Given the questions raised during last year's York City Council race about Michael Helfrich's eligibility to serve, it was reasonable for Mayor Kim Bracey to ask the York County Common Pleas Court to rule on the matter.
And we think President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh was right to allow Helfrich to take his seat and begin work on behalf of his constituents while the judge considered his decision.
But after Linebaugh ruled last month Helfrich's two felony convictions 20 years ago were not infamous crimes, which would have barred him from public office, it was time to move on.
Bracey had 30 days to appeal the judge's decision, which departed from decades of case law. Such a move would have sparked a long and costly court battle that likely would have ended up before the state Supreme Court.
The mayor chose not to put the city through that, and we applaud the move.
York is facing too many challenges -- near and long term -- to be distracted further by an issue that was settled first by the voters and then again by Linebaugh.
And it just so happens Helfrich is well-suited to help find solutions to those challenges, despite the mistakes he made as a young man.
Helfrich was 20 years old when he pleaded guilty in 1991 to a felony charge of possession of and conspiracy to deliver drugs. He served 45 days in jail. According to a court transcript, Helfrich offered a ride to the airport to a man whom he knew to be in possession of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.
Now 42, Helfrich has characterized his crime
Helfrich's convictions were common knowledge in the years after his conviction, as he founded the Codorus Creek Improvement Project, earning awards from the city and county governments. He also served on several committees and as a Minority Inspector Judge of Elections.
In announcing her decision last week, Bracey said she wished to reiterate her respect for Helfrich, with whom she had worked before he was a councilman and she was mayor.
She said they would work together toward revitalizing York, and Helfrich agreed.
"Even before this decision," he said, "we have already been taking the steps to put this behind us."
That's a relief for the citizens of York, who have more important things on their minds.
The issue of "infamous crimes" and public service might not be settled statewide, but it's up to the General Assembly to put the matter to rest once and for all.
Here in York, we all have better things to do.