Pa. Municipal League: Legislative reforms needed

In light of York’s dire budget season, the Pennsylvania Municipal League, a bipartisan organization representing municipalities around the state, has called on legislators to take action on legislative reforms it says would lessen the strain on cash-strapped municipalities.

The league supports a pension reform bill sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover Township) and also supports changes to the state’s binding arbitration laws. Continue reading “Pa. Municipal League: Legislative reforms needed” »

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Readers: Vacant lots could be put to use

Last week, I shared a story about how Baltimore is considering turning some of its vacant lots into flower beds, community gardens and tree canopies in an effort to green the city and increase the availability of locally sourced goods.

But would that work in York? Readers seem to think so. Here’s a few ideas from a thread on the York Daily Record Facebook page about what the city could do to improve its brownfields and abandoned buildings. Continue reading “Readers: Vacant lots could be put to use” »

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What should York do with vacant lots? Flower beds, maybe?

Barbara Beattie walks though her flower garden at the intersection of North Pine and Walnut streets saying, 'these are my babies. . . . It's warmed my heart that people have embraced my dream.' Until November, the corner property was occupied by two fire-damaged, abandoned row homes. Beattie, who grew up in the neighborhood more than 50 years ago, returned and bought a house next to the blighted homes with a plan of buying the lots after they were demolished and turning them into a garden. Beattie said she is pleased with how the plan turned out. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- File)

Barbara Beattie walks though her flower garden at the intersection of North Pine and Walnut streets saying, ‘these are my babies. . . . It’s warmed my heart that people have embraced my dream.’ Until November, the corner property was occupied by two fire-damaged, abandoned row homes. Beattie, who grew up in the neighborhood more than 50 years ago, returned and bought a house next to the blighted homes with a plan of buying the lots after they were demolished and turning them into a garden. Beattie said she is pleased with how the plan turned out. (Daily Record/Sunday News — File)

Baltimore is eying the possibility of transforming its blighted, vacant lots into something beautiful — flower gardens, according to The Baltimore Sun. 

The Sun reported that about a dozen urban farms already are operating in Baltimore and now the city is investigating whether the lots could be used to supply some of the many florists in the city, as well as to produce materials for perfumes and cooking and essential oils. Continue reading “What should York do with vacant lots? Flower beds, maybe?” »

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Read the agreement authorizing police to wear body cameras in schools

York City Police Sgt. Rick Barth stands in front of Phineas Davis Elementary School during the start of school on Feb. 28, 2014. The city police department wants to use grant money to purchase two body cameras for school resource officers. (File - Daily Record/Sunday News)

York City Police Sgt. Rick Barth stands in front of Phineas Davis Elementary School during the start of school on Feb. 28, 2014. The city police department wants to use grant money to purchase two body cameras for school resource officers. (File – Daily Record/Sunday News)

York City Council members said during a committee meeting Wednesday night that they want more information before they approve the use of grant funds to purchase two body cameras for school resource officers.

Specifically, council members said they wanted information about the intent of the cameras and privacy policies governing their use. For example, they want to know if the cameras will be running constantly or if they will be turned on only during an incident. Continue reading “Read the agreement authorizing police to wear body cameras in schools” »

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Do you think York should enter Act 47?

Should York enter Act 47 status?

It’s a question that officials have been considering for a decade, and one that Daily Record/Sunday News readers seem to be split on as well. Continue reading “Do you think York should enter Act 47?” »

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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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