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New timeframe for city budget is a good idea

The Williamsport City Council is already looking ahead.

At a recent meeting council members unanimously passed a measure to schedule the first work session on the 2023 budget in early to mid-November, effectively adding between three weeks and month to the timeframe for deliberating.

The increased timeframe is a reasonable, simple step that may pay significant dividends — and even if it doesn’t, we cannot foresee any risks to allotting more time for council members and city officials to address what is one of their most important responsibilities.

As it is, the timeframe for the city to debate and pass a budget is further crunched by the break for Thanksgiving. The added time may provide council members and city officials greater opportunities to balance the budgetary needs of police, firefighters and city parks and streets with the desire to keep taxes as low as possible. It may afford them a chance to find creative solutions. It hopefully will provide time for more scrutiny of the city’s financial affairs, at a time when the city’s management of its finances under past mayoral administrations already faces tougher auditing, questions and even a criminal investigation.

We are happy Council President Adam Yoder and city council have found a reasonable, simple improvement to an important part of our city’s government.

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