Windsor council has gotten its wish.

The number of council seats in the borough will shrink from seven to five, a proposal the York County Court of Common Pleas approved Thursday.

The decision comes after council members submitted a petition on Jan. 13 that garnered 45 signatures — more than the required 5 percent of registered voters in the borough.

Council President Donald Gipe also testified to the court, explaining how difficult it has been to fill the two seats in the past several years.

"I have asked people on many occasions if they wanted to serve," he said, but no one stepped up.

When a story about the council's troubles ran in The York Dispatch earlier this month, one woman stepped forward, but she was not a registered voter in the borough, Gipe said.

'Bittersweet': After granting the petition, President Judge Stephen Linebaugh said the large number of municipalities in York County and Pennsylvania make it tough for small governing bodies. "It's always a difficult proposition of getting people to serve," he said.

And as times continue to change, the problem has worsened, said Gipe, who's been council president for 17 of his 27 years of service.

When he first moved to the borough 37 years ago, more than 90 percent of the residents were homeowners, he said. Now, with more people renting houses. And more turnover in residents contributes to the problem, especially since homeowners tend to have more interest in their communities, he said.

"The interest has waned," Gipe said.

After the hearing, he and solicitor Greg Gettle referred to the decision as "bittersweet."

"You want the public to step forward and do their civic duty, but it's hard nowadays," Gettle said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at