Inc, we launched the Downtown Merchant of the Month features on White Rose Community Television and monthly receptions – another first-ever initiative.
Also partnering with DI, a free Downtown York Guide is available to all to keep abreast of retail, amenities, and upcoming events.
We brought First Night York back where it belongs – to the people, on Continental Square, and for free, yes at no charge.
For the first-time, we launched City of York and Police Department Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. We have garnered a network of friends of the city to post positive updates and blasts via their own accounts, such as Iloveyorkcity.com. - - no doubt tweeting at this very moment!
Also for the first time, tipsters now can text anonymous, confidential information to our police at TIP411. Alerts from the tip411 system post to our Facebook page allowing citizens to receive information and supply further tips to fight crime.
Ladies and gentlemen, promises made, promises kept and finishing what we’ve started!
We have fulfilled our first nine major initiatives with discipline and energy, and while having fun.
I want to thank our committed city directors, staff, officers, and firefighters who have made our nine initiatives a success.
All city directors, employees, and council members, all members of city commissions and authorities, please stand so we can honor you.
All County, Chamber, YCEDC, Downtown Inc officials, all market board members, in fact, all others, all of you, please stand!
You all have made our success possible.
So please stand so we can give YOU, YORK, a standing ovation!
NINE INITIATIVES TO UNLEASH CREATIVITY, CAPITALISM, AND CHARACTER CITY-WIDE: 2011-2012
So, to keep the momentum going and to keep our eyes on noble prizes, I heartily invite you to join us on a noble adventure to unleash creativity, capitalism, and character city-wide.
Skeptics say our City lacks a vision. That ends tonight. Here are nine ambitious initiatives to achieve our vision.
(1) ZEAL FOR CURB APPEAL INITIATIVE.
In 2011, we will launch a comprehensive Zeal for Curb Appeal Initiative. Here are its components.
First, Take 10 on Tuesdays. I urge all to look at your York with fresh eyes, and take ten minutes on Tuesdays to clean up litter and debris in your neck of the woods – in your “urban gardens.” Join me in encouraging your neighbors and coworkers to Keep York Beautiful.
We will continue to direct seasonal City staff to focus on litter and weed control in our neighborhoods. Folks, I keep a direct line to our litter crew and rest assured … I use it!
Thanks to Keep York Beautiful the North George Street Coalition and Jeff Lau’s tenacity, we will purchase four litter vacuums to be privately maintained and routinely deployed to keep our downtown clean.
This initiative supplements Downtown Inc’s hiring of two part-time downtown litter control specialists who collect litter and debris.
We also pledge to work with stakeholders to find funding for a new street-sweeper and other equipment to clean the entire central business district each week with the hope of this spreading to our neighborhoods.
We pledge to enforce new ordinances that prohibit outside vending machines, cumbersome signage and trash, debris or soiled furniture. They block our architecture and cheapen our charm. And they must go.
Tonight, notice is served to those who cheapen our city through disrespect and apathy toward property maintenance. I have directed our staff and front-line inspectors to strengthen their coverage, enforcement and quality control in all quarters of our city.
It will take time, but together, with imagination, collaboration, and persistence, we can make our districts and all quarters of our city clean, pristine, and green.
Do you agree?!
(2) BUILD YORK’S FUTURE TASK FORCE
Second, as a follow-up to the Building York Summit, which exhorted us to dream and think big, tonight we expound upon our Vision for York.
We will not sit idly by and wait for a return of state and federal funding.
We will continue to manufacture our own hope and help at home.
To move us forward in that direction, tonight, I announce a Public-Private Development Advisory Task Force – Build York’s Future.
This task force comprised of individuals representing the private sector, the public sector, and our neighborhoods, will be charged to take the strategies developed through our Building York sessions and apply them to York’s existing assets.
Proper planning and entrepreneurial vision are necessary ingredients to constantly moving the city forward.
Third, my administration is prepared to submit a proposal to City Council called “CoRRTA” to unleash creativity, capitalism, and character throughout our water and rail corridors.
Short for Codorus and Rail Revitalization Tax Abatement, CoRRTA is a performance-based program applying to major new construction within distressed or under-utilized Codorus and Rail corridors.
