Cooler heads must prevail in City Hall
The important business of the people of Williamsport must continue in a positive manner in City Hall during the next six months until the next city administration is in place.
Who will lead that administration will be decided in the November general election.
In the interim, city residents and taxpayers, plus the thousands more who come to work and do business here daily, must rely on a continuity of not just services but care for the overall well-being and health of the city.
For instance, a project to improve accessibility for people who must use wheelchairs is in the works. Just like able-bodied people, they have the need to visit offices in City Hall and the right to attend public meetings such as those held regularly by City Council. Access is important.
That project is on track but, like everything else, it takes time. This should not be news to people in government. So it is unsettling to see Mayor Gabriel J. Campana going to lengths to call out City Council on allegations that the city’s legislative body is delaying the project, only to get the response that the bid package has not yet been received.
Didn’t he already know that?
Then there’s the matter of keeping boards filled. The most embattled, at the moment, appears to be the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sewer Authority board, with council taking “unprecedented” steps to create an ad-hoc committee to interview candidates for reappointment or appointment.
The ad-hoc committee was created after council went to Lycoming County Court to get a writ of mandamus from a judge to force the hand of the mayor, who had allowed expired terms to languish and not put up new names for vacancies.
Clearly, those examples illustrate the hostility that continues to brew in City Hall, where the executive and legislative branches are designed to keep each other in check.
Much hangs in the balance in the next six months. While Campana’s third term may come to a close, life in the city will continue, and what he does will impact the very people he was elected to serve well beyond 2019.
The best he could do with the remainder of his term would be to keep a cool head and set a great table for the next administration.
While that may be our wish, we are dubious it will come to pass.