Mayoral candidates offer differing platforms for voters
Both mayoral candidates are able to find some common ground, such as transparency in City Hall, but their platforms and methods set them apart.
Republican Eric Beiter is running on his business acumen and proposed contract with the city, while Democrat Derek Slaughter is running on financial stability and experience.
Slaughter, a city councilman, assured voters that he will lead an administration that is transparent, efficient and accountable.
“The health and vitality of our city is something I think about every day,” Slaughter said, adding he would streamline and modernize government functions.
Beiter, a businessman, said in his contract are actions he will take in his first year to improve the economy, public safety and open dialogue with taxpayers using townhall meetings and holding regular business hours.
Beiter gave his rationale for creating a written contract: “Since announcing my campaign for mayor last November, I have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of people from all over the city of Williamsport.
“People from all walks of life agree, Williamsport can and must do better. Folks are tired of vague promises. They are looking for real solutions to serious problems,” he said. “As a businessman, I’ve always believed that the customer should know what they are getting when they come to see me. Why should politics be any different?”
“I commend Eric on his contract,” Slaughter said. “Having said that, I have the experience and knowledge to thoroughly understand the issues facing our city.
“I know the first order of business for me is to get our financial house in order and to be transparent, efficient and accountable to the taxpayers and citizens of Williamsport.”
Beiter’s contract includes proposals designed to improve the overall economic climate of the city.
He said he would do that by creating an economic development commission.
“Our city is lagging in terms of wages compared to other cities,” Beiter said.
Having livable wages and positioning the city for that with an economic development commission and working closer with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce are parts of the contract.
The commission would be used to attract business and industry, Beiter said.
Beiter’s contract calls for reinvestment in city parks.
“The best and most important investments we can make are in the health, safety, and enjoyment of our residents,” Beiter said. “Our parks have been ignored for too long.”
Slaughter said he had no problem with improving parks, but said it comes down to the funds available or able to be obtained through grants.
Beiter said he would hold regular town hall meetings around the city, an idea that Slaughter also is not adverse to.
“We need a fresh start,” Beiter said of his promise to lead the city with a keen business sense and that included getting out of City Hall.
Beiter considered it a “money pit,” and Slaughter said, too, that not another dime of taxpayer or borrowed money should be invested in the building.
The general election is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.