Noviello seeks GOP Williamsport mayor nomination
Don Noviello, of Third Avenue, has announced his intention to seek the city Republican nomination for mayor in the spring primary.
“We need to develop more opportunities to bring the city further into the 21st century,” said Noviello, a city councilman.
In an interview, Noviello cited the outdated and ineffective codes and other regulations that should be updated or eliminated in order to entice new business.
“Some of these are from the 1950s,” he said. “We must prepare to work towards creating our future rather than reacting to what comes our way, such as non-funded state and federal mandates,” Noviello said.
Moreover, Noviello said, it was time to address poor spending habits and keep a more watchful eye on expenses where possible and eliminate any waste.
“Trimming the budget is always a task,” he said. “It is important to do so, while doing our best to maintain needed manpower. This should be a mutually cooperative understanding between the administration and council and not an adversarial debate.”
Noviello said he advocates for creating an outreaching marketing plan.
“It should be a plan that increases the city’s visibility through positive exposure across all media in order to increase the interest of developers, businesses and potential new residents,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the city must recognize its role as a college town.
“There are close to 7,000 students in the midst of the city … that is one fourth the number of our permanent residents,” he said.
Yet, according to Noviello, by and large, the student populations go unacknowledged.
Noviello said he wants to tap into the student population in terms of business offerings and retention.
“Students who find the city accommodating, modern and creatively active may be more inclined to put down roots here,” he said.
“Along with that, new housing could get a boost,” he said.
Much of the changes would require continued updating of zoning and building codes, he said.
The zoning and codes need to be more flexible to encourage businesses, both large and small, to locate in the city, particularly in the East Third Street and Park Avenue areas, he said.
“This effort would include addressing blighted and abandoned properties to the extent of selling them without encumbrances and with provisions to bring them up to codes requirements within a specific time,” he said.
“More to the point — get them back on the active tax rolls.”
Noviello said he would return $10,000 a year from the mayor’s salary back to the budget.
“If the city and its residents are required to tighten their belts, it should begin with the mayor,” he said. “I recognize that most important aspect of being mayor is leadership.”
Noviello is a lifelong resident of the city. He resides in the city along with his wife, Paulette and sons Christopher and Vincent.
He teaches at Penn College and served on the adjunct faculty at Penn State University.
Prior to two terms on city council, Noviello served on the Williamsport Area School District Employee Steering Committee, two years on the Williamsport Parking Authority and sat on the mayor’s initial advisory council.
Currently, Noviello serves on the council public safety and public works committees and chairs the housing needs committee.
Noviello has more than 20 years of public service to include 10 years on the annual Williamsport Soap Box Steering Committee. He holds degrees in political science, American history and a masters degree in education from Bucknell University.