There have been recent criticisms accusing Judge Nancy Butts' as undeserving of the title of 2013 Person of the Year. Lycoming County has a proud history of individualist conservatism. In a time when the New Deal brought in the modern welfare system, the Federal Reserve, and with it a progressive and collectivist belief in workers, Lycoming County intellectuals questioned these political structures and ideology. Local science fiction author, H. Beam Piper wrote stories of great heroes in the spirit of Ayn Rand. These heroes improved the quality of life for many.
At the same time, their actions were sometimes somewhat ethically questionable. Judge Butts is not a science fiction character, of course. The ethics of Nancy Butts' role as someone who treats addicts fairly should not be in question. She is the kind of hero Williamsport needs. Every community looks to heroes. I personally know Butts to be a very moral individual.
The strong sense of conservative individualism has even determined the local government's political structure...
Williamsport operates on a strong mayor' form of governing, meaning the mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little public input."
Personally, I am sometimes inclined to a bit of collectivism. I like a balance of collectivism and individualism. My hope is that local political discussion could appreciate both individualism and collectivism.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom