City Council to fill vacancy Monday

Jason Addy
York Dispatch
  • The council will conduct public interviews and choose a new council member on Monday night.
  • The five-person council will then get to work on York City's 2017 budget.

The York City Council will hold a micro-election Monday night to fill the vacancy created by former President Carol Hill-Evans' election to the state House last week.

The York City Council and business administrator Michael Doweary listen to York City Police Chief Wes Kahley's budget requests.

Hill-Evans takes 95th District seat

The council received 17 applications, though one was invalid as the person is not a resident of York City, Councilman Henry Nixon said.

The applicants have a variety of professional experience, with some coming from school organizations, some from the private sector and some with nonprofit backgrounds, council President Michael Helfrich said.

Council members will each select one or two candidates to interview in public during a committee meeting Monday night in council chambers, Helfrich said. Once the public interviews have been conducted, the council will vote on its newest member.

Helfrich would not release the names of the applicants in advance, saying it was a personnel matter.

The newly appointed fifth member will immediately get down to business, as the council pushes forward with its 2017 York City budget discussions and negotiations, Helfrich said.

“I am hoping for a quick consensus, because we need somebody up there with us to work on the budget,” he said.

Too many qualified candidates: Council members might have trouble choosing just one new council member from the 16 candidates.

“Just looking at the people I know, I can see eight people that I would respect as fellow council members,” Helfrich said, noting many of the other candidates also have great resumes.

Nixon said he finished reviewing all of the applications and resumes this morning, before identifying the candidates he would like to interview Monday night. Council members were required to submit their selections by 1 p.m. Thursday.

Nixon reiterated his support for candidates with “deep roots” in the city, even if they are relatively new to the area but have become engaged in their community.

He said he is looking for a competent council member who he can work with, even when they don’t agree. He has said before that he would like to fill the vacancy with a minority candidate to better represent the city.

Helfrich has previously said he wants someone with critical thinking, math and budgeting skills who can form a good relationship with the people of York City

Nixon said he feels “a heavy responsibility” to appoint the right person.

He said he is confident the council will get it right, and he is encouraged by the many qualified candidates who applied.

“It’s time for some new blood, and I’m encouraged by it,” Nixon said. “I’m especially encouraged by the quality of folks interested in public service."