York City treasurer pushes for full-time pay to match hours

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

York City's treasurer is looking for a raise that he said better fits the hours the job requires. All three taxing entities — the city, the school district and the county — have a say in the outcome. 

And they have to decide by Thursday, Feb. 14. 

"The treasurer is kind of a separate beast and works with multiple municipalities," said York City solicitor Jason Sabol, adding that the position falls under the local tax collection law. 

Treasurer Joe Jefcoat, in the last year of his first term, said he regularly puts in 40- to 45-hour shifts per week, despite his part-time pay.

"It's not that I believe it should be full time; it is full time. That's just the fact of it," he said. "You can't do or perform all the duties and responsibilities of the office on a part-time basis." 

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Duties of the office have increased in the last 18 years, but the salary has been stagnant since 2001, Jeffcoat said. 

"When I say full time, you cannot have another job," he said. 

The vote would effectively be a salary change, as the part-time treasurer already receives health insurance and pension benefits, Sabol said. 

The salary is $28,000. The proposed salary hike has yet to be determined. The York City Council will hold a special meeting to introduce the salary change bill at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11. At that time, it is also likely decide what the new salary would be. The council will meet again at noon Thursday, Feb. 14, to consider the final passage. 

The City Council is only one piece of the puzzle. Or rather, five pieces of the puzzle. 

Each government body will vote as a bloc — the five-member City Council, the nine-member school board and the three county commissioners. The ordinance needs a combined majority from voting officials to pass. 

To complicate the matter a bit more, the vote must take place by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, Sabol said. Most elected positions have until the November municipal election to change salary. Under tax law, the treasurer's salary must be in place by Thursday. 

The council's vote is subject to approval by York City Mayor Michael Helfrich. The mayor, who typically has 10 days to sign an ordinance, also would have to approve the change by end of day Thursday. 

The mayor could opt to veto the council's vote. 

"If he vetoed, then it's just like (the council) didn't vote at all," Sabol said. "I guess, hypothetically, if the commissioners and the school board all passed it unanimously, it probably would have enough votes to go forward even with the mayor's veto." 

County commissioners will abstain, said York County spokesman Mark Walters. 

School district representatives could not immediately confirm if the board will be voting by Thursday. 

If approved, the salary change would go into effect at the start of the next term in January. It would not affect Jefcoat's salary in the remaining months of his term.

If it's not approved, the matter cannot be brought up again until the next election in four years, Sabol said. 

Jeffcoat said he has not yet committed to running for a second term and said he does not know how the outcome of the vote will affect his decision.

— Rebecca Klar can be reached at rklar@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter @RebeccaKlar_