Five people are finalists in an expedited effort to fill a vacant seat on the York City Council, which has been short one member since Councilwoman Joanne Borders died Sept. 24.
From a field of 21 applicants - 17 of whom showed up Monday morning for a potential interview - the council's four remaining members picked and interviewed the top five candidates.
City residents could soon have as their fifth representative on the council a retired IRS agent, an urban housing planner, a professional fundraiser, a longtime salesman or a community-college dean.
On Monday, each council member cast a secret ballot with three names of people they'd like to interview, a process that could have produced as many as 12 candidates.
But a total of just five names - Jessica Fieldhouse, Larry Homsher, Jim Norman, David Satterlee and Bryan Tate - appeared on the ballots. Each candidate stayed for a public interview.
The council will vote on a new member at 5 p.m. Monday at council chambers, 101 S. George St. By law, the council must appoint someone by Oct. 25.
During the interviews, Councilman Henry Nixon asked if the candidates would seek a council position in the next election. Each said yes.
A community planning professional, Fieldhouse said she would use her skills to push for redevelopment projects.
She cited tax- and pension-reform advocacy at the state level as an important role of council members. Fieldhouse, 34, said council members must convince county officials that the county's health is tied to the city's health.
"I know that I can be the advocate that's necessary for our residents," she said.
Homsher, 65, said he would be an advocate of economic development and homeownership. Homsher, vice president at Vidmar Distributors Inc., said he is a problem solver who would work to boost revenue for the city other than property taxes.
A Republican, Homsher he could represent the council to county officials and the York County state delegation. He said he "could bring a coalition together."
"I see the potential of the city," he said.
Satterlee, the dean of student affairs at HACC's York campus, said his background in education has helped him understand the root of many city issues.
He said he's had experience managing large budgets. Satterlee, 46, called himself a "big-picture thinker," adept at prioritizing and providing for immediate needs while planning for the future.
"There's always more needs than resources," he said.
Tate, a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, said he's been a longtime "ambassador" of York City, and he's looking to formalize that role. With his experience in the political arena, Tate said he would be an effective advocate for the city.
"I think that that's part of the job," said Tate, who currently serves as vice president of philanthropy at the York County Community Foundation.
Tate, 45, said he's an "independent thinker" with a proven track record of connecting with people who can help.
Norman detailed his experience with the IRS as a forensic accountant. In that position, Norman said he learned to handle people in often tense circumstances.
Council members, he said, should be working to resolve the city's financial issues and achieve budgetary efficiency.
At 66 years old, Norman said he has no aspiration for any higher office.
"My focus is what's best for York City," he said.
About the candidates:
Fieldhouse, 34, served until recently as the YMCA's director of community development. In that position, she managed multiple affordable-housing projects.
In July, she took a job as a housing development consultant with Mullin and Lonergan Associates in Camp Hill.
Fieldhouse has served on the York City Planning Commission since 2010. She holds a degree in geography with an emphasis on urban and regional planning from Bloomsburg University. She lives on West Market Street.
A retired forensic accountant for the IRS, Norman holds degrees in economics and accounting. He worked for the U.S. Treasury Department for 38 years examining thousands of tax returns.
Norman, 66, is an active member of the Springdale Community Association.
Homsher, 65, is a vice president for Vidmar Distributors Inc. in York, where he manages sales and marketing.
He holds a degree in business administration from Penn State University and has served on several York City boards, including the Nuisance Abatement Appeal Board and the Weed and Seed Executive Committee.
In 2007, Homsher co-founded the York City Republicans. He lives on West Market Street.
The dean of student affairs at HACC's York campus has worked in higher education since 1995. Satterlee had earlier stints at Towson University, Susquehanna University and Messiah College.
At HACC, Satterlee supervises student enrollment, financial aid, disability support, judicial affairs and more. He holds a master's degree in higher education from Geneva College.
Satterlee, 46, lives on Linden Avenue.
Tate, 45, is the vice president of philanthropy at the York County Community Foundation, where he and his staff raise about $6 million annually.
From 1992 to 2003, Tate served two stints as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Todd Platts. He worked for state Sen. Mike Waugh as director of capitol operations and campaign manager in the 1990s.
Tate holds a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University. He lives on East Market Street.
- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.