Charter commission begins with budget proposal, schedule

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Williamsport City Clerk Janice Frank, left, hands paperwork to District Judge Christian Frey, as Tony Nardi looks on before members of the Charter Commission were sworn in at City Hall Wednesday.

The city Charter Commission elected on Nov. 7 held its initial meeting Wednesday and prepared a budget and schedule of meetings to be posted publicly.

The members of the group elected Fred Holland, a lawyer, as the commission chairman and Patrick Marty as vice-chairman.

Others on the group include David Stone, Howard Biichle, Steve Shope, Tony Nardi and Gerry Fausnaught.

The commission has nine months to make a recommendation, bringing that to the end of August, to come up with the best form of government to be on the ballot for the city voters to consider in the November general election.

The group approved getting Ed Fosnaught, of the Governor’s Center for Government Studies, to provide input at its next meeting. The commissioners also believe in providing a time for public questions and statements.

It also is looking to follow framework provided by the Local Center for Government Services.

The budget includes items such as a secretary, legal fees, printing and postage costs, advertisement, public relations, and, technology, professional services and travel.

The group also wanted to pursue information and studies done by the Pennsylvania Economy League rather than recreate the wheel or duplicate efforts that may not be suitable.

Janice Frank was asked to be secretary/clerk for $5,000 apiece by both commissions.

The commission will submit a request for a budget of $11,660 to city council. The local government study commission that is looking at Home Rule law budgeted $11,000.

The public meetings are going to be advertised in the Sun-Gazette.