Here’s a question that opponents to merging some of York County’s 72 townships and boroughs haven’t answered.
If boroughs are such a good idea, why isn’t there a movement to create more?
Jacobus was the last borough in York County to form. And that was in 1929… .
An effort to create the borough of Chilton, basically a golf resort, out of Monaghan Township in the late 1990s failed. But other such efforts have been rare, if non-exist, in York County in the past 20 years.
Mount Wolf and East Manchester merger talks have hit a snag, a shame because the Borough of Mount Wolf could have celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010 as the Village of Mount Wolf, with a much brighter future.
The point in the following York Daily Record/Sunday News editorial, to run Feb. 21, is that multiple levels of government might have been right for the 1800s and early 1900s when they were created, but not for 2008:
We’ll take progress, however small.
In 1969, voters in Manchester and Mount Wolf boroughs voted down a merger of the two municipalities.
One stumbling block?
The name of the new town.
Wolfchester, Mount Chester, Gemini, Twin Cities, Near York, New York were considered.
No wonder it failed.
This time around, the name didn’t appear to derail an effort to merge Mount Wolf and East Manchester Township. Mount Wolf would become a village in the township in the same way nearby Emigsville is part of Manchester Township.
Four Mount Wolf council members who voted last week week to reject the merger did not think that Mount Wolf would get sufficient representation on the new ruling body and that tax savings would not be as great as stated.
At least, these are real issues.
But this isn’t real progress.
Why can’t municipal officials see that boroughs with no room for residential or business growth eventually will run out of money? In fact, some in Mount Wolf say that’s happening. Costs to run a small municipality will go up, and taxes will have to be raised continuously to keep up.
And the two municipalities already share a police force, sewer authority and emergency management planning. Has such sharing swallowed up Mount Wolf?
And what about this notion that village status will mean a loss of identity and clout?
Consider Emigsville. The village is working hard – and successfully – at building community. It has a street banner program. Story nights in which longtimers talk about the town. An inviting Web site.
And it’s not a borough.
And one more thing. If boroughs are such a good idea, why aren’t more forming today? Jacobus is the youngest borough in the county, born in 1929.
The Mount Wolf Council should revisit the merger issue at its meeting in March. At least, the council should vote yes so the issue could be placed on the ballot.
Let the people decide.
The communities are beyond arguing over a name – although Wolf-Man would be cool – but the hard reality is that landlocked boroughs are part of a different century. Make that two different centuries.
The council should be applauded for taking this up in the first place. Mount Wolf could show the future to other municipalities in York County.
Members must show leadership, reconsider their vote and move the merger to the next level.
To find the creation date of York County’s townships and boroughs, see: http://www.york-county.org/municip/area.htm.
York’s Mayor John Brenner stands at allegiance with students of Northeastern High School, his alma mater, while members of Mount Wolf VFW Post 2493 lead by John A. Brenner, Mayor Brenner’s father, prepare to present the colors. The mayor and Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf are among the prominent York countians from the Mount Wolf area.
Ronnie Meyers presents 102-year-old Daniel Wilt with a Mount Wolf Wolves baseball cap on behalf of the team at Rock Brenner Field several years ago. The ballfield is a longtime gathering spot for Mount Wolf residents. Background posts: Ten years ago, Emigsville’s mighty oak fell and York’s Wolf Organization builds from deep foundation.