The Honorable Mayor and York City Council Members:
You’ve now passed a budget for 2018-2019 for the city of York. You met your deadline. Now that the time pressure is off to make major changes in a very short time, with limited information, I have a question for you. Will you go back and look into why the city ended up where it did? The city didn’t go from being Community of the Year in 2016 to financially “in trouble” for no reason. The tax payers in York want to know what happened. Why were essentially all taxes and fees increased, and five positions had to be eliminated?
Based on my research into the numbers, I don’t believe the city of York is in as bad of a situation as it has been presented. I believe during the operations of this next year that will become clearer. Some departments had an increase in the amount they received from the general fund over the previous years’ average, while other departments had cuts, primarily the funding for streets. With that in mind, will the council be open to at least adding back in some of positions that have been cut? Some of the positions reported as being cut will affect the quality of services currently being provided, and valued based on community response.
What I don’t want to have happen is this be swept under the rug, since “the changes have already been made.” I don’t want to hear, “we just need to look forward.” I don’t want this to turn into a campaign for mayor/council where blame is placed without facts being presented. If one doesn’t learn from past mistakes, they are doomed to repeat them. The issues that led up to what the city of York faced have been years in the making. Barry Redfern has been on the council since 1996, Ron Mogul Jr. has been serving since 2004, and Diane Wolfe since 2006. That’s 22 years, 14 years, and 12 years respectively. Both Sheila Hubbard and Jeff Pieper have served four years, since 2014. Mat Wagner, Clarence Hoffman, Ron Saathoff, and Orval Stahr are just finishing up their second year, having begun serving in 2016.
While some of the council has been serving for years, and others only recently elected, you are all responsible for the choices you make going forward. You are the currently elected city council and mayor. I want to thank you for the work you’ve done so far in trying to understand what’s happened, I only ask that you finish the job in a timely manner, so the public can understand where we are and what the future may hold.
Stephen R Postier