Why change?

Our current form of city government, initiated in 1972, is modeled on the US Constitution. We have an executive branch, (Mayor-President), a legislative branch, (City Council-Congress), and a judicial branch, (District Justices/Commonwealth Courts-Supreme Court). Since 1972, the City of Williamsport has taken the lead, partnered and/or promoted the following projects:

• Formation of Historic District

• Construction of Market St, Maynard St and Arch St bridges

• Reconstruction of Reach Road, Via Bella and Little League Blvd.

• Construction of Walnut St fire house

• Memorial Homes residential

• Weightman block residential

• Grove St Commons residential

• Hospital project/re-zoning, etc. resulting in a regional medical center

• Bowman Field Renovations

• Memorial Park swimming pool

• Susquehanna River Walk

• Trade and Transit I

• Trade and Transit II

• Expansion of RVT and conversion of bus fleet to natural gas

• Wegmans

• Kohls

• Highmark Building

• Hampton Inn

• Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express

• Marriott, Marriot Town House and Suites

• 3rd St Parking Deck, Church St Parking deck

• Pine Square, Movie Theatre, Liberty Arena, YMCA

People with better memories than mine can probably add more. With this form of government we have been able to accomplish these things in spite of perceived weaknesses of mayors and City Councils both past and present.

Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence stated that “Governments long established should NOT be changed for light and transient causes…”

Some of the recommendations coming from the Commissions created to examine city government include new and creative options of taxation and taking the right of the people to vote for our mayor away from us and giving that authority only to City Council, as if members of City Council are wiser and more intelligent than we the people, I suppose.

Given the above record of accomplishments, can someone please give me compelling arguments to change our current form of government? Because I can’t think of any.

Bill Hall

Williamsport

Former City Council president

Submitted by E-mail

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