New GM named amid investigation at York City Ice Arena

David Weissman
York Dispatch

A new general manager has been brought in to lead York City Ice Arena, as the city-owned facility is the subject of a police investigation for possible employee misconduct.

Michael Doweary, city business administrator, said an audit of the city's finances, which was supposed to be complete by Sept. 30, is being held up because of the ongoing investigation.

York City Ice Arena

Doweary declined to elaborate, citing the issue as a personnel matter.

Though the rink is owned by the city, the facility is staffed by the York Revolution, which signed a contract to manage the rink in 2014.

Eric Menzer, president of the Revs, confirmed the existence of the police investigation, which he said occurred after his organization reported a concern to the city in late July or early August.

Menzer also declined to elaborate, stating he wanted to be careful not to cross any lines while the police conducts its investigation. 

York City Police did not return a call seeking comment, but the public police log shows that a detective met with city solicitors Jason Sabol and Donald Hoyt on Sept. 5 at city hall "in regards to a theft that occurred at the York City Ice Rink."

The York Dispatch has submitted multiple Right-to-Know requests to the city regarding operations at the rink, and the city has invoked its right to a 30-day extension — now due Dec. 14 — before responding to those requests.

In the meantime, the Revs have hired a new general manager, Mark Skehan, who began working at the rink Monday, Nov. 6.

Mark Skehan

Former GM Mike Cleveland, who had held the position for many years prior to the Revs taking over management responsibilities, left the rink in late July or early August, Menzer said.

Cleveland, who still uses the rink as a coach for the York Ice Hockey Club, could not be reached for comment.

Skehan is the retired former owner of Dressel Welding Supply, president of York County baseball's Central League and an alternate member of the city's Historical Architectural Review Board.

Menzer said Skehan's combination of knowledge in business, leadership and longtime involvement in local sports made him the perfect candidate.

Menzer said he interviewed numerous other candidates, but he went with Skehan, in part, because he had the support of the York Ice Hockey and Skipjacks Hockey clubs, which are the rink's top customers.

Skehan, a longtime friend and neighbor of Menzer, said he's been involved with the York Ice Hockey Club for about 35 years. He acknowledged rumors he's heard related to an investigation at the rink, but he said he didn't know any specifics.

Skehan also is part of the group that pushed for the creation of the rink in 2001.

The city guaranteed a $7.3 million bond to build the arena and handed control of the facility to the York City Recreation Corp.

Dallastown vs Penn Manor during ice hockey action at York City Ice Arena in York City, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. Penn Manor would win the game 6-3. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In 2003, city officials took control of the rink after the corporation lost more than $525,000 in its first two years and was unable to make its monthly bond payment.

The takeover was necessary to secure the rink's assets to assure the city meets future loan obligations, then-Mayor John Brenner said at the time.

Skehan, a board member for the corporation — now called the York City Parks Conservancy — since 2000, said the financial struggles were a result of the officials trying to do too much right from the start.

"I think the facility has matured well past those issues, and I want to keep things moving forward," Skehan said. "My goal is not to address history."

— Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that an audit of the ice arena was being held up by the investigation. That audit was actually of the city's finances as a whole.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.