If Michael O'Rourke understands irony, he wasn't showing it Tuesday night when he gave the York City Council an earful.

"We can't afford to live in York anymore," he said of his family.

"My real-estate taxes have doubled" since 2000, O'Rourke complained.

That was the year he took the job as the city's business administrator -- you know, the person who minds the city's books.

O'Rourke still has the job, in fact.

No, he wasn't admonishing the council for not following his financial advice and leading the city down a road to ruin.

He was unhappy because members wouldn't sign off on a hefty pay raise for him above the 2 percent cost-of-living raise he and all other non-union employees are due next year.

Mayor Kim Bracey had recommended the additional increase for O'Rourke, as well as for Public Works Director Jim Gross, and she said rejecting the raises sends "a poor message."

"We have been able to hold the line because of our directors," Bracey said, referencing the city's finances.

Granted, the 2014 budget approved this week does not include a tax increase, but what about the bigger picture?

O'Rourke was speaking about his total property tax bill, of course, and that includes York City School District taxes, which have jumped significantly.

But so have city taxes, including double digit increases in just the past two years -- 11 percent in 2011 and 17 percent in 2012.

That falls under O'Rourke's purview, doesn't it?

In fairness, when he took the job three administrations ago, he inherited a financial mess.

But that was 14 years and three administrations ago, and the city is still bleeding,

City residents are well aware they're struggling under the highest tax rate in the county, and they want relief.

Unfortunately, the solution O'Rourke fought for this week would have eased the burden for only one city resident.

The council denied the additional pay increases for O'Rourke and Gross, with one member citing the city's "fragile" finances.

It was the right decision.

Unfortunately, some members then sent a mixed message by approving a raise for the city clerk.

And for that they'll have to answer to voters.