York's Mayor proposes major changes for the city next year. Nearly half of the police force in York could be off the street, and that's only part of it. 75 city jobs are on the chopping block and those who are spared still will be furloughed.
York Mayor, Kim Bracey, says the proposed 2015 budget was brought on by more than 30 years of irresponsible budgeting. In order to close the gap on the 7 million dollar deficit, the proposed budget cuts 20% of city jobs and involves furloughs for the rest.
"Our city and cities in Pennsylvania are financially unstable," says Mayor Bracey.
She's calling on county and state lawmakers to help bail out York. City resident and State Representative, Kevin Schreiber agrees.
"This needs to raise the alarm across the state that York city is not unique here. This is a problem that all of our cities face and the state legislature needs to act and needs to act with all alacrity to remedy this," says Schreiber.
The question now, does the city have enough time before the December deadline? Schreiber says the solution is a combination of short and long term fixes.
"Right now what we need to do is work on a package of municipal reform bills that we can introduce in the coming term in coordination with the Wolf administration - we need to be discussing with their policy people what they can support, what they're interested in seeing occur," says Schreiber.
He hopes concessions from the unions can spare the dozens of jobs in jeopardy. Bracey says the city got in this position because of increased firefighter pay and benefits and growth of pensions for police and other city employees. As of now 46 police officers and 8 firefighters are on the chopping block. City council president Carol Hill-Evans says losing them would be catastrophic.
"We're trying to build the city back up we're trying to increase people to come into the city, we don't want to have to get rid of our public safety but we need help and we need it now," says Hill-Evans.
The council is scheduled to begin budget discussions at the beginning of December and it plans to vote on the budget on December 16th.