Charter commission: Vital conduit to city government change

The form for the future government in the city of Williamsport was not determined by City Council’s action in the past month.

City Council merely took the action that will put a referendum question on the ballot asking residents whether they want a charter commission to study forms of government.

The most important step in this community discussion will be taking place in November, when voters will be “elect” seven citizens to serve on a charter commission that will study different forms of government next year.

Nomination papers and filing instructions for those interested in those positions will be available starting Aug. 21 at the Lycoming County voter services office. The period for obtaining nominating petition signatures is Aug. 23 to Sept. 22.

What results from that may be the most intriging race of the fall election.

This should be the best example of democracy that can be offered – citizens seeking approval of their peer citizens to sit on a group that will largely determine the future form of government used in the city of Williamsport.

For this group to achieve its maximum value for the city’s future, it needs seven people dedicated to an objective, complete, apolitical look at what works best for the city’s future.

It’s critical that those seeking these positions not represent a behind-the-scenes coalition with a preconceived agenda. Voters need to do their homework concerning those seeking these positions.

Our hope is that, within Williamsport’s borders, there are people of high character who want to make a lasting, positive impact on their city.

And our hope is they are seeking to be on a commission that, as a group, is dedicated to learning everything possible about the different forms of government for the city’s future before making a recommendation.