North York Borough Council fills one vacancy, opens another

Jason Addy
  • The North York Borough Council filled one vacancy Tuesday night, naming Dana A'Hearn to the board.
  • The council then accepted Councilwoman Sandra Hinkle's resignation, creating another vacancy on the council.
  • The council will look to fill the new vacancy at the next meeting on Feb. 14.

The North York Borough Council has been playing a game of whack-a-mole recently, with council members trying to deal with evolving vacancies as they pop up.

The council started Tuesday night’s meeting with two open seats but just one official vacancy, leading to confusion and frustration.

Dana A’Hearn was appointed Tuesday to fill the vacancy caused by Councilwoman Angi Kaltreider’s resignation in December.

North York Borough Mayor Jerry Duncan administers the oath of office to new Councilwoman Dana A'Hearn on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

A’Hearn and former Councilman Richard Shank were interviewed by the council at the beginning of the meeting, with A’Hearn taking her seat on the board after a 3-2 vote.

Her appointment was met with bewilderment from members of the public, who asked A’Hearn about her “sudden interest” in the position and why she hadn't been to council meetings in the past.

A'Hearn, who has lived in North York since 2009, said she hasn't been to council meetings because she used to work late on Tuesdays as a branch manager for BB&T Bank in Red Lion. But A'Hearn said she feels her experience in banking and management will prove to be an asset to the council.

“Living here, I’ve seen some changes, and being a homeowner, I’ve felt the changes,” A’Hearn said. “I really just feel like this is a great opportunity for me to make sure that, for my own investment as well as everybody else’s, that we have the ability to make the proper decisions to keep our community intact.”

Council President Vivian Amspacher and Vice President Doug Moore explained their votes in favor of A’Hearn by pointing out that Shank has resigned from the council in the past. Councilman Chris Kaltreider also voted for A'Hearn over Shank.

Second vacancy: North York had a full borough council for several minutes on Tuesday night before moving to unanimously accept another councilwoman’s resignation.

Almost a month after a North York resident started a petition calling for her resignation and three weeks after she first submitted her resignation letter, Sandra Hinkle is no longer a member of borough council.

At a Dec. 20 council meeting, Hinkle tendered her resignation from the council on the condition that Councilman Bill Jackson also resign. The council did not accept Hinkle’s resignation with her condition.

Christopher Wilhelm started the petition calling for Hinkle to resign after a Dec. 13 budget meeting.

Hinkle took exception to Wilhelm filming the meeting and confronted Wilhelm afterward, telling him she would beat him with his prosthetic leg if he posted the video online. Wilhelm, who was appointed as the borough’s emergency management coordinator on Tuesday, lost part of a leg in 2010 while battling cancer.

Hinkle also told him she would flash her breasts at him if he continued to record meetings, though she insisted she made the comments in jest.

The North York Borough Council approved an update to the borough's nondiscrimination/anti-harassment policy, which Moore said was “antiquated,” immediately after accepting Hinkle’s resignation.

After Hinkle’s resignation was accepted, Jackson made a motion to appoint Shank to her seat, but his motion failed to receive any support.

The North York Borough Council is now accepting applications for the new vacancy. Applicants must be registered voters and have lived in North York for at least one year prior to applying. The council hopes to hold public interviews and fill the seat at the next meeting on Feb. 14.