A West York council meeting turned foul Monday as two council members traded insults before members debated whether or not to get rid of the borough's parking meters.

The fracas during the heated meeting came to a head when councilman Tim Berkheimer crumpled a note handed to him by police Chief Justin Seibel telling Berkheimer police personnel issues are not discussed in public.

After Berkheimer crumpled the note into a ball and tossed it aside, councilwoman Shelley Metzler referred to Berkheimer as a "j------."

Berkheimer retorted, calling Metzler a "b----."

Residents who attended the meeting gasped at the exchange and hurled their own insults before the tumultuous atmosphere died down after a few minutes and the meeting carried on with both Berkheimer and Metzler remaining at the table.

Meters: Also during the meeting, Berkheimer made a motion, which received a second, to have all parking meters in the borough removed within 72 hours.

He said the meters penalize residents for living in the borough.

"People are paying to park in front of their own d--- homes," Berkheimer said.

However, John Love, head of the highway department, said when meters were removed from a section of West Market Street a few years ago, nonresidents parked vehicles on the street and left them there, tying up parking spaces.

The meters were reinstalled about six months after they were removed, Love said after the meeting.

A number of council members voiced their concerns about what would happen if the meters are removed.


Advertisement

"This is our income," Metzler said, adding the borough would receive less revenue.

Councilman Shane Louthian said the meters brought in about $7,000 last year.

The borough may have hit the point where the cost to repair and maintain meters is more than what they bring in, he said.

"I don't know how much it costs to repair them ... they are old," he said after the meeting.

Permits: According to the 2012 budget, the borough took in $22,000 for parking tickets, some of which were issued for meter violations.

The borough also received about $4,000 for parking permits issued to residents so they can park at metered street spaces in front of their homes, said Kathy Altland, borough manager.

If the meters were removed this year, the borough would likely have to refund some of that money, she said.

A meter-less borough could also lead to problems when the York Fair is held, said councilman Brian Wilson. Residents living near the York Expo Center wouldn't be able to find open parking spaces because of fair attendees parking in the spots for long periods of time, he said.

"We need parking meters, but I think people should be able to park in front of their houses for free," said councilwoman Annette "Chickie" Christine.

The council voted to table Berkheimer's motion until additional information is gathered. Berkheimer was the lone council member to vote against tabling the issue.

In the meantime, Louthian said after the meeting that the borough should talk to business owners for their input.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.