A tension-filled West York council meeting Monday partially revolved around a proposal for an authority that would include the borough, York City and North York.
Of the residents who spoke during the meeting, most don't want any part of the York Regional General Authority.
This council "wants to give the borough away for nothing," said former councilman Joe Mummert who is seeking election to the borough council.
A number of officials from York City and North York attended the meeting, held at the Reliance Fire Co. social hall because of the large crowd.
Josef Uhrich, who is also running for council, had words of warning for them.
"If we can't trust our leaders, what good is it to have any kind of authority," he said.
The plan: Though it's not exactly clear what role the authority would play, residents fear they'd lose control of their local government and would lose their local police, fire and public works services.
Generally speaking, the authority would facilitate discussion of regionalization among York County's urban municipalities.
For example, the seven-member authority might look into potential cost savings of buying office supplies in bulk or merging public-safety services like police and fire.
The idea originated with the York County Community Foundation, whose president sent a letter to the city and to West York and North York boroughs in March suggesting they establish a "multi-municipal authority."
Borough resident Peggy Kauffman said she wants to see West York's police and fire departments remain as they are.
"I am asking that we keep West York West York," she said.
West York officials already took steps toward the authority when they voted last month to hold a public meeting on it in June.
Officials: One York City official who spoke at the meeting said he's open to hearing more about the proposal.
City councilman David Satterlee said he wants city officials to talk about the authority to lean more about it.
However, councilman Michael Helfrich he's not interested in taking any additional action until he gets more information.
North York councilwoman Sandra Hinkle said she was alarmed that the foundation didn't provided additional information when it sent letters to the three municipalities.
That's why North York officials tabled the issue until it receives additional information.
Split: York City resident Manuel Gomez warned West York officials that they could lose control of borough funds if the borough joins a larger governmental authority.
He also had some words for residents.
"You have enough problems reining in your out-of-control elected officials," he told residents.
Tom Koons, who is also running for council, said there's no harm in seeing what authority could do for the borough.
"What are some members of this council afraid of?," he asked. "Information is power."
Public hearing: West York will hold a public meeting to gather information about the York Regional General Authority at 6 p.m. Monday, June 10.
The meeting will be held at the borough building, 1700 W. Philadelphia St., or the Reliance Fire Co., 1341 W. Market St.
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