Language, language.

Do you kiss voters' babies with those mouths?

West York Borough Council meetings have been known to turn raucous at times, but on Monday two members took it to a new low.

In an embarrassing display of juvenile behavior, the pair let the expletives fly in front of an audience of residents.

Rather than repeat the language again, let's put it this way:

Councilman Tim Berkheimer crumpled a note handed to him by police Chief Justin Seibel, prompting Councilwoman Shelley Metzler to call her colleague a donkey's behind.

Berkheimer replied Metzler herself was a female dog.

Our reporter on the scene noted residents "gasped at the exchange and hurled their own insults before the tumultuous atmosphere died down after a few minutes and the meeting carried on ..."

Why wouldn't they wade in, after seeing the example their elected officials had just set?

That, apparently, is what passes for decorum at West York Council meetings.

Where once members were simply irresponsible, now they're also petty and vulgar.

It's unclear what's behind this latest behavior.

The chief's note to Berkheimer reportedly was a reminder that police personnel issues are not to be discussed in public ... which really makes us wish the council would discuss police personnel issues in public.

Maybe that would shed some light on the situation.

Meetings were also heated earlier this year, when the board voted to seek requests from five area police departments to provide coverage in the borough.


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Its own department's contract is up at the end of this year, and the majority wanted to see if it could get a better deal for residents.

Two departments submitted bids based on the council's request.

At a meeting in March to consider the bids, however, a new 4-3 majority voted not to pursue outside police service.

But it wasn't because the bids weren't competitive -- the board made that decision without even opening the proposals.

Not only didn't the members look at the bids, they voted to shred them, sight unseen.

We don't know what possible reason they could have had, other than to ensure no one else could view the bids.

Immature might be too kind a word to describe that act.

The council was on a roll, however, and two weeks later it topped itself, prompting the members' own solicitor to call their actions irresponsible.

At that meeting, the police union presented a new, $3.74 million three-year contract proposal, which normally would have been the beginning of the negotiation process.

Instead, and against the advice of their solicitor, council members Metzler, Brian Wilson, Annette "Chickie" Christine and then-member Dawn Shue approved the contract at that very same meeting.

Council president Steve Herman -- who adjourned the meeting to call the lawyer, who wasn't present -- said the solicitor had advised voting on the contract without it being reviewed by an attorney hired to represent the borough during negotiations would be irresponsible.

Breathtakingly so, we added at the time.

Now here we are some four months later, and council members have stooped to swearing at each other in a public meeting.

It's embarrassing -- for the council members, whether they realize it or not, and for those who have to witness it.

Whatever is going on in that tiny borough, the council needs to get its act together -- and clean it up while they're at it.