WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Williamsport is one step closer to changing the form of government by 2020. The final decision will be up to the voters come November. On Thursday evening a controversial ordinance taking steps to make the change passed. Eyewitness News Reporter Cody Butler has the details.
The ordinance did pass this evening which means residents will have to vote yes or no for a charter commission. in November. Mayor Gabe Campana has two and half years left in his third term – if an option is passed in 2018 it would diminish the power of any mayor in the future.
All members of council tell Eyewitness News they are not going after the mayor – it’s just a time to redirect the city in a new form of government.
Campana tells Eyewitness News the city has grown while he’s served and believes this is a political move.
He’s expressed to council he does not know if he will run as mayor – which is why council believe this is the right time.
Jonathan Williamson, Council president said “We’ve been hearing from a number of citizens in the community about whether the current form of government meet the challenging needs our city faces.”
Bill Hall, a Williamsport resident, expressed his concerns at the meeting and agrees with Mayor Campana about the amount of growth the city has endured over the years.
Hall told Eyewitness News “The records show that what we do have. Works!”
City council is talking about having a town hall for Williamsport residents to discuss what this means from now until November. In November if a charter commission is voted in – the panel of seven will investigate the city’s government operation.
They will have nine months to do so before residents vote again in 2018 for a new form of government.