New appointments to be considered by council

City Council is expected to vote Thursday on two men whom Mayor Gabriel J. Campana has recommended to be appointed to the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority.

The new nominees are Steven W. Cappelli, a former mayor who served in that capacity from 1996 to 2000 and former state legislator from 2001 to 2008, and George Bierman, vice president of the local Merrill Lynch, according to a copy of the council’s agenda and an interview with Campana.

They would replace Dean P. Muller and Gregory Zeitler and would serve five-year terms, Campana said.

“The statue is the appointments are done by the mayor, with advise and consent of council,” said city solicitor Norman Lubin. Four votes by council are necessary to confirm the appointments.

“That is normal procedure that’s done,” Lubin said, explaining how members of the boards terms are staggard.

“Cappelli is a former state representative who is qualified and understands history of the authority,” Campana said. Cappelli holds a degree in engineering.

Bierman is considered talented in economics and financial planning, Campana said.

Zeitler and Muller are being replaced to give other individuals an opportunity to serve on the board and were not picked by Campana looking for favorable votes as he has sought a $250,000 financial contribution from the authority to go toward city finances.

That request was rejected by current authority members late last year.

“It was not a litmus test but was done because I am looking for new blood,” Campana said.

Campana said he did not ask either Cappelli or Bierman whether they would ever vote for the authority to contribute a payment in lieu of taxes.

Attempts to reach Zeitler and Muller for comment were not successful, however, the authority executive director said the appointments and reappointments are business as usual.

“Every year we have two new board members who come up for possible reappointment,” said Douglas Keith, authority executive director.

Keith said he would rather leave any decisions to the mayor and council on who is appointed.

“It will be business as usual,” Keith said.