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New year bring new leadership to Williamsport City Council

Adam Yoder. PHOTO PROVIDED

A new year, with new faces at the helm and on the Williamsport City Council following a re-organizational ceremony Monday.

During the meeting, council elected new council leadership for the 2022 legislative year.

Councilman Adam Yoder was elected City Council President and Councilwoman Bonnie Katz was elected City Council Vice President, each by a vote of 5-0.

Yoder is entering his third year of his initial term on council.

Over his first two years on council, Yoder has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that have been focused on updating city government’s checks and balances and ensuring proper oversight mechanisms are in place throughout city government.

District Judge Christian Freys shakes hands with City Councilman Eric Beiter after Frey administered the oath of office Monday evening.

Yoder has served on the finance, economic revitalization, and public safety committees, and been addressing the city’s ongoing budget deficit and economic development efforts.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be elected council president by my colleagues on council,” Yoder said.

“When you have good, quality colleagues like I have on council, earning their vote of confidence in this manner is both humbling and extraordinary, Yoder added.

I am appreciative of their support and will look forward to leading council’s efforts over the next year with Councilwoman Katz.”

Katz is entering her third year of her third term on council. Initially voted onto council in the 2011 cycle, she has led the city public works initiatives, including taking a lead role in the city’s levee recertification efforts, finding solutions and funding for Grafius Run, and championing the city’s public safety department through leading the city’s efforts to reestablish a K-9 unit in the Bureau of Police.

District Judge Christian Freys shakes hands with City Councilman Randall Allison after Frey administered the oath of office Monday evening.

Katz has been chair of the public works committee, and recently been a member of the finance and public safety committees.”

Echoing Council President Yoder’s sentiments, it’s an honor and a privilege to be elected council vice president by my colleagues on council.

“I am humbled and honored to have their support and I’m eager to get to work in this new capacity to ensure our great city is positioned for success down the road,” Katz added.

The election of Yoder and Katz to council leadership marks the first time in at least 15 years that the transition of council leadership has occurred between members of council currently serving new or ongoing terms.

In recognition of this, Yoder stated “while the transition of council leadership doesn’t typically happen between incumbents, I think this transition reflects the continued transition of city leadership to the next generation of city leaders. And I am thankful for Councilman Randall J. Allison, former president and Councilwoman Liz Miele’s efforts over the past 2 1/2 years, he said.

With most council members having never served, a newly elected mayor with limited experience, and governing through two years of national and international uncertainty due to an ongoing pandemic, Williamsport has been fortunate to have Councilman Allison and Councilwoman Miele (former vice president) in positions of leadership, Yoder said.

“Specifically with Councilman Allison, I have watched his leadership in action over the past 2 1/2 years and have been able to learn so much from his approach and temperament as council president. I’m thankful for his leadership, and it’s an honor to succeed him.”

During the meeting District Judge Christian Frey administered the oath of office to incoming Councilman Eric Beiter, a Republican and former mayoral candidate and re-elected Councilman Randall Allison.

Council members who were absent at the meeting included Miele and Jon Mackey.

The meeting was held in person at Trade and Transit Centre II and by remote over YouTube. The council has its first official meeting of the year at 7 p.m. Thursday also in person at Trade and Transit Centre II on the third floor in the Michael Ross Room and will be held remotely.

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