Chief of staff: Helfrich appoints acting York City mayor

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow, left, is sworn-in by York Mayor Michael Helfrich during a public celebration for the new commissioner outside the York City Police Department Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Chaz Green, York City's director of public works, will serve as acting mayor for nearly two weeks while Mayor Michael Helfrich is out of state.

Helfrich is visiting family and will resume his duties on Jan. 22, said Philip Given, the mayor's chief of staff.

He said in a Saturday statement that appointing acting mayors is "very rare," but Helfrich is permitted by city ordinance to do so.

"Mayors have historically appointed an acting mayor when they are out of town on vacation and unable to sign documents, pay bills, swear in new employees, etc.," Given said.

He could not say whether Helfrich has ever appointed an acting mayor prior to now, adding he does not often take vacations. But he confirmed that, at least in 2020, it had not been done.

Acting mayors primarily handle administrative duties, Given said, but Helfrich is still available for other matters such as discussions about city policies. 

Although Helfrich will return to his role as the city's top official on Jan. 22, under the state's COVID-19 orders, he must provide a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days upon his return.

York City Public Works Director Chaz Green poses along Poorhouse Run near Hannah Penn K-8 where trees and brush are being removed Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Improvements being made to the football field at the school include restoring the creek's natural floodplain, removing the steep banks and improving access to the creek. Bill Kalina photo

Green will swear in four probational firefighters at 11:15 a.m. Monday in City Hall. The incoming firefighters are Paul Vincent, Thomas Staab, Andrew Komar and Nathan Dunham.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.