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West York's upcoming Halloween bash in Shelly Park is meant to foster a spirit of togetherness in a borough that's had more than its share of negative headlines, according to organizers.

The Hallo-We Together event, which is sponsored by the borough of West York and the organizations Put People First and Parliament Arts, will take place on from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday in the park at 248 N. Highland Ave. in the borough.

The free event that's open to the public is intended to be family friendly, featuring music and activities such as face-painting, pumpkin-carving and crafts and a "trunk-or-treating" event in the parking lot, according to the Facebook page for the event.

There will be food trucks, and at 7 p.m. the fire department will have its annual "candy drop," the description states.

"This might be one of the first times West York has brown and black musicians performing in it," Carla Christopher of Put People First said at a recent West York Borough Council meeting.

Background: That statement is significant considering the borough's past month, during which it made national headlines when Mayor Charles Wasko's posting of several racist images on Facebook came to light and offended borough council members and many locals.

Wasko, who was elected mayor in 2013, made several offensive posts on Facebook this year. Two compared President Barack Obama and his family to apes, and one suggested Obama should be hanged with a noose. Another post featured a fictional black person saying that socialism is "when the white folks work every day so we can get all our governmental entitlement stuff for free."

The council members last week voted unanimously to approve Wasko's resignation based on an email he sent them a week earlier, outlining conditions that would have to be met in exchange for his resignation. At the same meeting, the council appointed council President Shawn Mauck to fill the remainder of Wasko's term. Mauck was sworn in Friday morning.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him at scotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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