Two West York council members walked out of a council meeting that lasted less than five minutes Monday after they announced their resignations.
The council voted unanimously to accept the resignations of Nancy Laird and council president Steve Herman effective Dec. 31.
Outgoing council members Tim Berkheimer and Shane Louthian joined Laird and Herman when they left the meeting.
The meeting came to end at that point for lack of a quorum.
The action was initially met with cheers from residents in attendance and then bewilderment as they learned the meeting was over.
Even some remaining council members were caught off guard by the abrupt resignations.
"I didn't even dream they would do something like this," said Brian Wilson, who was recently re-elected to the council. "We got what we want. It's a clean house."
Resignations: Reached by phone after the meeting, Herman said he and Laird resigned because they would have been the minority on the council come the new year when new council members are sworn in.
Herman added he and a group of council members that included Laird and Louthian had a philosophy of maintaining a balanced budget that didn't include tax increases, while others, including Wilson, stated previously that taxes need to be raised to cover costs.
"It's pointless to stay on if you don't get a say," said Herman, a 16-year member of the council. "I won't run again."
Berkheimer lost his seat in the November election. He was appointed to the council earlier this year, lost his seat. Louthian launched a failed write-in campaign after losing in the primary, but also didn't retain his seat.
Voters elected newcomers Mary Wagner and Nick Laughman to the council and re-elected Wilson and Shelley Metzler.
Meetings: Over the past two years or so, council meetings have been filled with heated exchanges between residents and the council and between council members and fellow council members.
Herman said the "catcalls" at meetings and in the lead-up to the election are another reason he resigned.
"I'm not sitting on council with uneducated people that will do that," he said.
Herman and Laird were most recently elected to the council in 2011.
Neither Herman nor Laird submitted letters of resignation, and they aren't required to do so, said solicitor Mieke Driscoll.
Council members will have 30 days starting Dec. 31 to appoint two residents to the open seats. In order to be considered for the posts, candidates must have to live in the borough for at least a year and be at least 18 years old, she said.
The council will begin its search when it meets again on Jan. 6, Wilson said.
The remaining and incoming members of the West York council will hold a town hall meeting Monday, Dec. 9.
Council members Brian Wilson, Shelley Metzler and Annette "Chickie" Christine, along with Mary Wagner and Nick Laughman, who were elected to the council in November, will host the meeting.
It will be held at the West York Fire Co., 1341 W. Market St., at 6 p.m.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.