Newly-elected member joins council
City Council has a new face who said he was eager to get to work, while two familiar faces remain at the helm of the city’s legislative branch.
Derek Slaughter was sworn in during council’s reorganization meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
Councilman Jonathan Williamson was nominated and voted as president for a second year by his peers on council.
Councilman Randall J. Allison received a similar nod of approval to become vice president for a second year.
Watching the reorganization were Slaughter’s wife, Vanessa, son, Jayden, daughter, Chloe, 4, his parents and campaign team.
Slaughter, who had the most votes in the Nov. 7 general election for council, thanked council for the supportive greeting. He sat in on budget work sessions and was permitted to ask administration questions regarding the city’s spending plan which was approved by council and does not include a tax hike.
Slaughter, a teacher and coach working at Williamsport Area School District, thanked those for welcoming he and replied: “I look forward to the work.”
Also observing the reorganization was Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, who when asked to give remarks, reminisced briefly how he taught Slaughter fifth-grade civics.
“I am proud of you,” Campana said of Slaughter as Slaughter took the oath administered by Janice Frank, city clerk.
Others on council offered their congratulations and a bit of initial light-hearted advice.
“Jump in with both feet and hang on,” offered Councilman Don Noviello.
Williamson told Slaughter the “learning curve is steeper than when you were out knocking on doors,” a reference to his experience campaigning for one of three open seats. The council president also offered his and council’s assistance to Slaughter.
“I know you had a hard road to get here,” said Councilman Bonnie Katz. “I think you will enjoy working with us … we enjoy working with one another and welcome you.”
Henderson observed how much he had learned on his two years on council and how much he had to continue to learn.
During the invocation, Henderson asked in prayer for those working on behalf of the city to be granted the ability to be honest and be a transparent legislative and executive branch of government.
Henderson also called for council and the administration to demonstrate goodness, morality, enjoy health, happiness, and to have the wisdom, knowledge, foresight and understanding to make the right decisions for the citizens.
Looking at another year guiding the seven-member council, Williamson said one of the “big changes as council president” is that “you talk to each member more often.”
He thanked the council for its vote of confidence and looked forward to another year of progress.
Allison, too, said it was a “pleasure to work with a council like this.”
“It really is a team effort and that consensus is what builds the progress,” Allison said.