It is unacceptable that the majority of waterfront and rail corridor buildings are under-utilized, vacant, or blighted. These corridors also have higher concentrations of poverty.
As your mayor, I refuse to allow some city neighborhoods and corridors to die on the vine when we can give them the nutrients and care that they need to ripen into renewal.
Based only on demonstrated performance, the CoRRTA schedule provides a 100% exemption for the value of new improvements and/or new construction for economic and residential development for ten consecutive years. All taxes still would be paid on the base value.
Pending approval by City Council, we respectfully ask the York County Commissioners and the York City School Board to enact mirror-image schedules. We need our valued allies to make this program work and to spur job creation in all neighborhoods.
As one of the few mayors selected to attend the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the United States Conference of Mayors, I know city design can and will foster creative development. And it is abundantly clear - - as clear as the Codorus flows today - - that more must be done with our waterfront. Beyond simply beautification well into redevelopment and neighborhood reconstruction, it is an environmental asset to our community and a practical failure it has taken this long to make it a priority.
(4) LEAN, GREEN & SERENE YORK
Fourth, in order to build a better and more productive York, we want to be a healthier York – a leaner, greener, and more serene York.
In partnership with First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, we will launch Lean, Green, And Serene York, an umbrella of various programs, such as Bring on Play, Let’s Move May, Zumba First Fridays, Bike to Work Week, and Buy Fresh, Buy Local.
We will encourage a healthier, greener and more sustainable York, and one that makes us happier and more productive.
As our Special Events Volunteer award recipient, Mike Heine says, “a healthy York citizen is a happy York citizen.”
In 2011, our City will become more bike and foot-friendly by developing a new network of bikeable pathways and signage and by making the extension of the Heritage Rail Trail through the Northwest Triangle a priority.
Further, the King Street Corridor will boast our first bike lane, connecting Lincoln Edison to New Hope to LOGOS Academy, to the Heritage Rail Trail, and ultimately to the Broad Street Greenway.
(5) FISCAL FREEDOM AND STABILITY CAMPAIGN
Fifth, we will embark upon a Fiscal Freedom and Stability Campaign aimed at educating the public and the media about saving and restoring our core communities.
Many of our core communities -- our 53 Third Class Cities and our sibling boroughs and townships – are battered by skyrocketing pension and health care costs and creeping expansions of tax exempt properties – in effect, unfunded mandates.
In our land-locked city, 38% of our property value is tax exempt.
As 20 Pennsylvania municipalities are now in Act 47 distressed status and more are on the brink, now, more than ever, we need to educate and rally others to urge for comprehensive reform to save our core communities.
In 2011, it is sheer madness that the Commonwealth has over 3,000 municipalities with taxing authority – the most of any state, over 3,000 pension systems, and 500 school districts.
It is not how we do business that is the problem in Pennsylvania. It is how we do government. Our governmental structure as a whole is outdated and fragmented, while our state government hamstrings local control and innovation.
We need comprehensive, sensible reform of state and local government themselves to prepare us to meet 21st century demands.
Tonight, I publicly endorse the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities’ Core Communities In Crisis Report and urge our business groups and editorial boards to formally endorse its recommendations.
I respectfully urge our county delegation and the General Assembly to approve these recommendations.
The stakes are high, the status quo is unacceptable, and the cost of inaction is much greater than the cost of action.
(6) RUDY FUND CREATIVE CAPITAL LOAN.
Sixth, honoring William Penn graduate and nationally renowned sculptor Charles Rudy, the Rudy Fund is a new small business revolving loan fund for improvements to city commercial and retail establishments with preferences given to businesses meeting the “unleashing creativity” theme and in our Market District. Through a modest investment by the City of York and partnership with National Development Council, we will locally capitalize a $1 million dollar loan fund.
The Rudy Fund will be the largest locally controlled loan fund in our City’s history. We recognize that an industrious spirit enlivens us all. We want to invest in that spirit by investing in our entrepreneurs. At $1 million dollars, the Rudy Fund will help local businesses, retailers, artisans and those with micro-dollars and macro-dreams unleash their creativity and realize their potential.
