Newly elected York City Council members ready to serve

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York City's newly elected council members say they are up to the task of helping guide the city forward.

"I shop in the markets. When I go out to eat, it's downtown," said Betsy Buckingham, who has lived in York most of her adult life and spent decades leading fundraisers for local nonprofit organizations before retiring.

She campaigned on supporting Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow. "I think he's a great guy and he set a great example for us," Buckingham said. 

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Buckingham said now that she is retired, public office is a way to continue to contribute to the community.

Candidate for York City Council Betsy Buckingham arrives to cast her vote in the in the primary election at Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren in York City, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Among her other priorities are increasing affordable housing, which Buckingham said would help stabilize and revitalize York City's neighborhoods. 

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"The downtown has made great strides over the past decade plus," she said. "I would personally like to see we extend the progress made in the downtown." 

Buckingham said she loves York and she looks forward to working with the other council members, city government and being a good steward of the community.

Born and raised in York, Felicia Dennis spent time abroad before returning in 2016. She has served as a faith leader and also runs a taekwondo studio in York.

"I try to assist with our youth and our adults in that secular realm as well," Dennis said in an interview.

Dennis said her main goal is to learn about the goings on of the city government so that she can speak to members of the community on the concerns they have and how they can become a part of initiatives and groups in the community. 

York City Council candidate Felicia Dennis talks with her cousin Wayne Scott during a poll watch party at Post Office Social Lounge in York City Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

"Once I've been educated, I can educate them to be organized correctly, to get more involved, because that's important," she said. 

Among Dennis's priorities are the budget and making sure that money is being spent properly. She also wants to prioritize youth programs and community centers.

Keeping taxes low is also important to Dennis as a York City homeowner.

"I am grateful that they saw fit in their hearts to be able to vote for me. They had to believe in me to vote for me, and I want to say thank you," Dennis said of the voters who supported her candidacy.

Dennis and Buckingham will be replacing outgoing City Council President Henry Nixon and council member Judy Ritter-Dickson. They will be sworn in Monday, Jan. 3. At that meeting, the City Council will also vote to elect a new president.

— Matt Enright can be reached via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.