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City resident seeks Democratic nomination for Council seat

A city resident with an eye toward improving the quality of life in the city of Williamsport is seeking the Democratic nomination for City Council in the May 18 primary election.

Larry Manson, 59, of 621 Lloyd St., who has worked at Williamsport Wirerope Works Inc. for 23 years, said he wanted to see better recreational opportunities and more interaction between the council and members of the public.

Manson said he has spent the winter and early March canvassing the city neighborhoods to seek names on his nomination petition.

In his travels, he said he notices his share of senior citizens and families with children who tell him they are looking for a better tomorrow in the city.

In terms of the present-day government, he said he won’t try to change the style but disagreed with the reliance on information technology.

“I understand the COVID-19 pandemic made people go digital but that isn’t always the best,” he said.

“We need to look out for one another until the pandemic is no longer a threat,” he said.

Manson said the Susquehanna Riverwalk would be one of his projects he would push on council.

He said more communication between neighboring communities on links and extensions should be discussed by council.

“You can’t get to Montoursville borough, without going over the green bridge or taking a different road,” he said.

“I want the bike path to scurry around the landscape to Indian Park and to link to Walmart,” he said.

“We’re supposed to be united, and not just have a private agenda,” he said.

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Manson said his native city learned to connect its beautiful scenery downtown to the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

“Why not change Susquehanna Park up to make it more attractive for use,” he asked.

“A little sand, maybe a beach, areas to watch the Hiawatha,” he said. “Seniors don’t want to be left in nursing homes and high-rises,” he said.

On his petition gathering, he said, he met a woman who had not left her house in a year.

“She is scared,” he said. “We need to as a city to be able to look out for each other.”

Earlier in his life, Manson said he was featured on the ABC documentary, “Beating The Odds” — a show about young blacks living in housing projects, such as the one he called home, Altgeld Gardens.

Manson graduated from George Washington Carver Area High School before attending Washington College to study journalism.

He was one of the first reporters to interview the first black mayor of a major city, Harold Washington, former mayor of Chicago.

Manson went on to serve in the U.S. Army, as a commander’s assistant and as a combat soldier during the siege of Manuel Noriega Compound in Panama.

Manson is a graduate of the McCann School of Business and Technology (Lewisburg) with an honors degree in information technology administration in 2018.

His hobbies include computers and gymnastics. He was a competitive gymnast, winning 50-plus trophies including the silver and gold medals during the 1976 trials for the U.S. Junior Olympics.

Manson said he discovered joy in the theater at Williamsport’s Community Theater League and was featured in several of their plays such as The Crucible, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, and Guys and Dolls.

He’s also a big fan of karaoke.

“I like people,” he said. “I want to help the citizens of Williamsport.”

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