Questions linger but one thing is certain: Nichols contributed much
William J. “Bill” Nichols Jr. served the City of Williamsport over numerous administrations, both Democratic and Republican.
Amid his 40 years with the city, he advanced to not only the head of River Valley Transit but also stepped in and accepted the dual role of city finance director.
During his tenure at the helm of River Valley Transit, he worked with multiple entities that go beyond the city limits in the development of facilities and the expansion of a bus system well beyond Greater Williamsport.
During his time, River Valley Transit expanded not just east to the mall area but also west to Jersey Shore and most recently into Clinton County.
Nichols was involved in the development of the Church Street parking deck, Trade and Transit I and II — with the latter, it seemed that an entire block downtown was transformed almost overnight into an intersection of travel, commerce, arts, sports and culture.
He was credited as being the driving force that orchestrated this symphony of reconstruction, just as he was involved in a host of other projects. Among them was a major effort to attract and build a Kohl’s department store downtown.
Along the way, he worked with many people, other entities and sought ideas from a diverse segment of the community.
Bill is no longer with the city or River Valley Transit.
We can only gather that he and new Mayor Derek Slaughter had a falling out.
Mayor Slaughter has every right — as the city’s newly elected mayor — to choose his own team.
Are we disappointed?
Are we optimistic Mayor Slaughter will forge ahead with new thinking and ideas — just as Bill did?
Mayor Slaughter has declined to talk to us about why Bill was let go and that’s his right as the issue is a personnel matter.
Likewise, Bill has so far declined to make any comment to us about what happened.
Time will tell what caused the parting of ways.
In the meantime, Bill Nichols Jr. deserves a lot of credit and recognition for the many accomplishments he helped to achieve, in concert with countless other people, over the past four decades. This community is better for his dedication and commitment.
That we know for sure.