Candidates for city spots speak up for change

Mayoral candidate Derek Slaughter has promised to be a leader who is transparent, accountable for his actions and bring more efficiency to Williamsport government.

Slaughter was among candidates attending a recent summer picnic of the Lycoming County Democratic Party at Memorial Park.

Slaughter, who didn’t mention his Republican opponent, Eric Beiter by name, said after nearly two years on city council he wanted to run for mayor because it was where he could have the most impact.

“That is where you can have the most impact, that is where we can drive the most change, it is where we can make the biggest difference in the city.”

Slaughter is a proponent of getting the city’s financial “house in order,” as he said to the 50 or so gathered at the picnic.

He called for “making sound financial transactions that are transparent, that are efficient, that are accountable and at the end of the day doing what is best for the taxpayers and the citizens of Williamsport.”

He touched on the recent violence and shootings.

“It has to be everyone who comes together,” he said. “If you see something in your neighborhood, say something.”

Three Democrats are running for city council seats: David Banks, Tiasha Machuga and Jon Mackey.

Banks said the city needs to work on its streetscapes, expand its urban canopy and manage stormwater run-off as main issues.

He suggested public safety to be more of a holistic approach as a means of preventing violence.

Banks, a former Navy veteran, is for more cohesive planning and long-term projects — thinking how it impacts the city 25 years from today.

Machuga said the parks system needs to be addressed. She noted how the city could benefit more if it could listen more to citizen input. She also said she likes a more green technology such as solar panels as a means of saving money.

Mackey said he would call for more efficient meetings, fewer duplicated efforts that take up time for citizens to ask questions or get answers.

Mackey, a former Philadelphia police officer, said he could use that career training in council.