Michael Helfrich sworn in as mayor of York

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YORK, Pa. -- The City of York officially has a new mayor.

Former city council president Michael Helfrich was sworn in Tuesday, on the steps outside city hall.

Helfrich took the stage here to lay out his plans for the city as he assumes the office of mayor.

Dozens of people showed up in support, even many people who don't live in the city.

Meanwhile, there is one group who questions his eligibility as mayor.

Dozens of people braved the cold weather to watch Helfrich being sworn in as the mayor of York.

Mayor Michael Helfrich said "it feels great, and I'm ready to get to work."

In a city that had 16 homicides and dozens of shootings in 2017, much of Helfrich's immediate focus for York includes making the city a safer and better place to live.

"Come up with the strategy, and the tactics to develop our 'Healthier Neighborhoods' initiative, our 'Safer Neighborhood' initiative, and our 21st century economic development plan," Helfrich said.

Helfrich says his plan to improve York doesn't just start at the top, but begins with everyone in the city working together.

"I don't elevate myself here. The office is nice, but I don't elevate myself above anybody else. I don't think anybody is better or anybody is lesser than me, and that's the kind of attitude that I think will really develop the partnerships that we need," Helfrich said.

Helfrich has yet to win over the support of a group of York citizens who filed a lawsuit, questioning his eligibility to serve as mayor due to a past felony conviction.

Attorney for the plaintiffs Karen Comery said "just because the electorate deems they wish somebody to be in office, the issue whether that person is qualified to hold office, is something for the judicial system to determine."

"It's not unexpected. It's some of the same folks that have tried to do this to me before, so I beat them before. I'm not to worried about it

Another part of Helfrich's plan to make York a better city includes giving up 10 percent of his salary to charity, and giving up a set of parking spaces at city hall. The idea is that people in need of health services won't have to walk several blocks to find parking at Family First Health clinic across the street.