A special election is being held during the May primary to fill the 95th House District seat vacated by Eugene DePasquale. Three candidates are running. The winner will take office immediately.
This week's question: Is more cooperation needed between York City and its surrounding suburban municipalities? If so, how would you work toward this goal?
Bill Schwartz (G): "I understand why William Penn was interested in local control. However, in his day, it took hours to get (between municipalities)."
He said more cooperation is needed, and he thinks the county's municipalities will eventually work toward "one York."
Swartz said he would support short-term actions such as legislation that makes cooperation possible and "paves the road" for broader consolidation in the future.
It's still important for York County's individual communities to maintain their character, he said, but it also makes sense for the county to have only one police department, one school district, and one government.
Bryan Tate (R): Tate said the goal in local government should be consolidation, such as merging all of the school districts to dilute the concentration of poverty in city schools.
But he said many officials probably won't be amenable to that course, so property tax reform and other efforts can be temporary, achievable goals for improving the city's situation.
He said he supports reducing taxes for businesses, encouraging them to move to York City. Taxes will decrease for everyone in the city if there are more businesses present to field more of the burden, he said.
As an elected official, he would support legislation to allow local governments to decide how to fund themselves, be that through property or sales taxes or other means, he said.
Kevin Schreiber (D): "Absolutely. I'm uniquely sensitive to this issue having worked with the city for several years. There's absolutely natural areas where municipalities could work together to share services and possible purchases. There's less duplication. If there's more cooperation, it leads to better services and hopefully cost savings."
Schreiber said he would support legislation to create incentives for intermunicipal sharing and promote an environment in which municipalities understand what they have to gain through a common vision.