John Shiflet, Charles Johnson elected to York council

jbecknell@enquirerherald.comNovember 12, 2013 

— Retired York Place president and CEO John Shiflet was elected to the York City Council last week, while longtime council veteran Charles Johnson won another term.

Shiflet, 67, collected 65 votes in the District 6 council race, to 34 votes for his opponent, Johnny McCoy, 63. McCoy, a former York councilman, had served one term in the seat before he was defeated by three votes in 2009.

Mark Boley, who currently holds the council’s District 6 seat and defeated McCoy in the 2009 election, did not seek re-election.

In the District 1 council race, Johnson, 77 and a 19-year York City Council veteran, received 50 votes, while his opponent, John Eakin, received 19 votes.

Eakin, 35, had called for a fresh perspective and new ideas on the council, while Johnson had touted the benefit of his experience.

Shiflet said Tuesday night that he is anxious to get to work. York council members serve four-year terms and will be sworn in in January.

“I am very excited, and I’m very thankful to my family and to all the people who supported me,” Shiflet said. “I had a good group that worked hard. We’re excited about the opportunity to work for the city, to do the things we need to do.”

Johnson also said he was pleased to have won another term. “I thank everyone for putting me back in, because I really enjoy doing this work,” he said.

About 170 people voted in the York election, according to preliminary results, with a voter turnout of 11 percent in District 6 and 12 percent in District 1.

“We’d like to see a better turnout, but unfortunately that seems to be rather typical of municipal elections,” said Wanda Hemphill, director of York County Voter Registration and Elections.

Hemphill said the early results released Tuesday night do not include provisional ballots, but she does not expect the results to change.

Shiflet has lived in York since 2001, when he became president and CEO of York Place, a state-supported children’s home. He retired in 2011 and said he would like to invest energy in promoting the city.

“I have a lot to learn and I want to absorb it all,” Shiflet said.

During the campaign, Shiflet said some of his interests include public safety and economic development, “doing the kind of investments we need to make our city the best little small town around.”

Johnson has spearheaded an effort to tear down dangerous, derelict housing in the city, saying it’s an eyesore. The city is seeking a grant to help with costs.

Johnson also said one of his goals on the council has been to pave Fleetwood Street, a dirt road which runs off West Liberty Street from the city into the county.

He has said the road is supposed to be paved with “C” Funds – revenue from a statewide program for road improvements.

“I’ve been working on that for years,” Johnson said about the paving, “and I’m finally going to get it done.”

Jennifer Becknell •  803-329-4077

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