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LETTERS: Open letter to Gov. Wolf, legislators from York County nonprofits

York Dispatch

The following is an open letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania's General Assembly from York County's nonprofit leaders

As leaders of York County's nonprofit organizations, we are sensitive to the behind-the-door realities of budget negotiations. We appreciate the hard work it takes to draft sensible legislation. Further, we are grateful when our legislative leaders take a stand to demand legislation that best serves our communities.

It is unfathomable though, how York County's educational, health, and human service providers have been dragged into the middle of a reckless political game of chicken that will most certainly end with casualties.

York County's nonprofit organizations exist to do significant good in our communities, to provide a safety net for our most vulnerable. We educate impoverished students, give opportunity to young people with special needs, protect battered women and children, provide high quality and affordable early childhood education, among many other critical services. We strategize and scrape for funding from public and private sources with the sole goal of helping hurting and struggling people.

We cannot imagine the chaos and hopelessness of these critical services being cut off to the community who so desperately needs them. The consequences will be lasting and devastating, and those consequences are already beginning to pile up. Soon, the ability to recover and rebuild will be overwhelming for both those receiving and those providing services.

At the writing of this letter, Pennsylvania is 127 days overdue for a state budget. Our most vulnerable citizens are suffering new setbacks as schools are closing, teachers are accepting reduced paychecks, staff positions are being eliminated, and entire health and human welfare organizations are planning to shut down.

Our respective lines of credit are running out. We are becoming increasingly unable to pay our basic operating expenses. As our organizations are forced to lay off employees, and as we are unable to pay our bills, there will be an inevitable trickle-down effect that will negatively impact our local economy.

Everyone wants what is best for Pennsylvania, York County, and York City. This budget impasse is not what is best for our community. It is unnecessary, risky, and reckless.

How long will it take to reach a fair budget compromise? What will be the final cost of this risky brinksmanship? What critical services will cease? What organizations will fail to survive?

We have confidence that you can reach a budget compromise and pass a State budget that begins funneling critical funds back into these services. Your local community simply cannot afford to wait any longer for a budget to pass.


•Rev. Aaron J. Anderson

CEO/Head of School

Logos Academy

•Anne E. Bahn


Byrnes Health Education Center

•James Bennett

President and CEO

Easter Seals Western and Central PA

•Dennis E. Camuti, Major

York Citadel Corps Officer & Area Coordinator

The Salvation Army York

•Louie Castriota

President & CEO

Leg Up Farm and Able-Services

•Victoria A. Connor


York County Bar Association and York County Bar Foundation

•Bobbi Anne DeLeo

Executive Director

York County Literacy Council

•Matthew B. Ernst; CTRS

Director of Therapeutic Recreation

Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania

•Jenny Englerth


Family First Health

•Randy Freedman

Chief Executive Officer

York Jewish Community Center

•Deborah Harrison

Executive Director

York County Children's Advocacy Center

•Ivan G. Hileman

Executive Director

Bell Socialization Services, Inc.

•Debbie J. Loucks

Executive Director

York Area Development Corporation

•Pr. Glenn Miller

Vice President for External Relations

SpiriTrust Lutheran

CEO, the SpiriTrust Lutheran Foundation

•Gregory T. Miller

President and Chief Executive Officer

Penn-Mar Human Services

Chief Executive Officer

Penn-Mar Foundation

•Sandy Myers

Executive Director of Operations

Jessica and Friends Community

•Risa C. Paskoff, MSW, ACSW

Executive Director

Aason's Acres

•Kris Pollick


Catholic Harvest Food Pantry

•Bill Rhinesmith


ForSight Vision

•Larry M. Richardson


YMCA of York and York County

•Robin Rohrbaugh


Community Progress Council

•Jody Shaffer

Executive Director

YWCA Hanover

•Bobby Simpson


Crispus Attucks

•Michael A. Smith

Executive Director

Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties

•Jean M. Treuthart

Chief Executive Officer


•Robert J. Woods

Executive Director

United Way of York County

•Frank W. Koerber

Executive Director

Typical Life Corporation

•Garrett Trout

Chief Executive Officer

TrueNorth Wellness Services