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York City, West York working to finalize HRC move

Jason Addy

A little over a month after announcing the York City Human Relations Commission would reopen in West York, the two municipalities are continuing to iron out the details of the move.

The West York Borough Council approved a lease agreement with the commission Monday night that will see the commission pay just $100 per month to cover any additional utilities costs for the borough, said West York Mayor Shawn Mauck.

West York Mayor Shawn Mauck, center, speaks about the York City Human Relations Commission's move to West York, as York City Mayor Kim Bracey, left, and York City HRC Chairwoman Karen Rollins-Fitch look on. Tuesday, March 22, 2017. Jason Addy photo.

On Tuesday, the York City Council updated its Human Relations Commission ordinance to allow the commission to operate out of any York County municipality that has an “affiliation agreement” in place with the city.

York City human relations group moving to West York

York City Council president Michael Helfrich and city solicitor Jason Sabol had differing opinions Tuesday on whether West York’s lease with the commission constitutes an affiliation agreement.

“We’re breaking new ground here,” Helfrich said, adding that the process has been “reactionary,” as no one knew the commission would need to find another office. “The definition of an affiliation agreement has not been settled.”

On March 22, Mauck and York City Mayor Kim Bracey announced the commission would be moving into the West York borough building at 1381 W. Poplar St. after the commission lost its former office space. The commission had operated out of the basement of the York County Administrative Center for seven years without having to pay rent, but county officials asked the commission to vacate the office to make room for an expansion at the county's Office of Children, Youth and Families.

Mauck said the borough council’s governance committee is working on a document to serve as an affiliation agreement with York City.

After an affiliation agreement is in place, the West York Borough Council will try to adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance to authorize the commission to serve borough residents, Mauck said.

West York approves temporary lease for York City HRC

Helfrich said the council is doing its due diligence on the move and making sure its legislation is in order before any final approval.

“It’s a matter of making sure your legislation agrees with what you’re trying to do,” Helfrich said.

While York City and West York work out the details of the HRC’s move to the borough, the commission’s two staff members are working out of a conference room in the city’s human relations office.