Shawn Mauck resigns as West York mayor; council seeks candidates to fill position

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
West York Mayor Shawn Mauck gives his report during the Borough Council meeting, Monday, July 2, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

The West York Borough Council is seeking applicants to finish the term of Mayor Shawn Mauck, who unexpectedly stepped down in January to take on management roles in the borough.

A new mayor will be appointed by the  council or the borough’s vacancy board and will serve until the end of this year, Mauck wrote in a Facebook post Saturday, Feb. 9.

“As I said before, I am still here serving the borough proudly in a new capacity. One day at a time,” he wrote.

The borough council has until Thursday, Feb. 14, to appoint a new mayor. If they don't meet that deadline, the job falls to the borough's vacancy board, Mauck said.

The vacancy board, which is responsible only for filling vacant elected positions, is made up of the entire borough council plus one borough resident who chairs the board.

In this case, borough council President Mary Wagner would not vote on the vacancy board because she's serving as acting mayor.

The vacancy board would include acting council President Richard Stahle Jr. and council members Annette Christine, Brian Wilson, Alan Vandersloot, Wayne Leedy and Mildred Tavarez, plus borough resident and board chairman Ken Welsh.

Mauck said Sunday, Feb. 10, that borough residents interested in serving as mayor should send a letter to Stahle, with Mauck copied on the correspondence.

If the vacancy board doesn't vote to appoint someone within 15 days, the vacancy board chairman has another 15 days to petition the Court of Common Pleas to fill the seat.

Vandersloot said the borough had received notice from one borough resident interested in becoming mayor, and that it's also possible a council member will be appointed to the position.

Mauck announced his resignation as mayor in a Jan. 13 Facebook post, saying he would be assuming the positions of interim borough manager, borough secretary, borough zoning officer and borough treasurer.

“Under commonwealth law, I can not remain as mayor and hold these positions within the borough,” he wrote. “It is bittersweet to announce that I will resign my position as borough mayor effective January 14th, 2019.”

Mauck said Sunday, Feb. 10, that he saw an opportunity to use his skills and experience in a new capacity within the borough by moving into the management side of things but that he also would have continued on as mayor if state law allowed it.

He submitted a formal application to the borough council for his new positions and said he hopes they choose him to remain there.

Wages: For now, Mauck is being paid $30 per hour for 40 hours a week, which amounts to $62,400 a year, without benefits.

Council member Vandersloot said the borough contracted with the Center for Excellence in Local Government at Albright College in Berks County as a hiring consultant to vet applicants, and the council is considering three other candidates.

The advertised salary for the manager position is $50,000 to $60,000 a year with benefits, and Vandersloot said that if Mauck is hired, his salary would be negotiated within that range.

Vandersloot expects the council to hire someone by the end of February, and the new hire will likely cover all four positions.

"We have collective bargaining agreements and a relatively larger municipal budget than most," Vandersloot said. "So, to be a manager, we wanted it to be someone who at least had great business experience or preferably some municipal experience in the past."

West York has about 4,600 residents and a 2019 budget of $3.9 million.

If the council hires him permanently, Mauck said he'll continue to reach out to the public for their input.

Former borough manager Linda Diaz resigned in July 2018 after one year on the job. Diaz continued part time as an interim manager until last month, when Mauck assumed the position.

More:Mauck sworn in as West York's new mayor

More:Ex-Mayor Wasko leads charge for West York forensic audit

"When I became an elected official, it was never about me," Mauck said Sunday. "It was about, 'How can I best serve West York?' and this is the best capacity that I can do that."

Mauck became mayor of West York in October 2016 after serving on the borough council. The council appointed him to replace former Mayor Charles Wasko, who resigned after a public backlash against racist posts on his Facebook profile.

In December 2017, Mauck entered the Democratic primary race for a state Senate seat representing the 28th District, a seat formerly held by Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner. Mauck did not win the primary, and Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, won the general election in November 2018.

Before his bid for the state Senate, Mauck worked in the office of state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

"I want the public to understand they’re in good hands and they don’t need to worry," Mauck said.

Christine couldn't say whether the council would vote to hire Mauck permanently, but she said it's good for the borough that Mauck is the interim manager, secretary, treasurer and zoning officer.

"I think he’s the right man for the job," she said.

As of Monday afternoon, the council had not requested a special meeting before the Feb. 14 deadline to appoint a new mayor.

Wagner and the other council members — Stahle, Wilson, Leedy and Tavarez — could not be reached for comment Monday.

More:West York Mayor Mauck entering race for state Senate seat

More:West York council warns mayor about using borough resources for Senate bid

More:West York audits show borough in disarray; council members seek forensic probe

More:Roadwork: West York got nearly $1M from state over 10 years, spent $90K

More:Auditor general: West York's management of state funds 'inexcusable'