Mark Boley sums up his first day on the job as a newly-elected York City Councilmember with one word: "great."
"I really enjoyed it," Boley said. "The rest of the council members were very supportive."
Boley, who replaced former council member Johnny McCoy after his term ended on June 30, was elected in April, but officially sworn in at last week's city council meeting. He says he spent the three-month interim period meeting with council members and talking to people in the community. To celebrate his induction to the council, his fellow council members held a special reception before the meeting. But it was all business once the meeting commenced, as crucial issues such as the Mayor Pro Tempore position and a proposed utility base rates increase were debated.
"It was an interesting meeting," Boley said afterward. "It was a great experience to sit up there. I have a lot folks in the community that have faith in me, and several in the business community have faith in me as well. And I know that every time I make a vote, I have the ability to weigh everything very carefully."
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During the meeting, Boley expressed his opposition to an increase in base water and sewer rates and voted against the measure. He ultimately lost in a 4 - 3 vote, but made it clear that he has a distinct idea of what issues are important to him. He says his focus has always been on two areas. First, he says he's determined to improve the quality of drinking water in the city. He also believes in fiscal responsibility and is dedicated to closely monitoring the city's budget.
Mayor Eddie Lee, both a neighbor and friend of Boley's, said he is glad to have Boley on council. He said Boley will bring a new perspective to York government. Lee was particularly impressed with how attentive and articulate Boley was during his first council meeting.
"I thought he got off to a great start," Lee said. "He has a sharp background in business and that will help us because we're wrestling with several financial issues right now."
Much of Boley's time will be spent chairing the Recreation committee. He says he looks forward to the committee's next meeting, his first official one as a council member, planned for July 14 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers. He especially looks forward to hearing from the public and being able to discuss "the nuts and bolts of the department."
And while this is his first elected position, Boley has been involved locally for years. He has been a member of the Rotary Club for more than five years, served as chair of the board for the York YMCA and was a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals before resigning to pursue a seat on the council. And despite being a new council member, he says he has already "learned a lot."
Boley, who has lived with his wife and 15-year-old daughter in York for over eight years, has a busy career in sales management as well. He has traveled extensively overseas and in Central and South America during his career and is fluent in Spanish.
He makes it clear, though, that he will remain dedicated to the city.
"City council is not my day job, but by all means it's a full-time job," Boley said. "A lot of folks think we just go to meetings once a month, listen to the issues and then go home, but it's not. We do a lot of legwork and we've got a lot of issues on the plate."