Recap: Four days of budget hearings, lots of dollar signs

York officials say the city is facing a difficult budget season. (Daily Record/Sunday news -- File)

York officials say the city is facing a difficult budget season. (Daily Record/Sunday news — File)

A week of testimony during preliminary budget hearings revealed departments whose resources are already being stretched to the max, city workers said. But with healthcare and pension costs that continue to rise, York Mayor Kim Bracey and some city council members say cuts may now be necessary.

York is eyeing a quarter-of-a-percent increase to its earned income tax to cover a $2.8 million rise in its Minimum Municipal Obligation pension payments. The tax, which already stands at 1 percent, would be levied against anyone who lives or works in the city, Bracey has said previously. Continue reading “Recap: Four days of budget hearings, lots of dollar signs” »

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What’s the plan for Continental Square?

Downtown Inc is moving forward with some updates for Continental Square.

Downtown Inc is moving forward with some updates for Continental Square.

Plans to revamp Continental Square have been a long time in the making.

But after nearly a decade of planning and research, local nonprofit Downtown Inc plans to move forward with tackling some of the “low-hanging fruit” that program manager Tim Fulton said could have a dramatic impact on the space. Continue reading “What’s the plan for Continental Square?” »

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Cut $4 million? OK, but how?

Several York City Council members called for big cuts to the budget last week — to the tune of $4 million — so that the city could scale back its highest-in-the-county real estate taxes.

But council members say that all options for reducing the city’s tab, including cuts to public safety, an option that’s been unpopular in the past. Continue reading “Cut $4 million? OK, but how?” »

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Can the city reduce its budget by cutting payroll?

When several York City Council members called for big changes in the city’s spending habits, many readers on the Daily Record/Sunday News Facebook page called for them to make the first move by cutting their own compensation.

“Pensions, Pay for city council and Mayor, health Coverage, all eliminated. They wanted the job to run city, not make a career move,” Wayne Barrow Jr., commented.
Continue reading “Can the city reduce its budget by cutting payroll?” »

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How to stop the violence?

From the left, Tom Kearney, York County District Attorney, Sam Rabadi, special agent of the Philadelphia office for the ATF and York City Police Chief Wes Kahley talk about arrests in front of York City Police in York September 23, 2014. (Daily Record/Sunday news -- File)

From the left, Tom Kearney, York County District Attorney, Sam Rabadi, special agent of the Philadelphia office for the ATF and York City Police Chief Wes Kahley talk about arrests in front of York City Police in York September 23, 2014. (Daily Record/Sunday news — File)

At a Tuesday morning news conference — where local and state officials announced they had charged 21 alleged members of the city’s “Southside Gang” — York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said, “We can’t arrest our way out of this.” Continue reading “How to stop the violence?” »

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Five things to know about York’s proposed food cart ordinance

City Council has moved an ordinance that would allow more food carts downtown to its legislative agenda. (York Daily Record/Sunday News -- File)

City Council has moved an ordinance that would allow more food carts downtown to its legislative agenda. (York Daily Record/Sunday News — File)

York City Council members have been served a slew of new recommendations forĀ  regulating mobile food-cart vendors on Continental Square and beyond.

The proposals come from an ad-hoc group created months ago by the council. Members of the committee included brick and mortar restaurant owners, food truck operators and city government officials. Continue reading “Five things to know about York’s proposed food cart ordinance” »

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York to take another look at adding food carts downtown

After months of deliberation, an ad-hoc mobile food committee has sent suggestions for amending York’s food cart regulations to City Council.

The city allows only one licensed food cart vendor to operate on Continental Square, but the mobile food committee has suggested that the number of licenses be upped to 26, with six of those being for spaces in the Central Business District. Continue reading “York to take another look at adding food carts downtown” »

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York City Council to discuss Earned Income Tax hike Sept. 24

York City Council will discuss raising the Earned Income Tax by a quarter-of-a-percent to fund a $2.2 million increase in pension payments at its committee meeting Sept. 24. Continue reading “York City Council to discuss Earned Income Tax hike Sept. 24” »

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City has more retired police and fire personnel than active

Heading into the 2015 budget season, York’s money woes, and by default, pension problems, are front and center for city officials.

Facing a $2.2 million increase in pension payments thanks to the expiration of state legislation that gave the city a break on its bills, York Mayor Kim Bracey has said she doesn’t believe that the city will be able to balance its budget this year without some sort of fee increase for residents.

Bracey has said all options to meet the city’s financial obligations are on the table this year, including an increase to the Earned Income Tax. Continue reading “City has more retired police and fire personnel than active” »

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Seeking domestic violence help? Here are local resources

Anne Acker, a long-time domestic violence awareness advocate, told me when I called her to talk about the Ray Rice video tape that if she was ever abused by a partner, she didn’t know if she would be able to get up and leave.

Despite her years of work with victims and her knowledge of the issue, the simple fact is — you can’t instantly stop loving someone, she said. Continue reading “Seeking domestic violence help? Here are local resources” »

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