Home rule survey released to public

The Williamsport Study Commission on Home Rule Law is putting out a survey to gather public input on what they believe might be the best type of government moving forward.

On Monday, the group gathered at City Hall to announce the survey was online on its website and available at the James V. Brown Library and City Hall.

The group is considering a draft of the charter that would limit the mayor to only conduct economic development business and install an administrator to take care of daily city business.

Two full-time employees working in the administration could be paid for through streamlining other departments, such as finance, according to the commission.

The group is taking a hard look at positions of controller, treasurer and outside auditor, and the possibility of eliminating them, or bringing them under a financial office umbrella.

Departments created by the council could be public affairs, accounting and finance and other public workers and variations.

Council, under the Home Rule Law, has a flexibility given to it.

Cities such as Altoona, Easton and Sharon have adopted Home Rule Law.

The Williamsport Charter Commission, a separate elected group, is working on another recommendation related soley to third-class optional city law.

The commissions are on track to release the final reports and recommendations by late August.

Their goals are to get the referendum questions before the voters for the Nov. 6 election, said Margaret Tupper, of the home rule commission.

Surveys can be found at www.williamsporthomerule.com. The survey will be open for about 30 days. Boxes at each site are available at James V. Brown Library and City Hall to drop the surveys off, said Alison D. Hirsch, a commissioner.