ARTISAN HOMESTEAD, 2.0.
Tonight, in tandem with the Rudy Fund, we announce the re-packaging of the successful artist homestead program to make it more consistent with our “Unleashing Creativity” theme and, to kick it up a notch.
The program’s definition of Artisan Homesteader is broad enough to include live-above-work industrial artisans, recycled goods artisans, metalworkers, sculptors, potters, woodworkers, craftspeople, jewelers, photographers, frame studios, performers, and other retailers.
(7) HISTORIC FACADE REVOLVING LOAN FUND
Seventh, to give homeowners in our historic district a break, we also will launch a Historic Facade Revolving Loan Fund in 2011. These loans will allow homeowners to rehab and paint their facades, replace windows, and roofs with low-to-no interest loans.
Eighth, homeownership increases neighborhood stability, communication, and pride. Our city-wide homeownership rate is only 47%.
Working with the Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and major employers, such as WellSpan, Dentsply, and York College, as well as area lenders and York Young Professionals, we will launch an Own-in-York initiative.
Own-in-York will explore city-wide employer homeownership assistance and other programs to increase ownership – literally and figuratively – throughout your York.
(9) WILLIAM PENN COMPACT
Ninth, although the city government is completely separate legally and financially from the city school district, we are all in this together and we all must work better together.
For years, the William Penn Performing Arts Magnet School has drawn aspiring performers, stage technicians and musicians from across our county to execute superb performances like "West Side Story" and, as you saw earlier tonight, "Phantom of the Opera."
This public magnet school is unique. It draws students from throughout metro York. It has a record of success and keeping our youth in school.
And it must continue.
That’s right. Give it up for our talented young friends and for my friend, Calvin Weary, director of the program.
Ladies and gentlemen, William Penn has contributed to the richness and quality of life of our community and our nation for generations.
And William “Pen” still has many fine chapters to write.
We must do more to promote and sustain the district's talents and character, and to support its children and youth, its faculty and staff.
York School District, faculty and students, you are us, and we are you. And we are not going to sit idly by and allow poor planning and corruption-like behavior be our district’s demise.
Therefore, tonight, we announce that we will produce a first ever working agreement between city and school district, the William Penn Compact.
The Compact will set forth collaborative roles in security, public safety, anti-truancy initiatives, after-school programs, crossing guards, and sanitation.
To foster more mutual support, we also announce that our City School Superintendant will have cabinet level access within our administration.
We must work together to ensure productive futures for all city youth, like the shining Youth Leadership Award recipients here with us tonight: Angie Morales, Isiah Jones, Taylor Falvey and Joan Ramos-Arroyo.
* * * * * *
Also, a round of applause, for all of the proceeds from this evening’s Address will go to support York City Dollars for Scholars, including a special contribution from Tooling Dynamics - - these dollars are all appreciated and help ensure that the accomplishments of our youth do not go unnoticed.
Tonight, we praise and celebrate the accomplishments of all William Penn students who have been creative, brilliant, and successful in their own fields.
Such as, a former William Penn quarterback and alumnus, Jacob Devers graduated from West Point, invaded France and Germany, and became a four-star general.
Sculptor Charles Rudy, a 1923 graduate, produced renowned sculptures and commissioned pieces throughout the nation.
Graduate George Leader became governor of the Commonwealth and his wife Mary Jane, also an alumnus, became a gracious first lady.
George’s brother Henry, also an alum, grew up to lead the City’s Redevelopment Authority for over three decades, and Henry’s wife – fellow alumnus, Dorrie, became a civil rights leader when York needed her most.
Other students, like members of Live and the Magnificent Men, sold millions of records and inspired countless audiences.
A 1980 graduate, the multi-talented Chris Doleman recorded 150 and a half sacks in the National Football League and played in eight Pro Bowls.
Other graduates became leaders in government, the state’s attorney general, captains of industry like Bob Kinsley, esteemed judges, and legal eagles.
A joyful pied piper of the saxophone, Tim Warfield has delighted citizens on two continents while collaborating with some of the great jazz artists of our time.
Others became gifted professors, teachers, doctors, nurses, and accountants.
