York City's new mayor cuts position due for controversial raise

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch
  • Washington's position as director of community relations ended as of Jan. 2 — Helfrich's first day in office.
  • As York City Council president, Helfrich voted against the raises for three high-level city officials.

One of three high-level city employees approved for a controversial salary hike last month is no longer employed at City Hall.

City of York Director of Community Relations Edquina Washington talks about the 5th Annual MLK America's Sunday Supper at Lincoln Charter School in York City, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. Washington also is heavily involved in York City's Group Violence Intervention initiative.
(Dawn J. Sagert photo)

Edquina Washington, who served as director of community relations under former Mayor Kim Bracey starting in 2010, is no longer with the city, according to Philip Given, chief of staff for York City Mayor Michael Helfrich.

“With the new administration and the way the mayor wanted to structure his staff, it led to the elimination of the director of community relations position” starting Jan. 2, Given said.

Her employment with the city was in question after a divided York City Council approved raises for several administrative officials, including Washington, business administrator Michael Doweary and Director of Economic and Community Development Shilvosky Buffaloe.

Several city residents spoke out against the raises, with one calling York City Council members Henry Nixon, Sandie Walker and Judy Ritter-Dickson — each of whom voted for the measure — careless about public opinion on the raises.

More:York City Council OKs ‘generous' raises for Bracey’s officials after heated debate

More:York Mayor-elect Helfrich says some Bracey administrators will remain

More:York Mayor Helfrich takes oath, names interim police chief

Helfrich was one of the opposing votes in the 3-2 approval raising Doweary’s salary by nearly $16,000 and increasing pay about $11,000 each for Buffaloe and Washington.

In Washington’s case, her salary was set to jump from $54,000 to $65,000 in 2018.

Given declined to disclose Washington’s last day in the position, citing a personnel matter.

Doweary and Buffaloe will remain in their respective administrative roles, Helfrich announced during his inaugural address.

Washington did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, Jan. 4.