It appears that sometimes the Judgment of Solomon — splitting something in half — is the solution.
That's just what the West York borough council and a school district PTO did when they hashed out a new deal for a parking fundraiser during the York Fair.
As part of the deal, the West York Elementary PTO will lose half the money from the annual fundraiser when it splits proceeds with the borough, which in turn, will take over parking cars for half of the 10-day run of the fair.
But half is better than a proposal that would have shut out the PTO completely, said Sabrina Murphy, the PTO's fair parking chairwoman.
Brian Wilson, council president, had proposed that the borough take over fair parking to help restart a parks and recreation program that went by the wayside years ago.
"I think this would be poor judgement to take this away (from the PTO) a month before the fair," said Garrett Wampler, a councilman.
The deal: Under the new deal, PTO volunteers will run fair parking at Shelly Park on North Highland Avenue the first five days of the fair, which is held in September.
Volunteers from the borough will take over parking cars the remaining five days and proceeds will be split 50/50. The deal is for this year only.
The council approved the measure 6-1 with Wilson voting against.
"I just hope we don't go through this next year," he said.
The deal came about after Wilson said in early July that he'd like the borough solicitor to look into retracting a 5-year agreement that allowed the PTO to hold the fundraiser. Council approved that agreement in the fall but solicitor Mieke Driscoll previously said there were "good arguments" that would allow the borough to back out of it.
"You don't pull the rug out this close," said councilman Nick Laughman.
Agreement: Under the previously approved agreement, the borough would have received $1,000 or 15 percent, whichever is greater, each year from the PTO-led parking.
All told, the PTO, which has been doing the fundraiser for decades, makes $10,000 to $13,000 yearly from parking cars. That money is used to fund student activities, such as field trips.
The money is spread out over the four elementary schools in the district, including the soon-to-be shuttered Loucks Elementary in West York. When Loucks closes, there won't be a district school in the borough.
But that $10,000 to $13,000 wouldn't likely be enough to restart the defunct parks and recreation department, Wampler said immediately.
"We have to start somewhere," Wilson said, adding money could also be used to repair or replace playground equipment.
Wilson also said the district should step up and provide funding to the PTO.
However, like most PTOs, the organization relies solely on fundraising to help supplement funding student activities and to buy teaching supplies where the district funds stop, Murphy said.
"I feel this money should stay in the borough," said resident Trudy Doll.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.