To the present day, William Penn classmates, former Mayor Bill Althaus and Crispus Attucks CEO Bobby Simpson, are pillars of the community, champions of education, and living examples of the entrepreneurial spirit.
And one little girl from Penn Street – a 1981 graduate, grew up to become your mayor.
This is just a small sampling.
With an impressive pedigree such as this, the sky is the limit.
If these York High students did it, so can our current and next generations of Yorkers. And so can you.
With imagination and hard work, the glories of the past can repeat themselves.
These past glories are promises fulfilled. It is now our turn to fulfill our promises to the next generation.
We have the homegrown talent and character.
Let us celebrate and nurture our own while achieving new dreams.
Our York now embraces diverse people who exemplify and who appreciate quality, creativity, and character.
Our York can have a critical mass of people, projects and policies in the 21st century that are as innovative, inventive and individualistic as York of the 19th century.
For our York to thrive, we all must row our ship of state in the same direction.
It will take vision, dedication, persistence, and perseverance. But we can do it.
Looking out at all of you tonight, this is a beautiful time to set out on a wonderful adventure together.
Let us take up the anchors that hold us back and hoist our sails tonight.
Let us chart new seas together.
Your time, our time is now.
A great journey awaits us.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
In a new and creative twist to our State of the City Address and to memorialize our City’s commitment to the arts, it gives me great pride to bestow the first-ever York Arts Awards. To assist me, I will ask very special volunteers to take the stage.
Helping to present the Mayor’s Lifetime Award for the Visual Arts, is Mark Hopkins. Please join me.
Mark is the son of Tammy Hopkins & the late Troy Hopkins. Mark is a Senior at this very fine high school, where he is the Captain of the Track Team & played football. Mark is very talented in all realms of art, being skilled in drumming, keyboarding, and miming, although Mark's most acclaimed love is in the fine arts. Mark plans on pursuing advanced studies of History following High School.
Charles Rudy is the son of J.Horace Rudy and Marian Emig Rudy. He graduated from William Penn Senior High School in 1923, while working for his father at their family business Rudy Art Glass, which continues to be located in the city of York.
Mr. Rudy studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for 4 years and then went on to study in Europe on two fellowships, after teaching sculpture at Cooper Union.
In 1936, he won a national competition to create a sculpture for the Bronx Post Office in New York, to which he named “Noah”.
Mr. Rudy also created the “Indian and Bear Cubs” sculpture in 1936, which can be seen in the front of the New York World Fair Federal Building.
During the time of World War II, Mr. Rudy began welding noses of glider planes at a nearby Willow Grove factory. The scraps of metal left over, were then used by Charles to sculpt into animals and people. These sculptures resulted in Mr. Rudy’s art being placed in a three page illustrated article in the December issue of Life Magazine.
Mr. Rudy was also instrumental in providing supervision to the work done on the Confederate Memorial located in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
He created a bronze seated statue of Edgar Allen Poe, which can be found in the front of the Richmond state capitol as well as the figures on the gates at the Pennsylvania State Museum.
One of Mr. Rudy’s most acclaimed pieces is a 1945 bronze portrait of his wife Lorraine, entitled “The Letter”.
Charles Rudy was an active member of the Pennsylvania State Arts Commission from 1949 to 1972.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here to accept the Mayor’s Lifetime Award for the Visual Arts on behalf of Charles Rudy and the Rudy Family, please welcome Erin Casey and Ken Bruggeman of Rudy Art Glass Studio.
Helping me present the Mayor’s Lifetime Award for the Performing Arts, I will ask Rashida King and Jananne Ferrere to take the stage.
Rashida is the daughter of Cecilia & Jerry King. Jananne is the daughter of Kim & Marcel Ferrere. Rashida plays the Saxophone and Jananne plays sax, oboe and is a drum major.
Both are Seniors here at William Penn. Both are members of the Bearcat Marching Band. Both are members of “Serenaders” Jazz Band. Both are members of National Honors Society.
Rashida is in Track & Field and Jananne is Captain of the Soccer team.
Both participated in the 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performing with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
Rashida will attend York College in the fall with a full scholarship from the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program, she plans to major in Criminal Justice and minor in Psychology.
