Mayoral debate set for Tuesday

Two candidates for mayor will face off in their first debate together on stage.

City Councilman Derek Slaughter and Republican challenger Eric Beiter will discuss their plans for the economy, public safety and running the city’s executive branch at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The action takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

“I am looking forward to the debate and to providing the citizens and taxpayers an opportunity to hear my plans for the future of Williamsport,” said Slaughter, a mathematics teacher at the Williamsport High School.

Beiter, too, said it’s an opportunity for the registered voters to hear both candidates’ ideas.

“I will tell you I am extremely excited we are finally at this point,” Beiter said. “Folks deserve to hear what I have to say and Mr. Slaughter has to say and allow them to make the most informed, educated decision after hearing what we both have in mind for the city.”

The uniqueness of the first debate is to get information first-hand.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Beiter said. “I don’t think there’s been anything like this in a decade in the city.”

The candidates are expected to discuss issues such as how they plan to bring revenue into the city, keep taxes low and will take audience-submitted questions.

Slaughter voted against the 2019 budget that included a 0.65-mills tax hike in the $25 million city spending plan.

Beiter wants to see a higher quality of life and said the city must remain a safe place for raising families, stimulating small businesses and keeping taxes low.

He noted it had been more than 20 years since the city had a mayor with a business background.

Slaughter ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary and received 1,718 votes.

Beiter, a retail store manager, received 1,472 votes while a third Republican candidate, Don Noviello, got 726 votes.

Either Slaughter or Beiter will lead the executive branch of the city under a strong-mayor-council optional charter form of government.

Beiter and his wife, Brooke, live with their three daughters, Charlotte, Valerie and Noelle.

Slaughter and his wife, Vanessa, live with their children Jayden, and Chloe.

The debate will be moderated by Craig Miller of the college’s Student Government Association.

The event is expected to continue until about 8:30 p.m.