Jananne will attend Lebanon Valley College this fall to major in Music Education.
Mr. Warfield has been noted as "perhaps the most powerful tenor saxophonist of his generation" by The New York Times.
Mr. Warfield is a native of York, Pennsylvania and began studying the alto saxophone at the age of nine. He switched to tenor saxophone during his first year at William Penn Sr. High School, where he graduated from in 1983.
While at William Penn, Mr. Warfield participated in various musical ensembles and won many jazz soloist awards, including second place out of 40 competitors at the Montreal Festival of Music in Canada.
Mr. Warfield attended Howard University for 2 years. He led and co-led groups in Central Pennsylvania and the Baltimore/Washington areas.
In 1990, Mr. Warfield was chosen as a member of trumpeter and CBS/Sony recording artist Marlon Jordan’s Quintet.
In 1991, Mr. Warfield placed third at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition in Washington, D.C.
From 1994 - 1999, Mr. Warfield was a member of bassist and Verve recording artist Christian McBride’s group.
Mr. Warfield joined forces with New Orleans trumpeter and Warner Brothers recording artist Nicholas Payton from 1999 – 2005.
Mr. Warfield’s first recording “A Cool Blue” was selected as one of the top ten recordings of the year in a 1995 New York Times Critics Poll.
In 1999, Mr. Warfield was awarded the “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in DownBeat Magazine’s 49th Annual Jazz Critic’s poll.
Mr. Warfield performed alongside crooner Loston Harris at the MTV GQ Men of the Year Awards in New York City in 2000.
In 2006, he joined trumpeter and Maxjazz recording artist Terell Stafford’s Quintet.
Mr. Warfield has appeared on several Grammy – nominate recordings.
He is currently serving as a board member for the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz. He also serves as an artist-in-residence at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa and as adjunct faculty at Temple University.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage our 2010 Mayor’s Lifetime Award for Performing Arts, Mr. Tim Warfield
Helping me present the White Rose Hall of Fame Award, I will ask Kelvin Parker to take the stage.
Kelvin is the son of Solita Day and Kelvin Parker, Sr. His activities include basketball, and football as well as serving as a youth mentor and volunteer basketball coach. In addition to being a member of National Society of High School Scholars, Kelvin was selected as a member of the 1st team All State Basketball, the 2010 York County Basketball Player of the Year and is the William Penn ALL TIME Career Scoring Leader with 1,451 points. Kelvin is the recipient of the Mount St Mary’s Intercultural Diversity and Leadership Scholarships, where he plans to attend college this fall and will major in Accounting.
Chris Doleman is a William Penn Senior High School graduate in the class of 1980. His notable accomplishments while a student at William Penn Senior High School are:
• Member of the UP-UPI All State Football Team
• Member of the Big 33 Football Team
• Played on the District III Championship Team
• Member of the Big 15 All Star Basketball Team
• Named MVP in the Mid State Showcase All Star Basketball Game
• Selected to join the Junior Olympic Volleyball Team
Mr. Doleman played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was a star linebacker and defensive end for the Pittsburgh Panthers from 1982 to 1984, ending with a career of 25 sacks.
He is also member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.
Mr. Doleman is a former American Football defensive end that played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers from 1985 to 1999.
Mr. Doleman was an 8 time Pro Bowl selection and a 3 time First – team All – Pro while playing in the NFL, recording 150 and half career sacks.
Currently, Mr. Doleman has been focusing his efforts on the importance of service to the community by launching Chris Doleman Pro Auctions, which is an online service that integrates social media and fundraising by hosting online auction events for all levels of charity, foundations, and non - profit organizations.
Mr. Doleman states that he lives by three principles:
• You are what you repeatedly do
• You are judged by what you give – Not what you receive
• The best way to predict your futures is to create your future
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage our 2010 White Rose Hall of Fame Award winner, York’s very-own Chris Doleman.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes our State of the City Address, and I remind everyone you are welcome to attend the Address After Party at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum, walking distance from here. One more round of applause for all of our award recipients, helpers and each and every one of you! Thank you!