Candidates for Williamsport City Council for May 16 Primary
Williamsport City Council Candidates - 2017
Randall J. Allison - Republican Candidate
- Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/RandallJAllison/
Answers to Interview Questions:
How long have you lived in this political district (area) ?
I'm a lifelong Williamsport resident and for the past 31 years have lived at 1308 Elmira St. in the 14th Ward. My wife of 43 years, Debra, and I raised four children at this house and have four grandchildren.
I am in my 8th year as a city councilman and running for re-election.
Generally speaking, the council acts as the legislative branch of city government. That means we have the responsibility of passing ordinances which become the laws that govern our city and its citizens.
We also review and revise,if necessary, the yearly city budget proposed by the administration. The end of year budget work sessions enable us to discuss and debate every aspect affecting the bottom line and work with the administration with the goal of keeping costs as low as possible while still providing the essential services of public safety and infrastructure maintenance and programs such as Recreation and the like.
Council representatives also meet with the administration regularly in committees that discuss in depth the daily functioning of our various departments, among them: Finance, Public Safety and Public Works, Economic Revitalization and Housing Needs. There are also many other intergovernmental and agency meetings that members of council attend throughout the year either individually or as a group.
What experiences do I have that prepare me for this office?
My experience that qualifies me to serve in this office obviously begins with the seven plus years I have already spent as a member of council. I am currently in my second year as council Vice President, a leadership position that works with the council President on such things as setting agendas for meetings, working on resolutions to issues that periodically confront or involve council and representing council in meetings with other entities or individuals when needed.
I have previously served on the Public Safety, Public Works and Housing Needs committees and currently serve on Finance and chair the Economic and Revitalization Committee. I am also in my eighth year as council rep on the board of directors for STEP, INC.
In addition to council, I also was on the board of directors for the Williamsport Area School District for twelve years from 1985-1997 and served as board president for three years.
Several issues that I want to address if elected are.....
There are several issues that need to be addressed in the next four years. Some of these are ongoing and in different stages of resolution.
Those with the biggest potential financial impact on the city are the recertification of the levee system, the MS4 mandates on storm water management, Grafius Run flooding and the pension obligations incurred by the city over the past decades.
The first two above are federally mandated issues, first with FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers on the dike and then the Chesapeake Bay Authority on the storm water. We are coming up with solutions and partnerships to resolve the infrastructure problems and the funding needed for those two and Grafius Run, but at times it can be a long painstaking process to address projects of such magnitude, cost and impact on public safety.
On the economic side, we are moving ahead with the East 3rd St. revitalization project in partnership with Lycoming College, the County and private developers. There is a great opportunity here to transform this corridor that stretches from Market St. east to the city line at Catherine St. Council began this project about four years ago looking to study changes in traffic patterns in this area. Through discussions and working with County and City development departments and Lycoming College the foundation was established that will be producing the first of many tangible results in the near future.
A similar process has begun with the beginning of a plan for the corridor through Park Avenue stretching all the way to the UMPC (formerly Susquehanna Health) campus. These types of projects take time to bring to fruition, but produce long lasting benefits that will make Williamsport a viable growing city in the years ahead.
We need to look at all areas and neighborhoods in the city, west to Newberry, East End along Washington Blvd. and all that is north of there and assess the needs and possibilities that are unique to each particular section or region.
And finally, above all, the cost of government that affects the citizens through property taxes is always a difficult issue to resolve. Salaries and benefits are in the range of 75-80% of the budget. Cutting there and reducing services like street paving, etc are the only ways to prevent tax increases given the pension obligations that are owed due to contracts that were negotiated in times past. The administration has done its best in recent negotiations to mitigate the cost going forward, but that does not translate into the cost savings we need now. These issues will be at the forefront of our budget discussions this year.
What I offer other than the experience I've gained serving in local government for a combined 19 plus years is the ability and desire to work with others to accomplish goals and solve problems in an atmosphere that allows the strengths and input of each individual to be valued and effectively used. While there is a definite time and place for each individual to take a leading role on a particular item or issue, it's my belief that partnerships and collaboration are the working strength of a board or council. It doesn't matter who gets the credit. Did the job get done? Were the interests of the citizens protected and best served? If the answer is yes, then we were successful working as a team and those who we serve get the benefit they deserve.
Any other comments?
I appreciate this opportunity to speak publicly about our city, our work on council and the privilege to participate in the democratic process of running for office and would ask the voters to consider me as one of their choices to serve on council for the next four years.
N. Clifford (Skip) Smith Jr. - Republican Candidate
Answers to Interview Questions:
Please state your full name:
My Name is N. Clifford (Skip) Smith Jr.
How long have you lived in this political district (area)?
.I was born and raised in Williamsport.
What office am I running for?
I am running for the office of City Council.
What responsibilities does a person in that position have?
A City Councilman is responsible to the taxpayers to make certain their hard earned dollars are spent wisely, to keep our citizens safe and provide quality of life programs for all of our residents and to keep the city always moving forward in a positive direction. Sometimes it can be confusing to the residences of the city as to what city council’s duties are. There are two branches of city government: 1. The Executive/Administrative Branch (Mayor and Department Heads) and 2. The Legislative/Budget Branch (City Council). The Executive/Administrative Branch deals with the everyday activities of operating city government. Council deals with making ordinances and resolutions that govern the operation of the city. City Council also deals with the budget and financial functions of city government. City Councils power over the daily operations of the city is very limited.
What experiences do I have that prepare me for this office?
I am a certified engineer, I have started 3 successful businesses, I have been a councilman for 10 years, I have been Chair of Public Works and Public Safety Committees for several years and am a member of the Blighted Property Committee.
Several issues that I want to address if elected are…..
Several issues that I want to address if re-elected are: 1. I want to continue working on the levee remediation project. 2. I want to continue with implementing the MS4 storm water management project and 3. I want to continue working on the Grafius Run remediation project. I have the knowledge of all of these projects since I have worked on them since their inception and would like to continue to follow thru to make sure they are all implemented and completed using the least amount of tax payer’s funds. My engineering experience allows me to work with other engineers and consultants on these projects.
Why should people vote for me?
People should vote for me because I am an experienced, hardworking candidate and qualified for the position. I stand on my previous record. I look at the problem at hand and work for the best answer to help the citizens of Williamsport and I make my decisions on facts.
Any Other comments:
As Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee my background in work with law enforcement officials helps me in realizing the issues that our police officers and the residents face on a daily basis. I am a graduate of the Pennsylvania State Police Citizens Police Academy. I am a graduate of Basic and Advanced Handgun Weapons Courses and hold several Federal NIMS certifications. I am also an Associate Life member of Lodge 29 Fraternal Order of Police and a member of the Pennsylvania State Sheriff’s Association and the NRA. I am a licensed Amateur radio operator and a member of the county Amateur Radio Emergencies Services. I have and would continue to provide, pro-bono, consulting services to the city on the Police and Fire Department communications systems as they move into the new digital era. I serve as Chairman of the Trustee Board and Chairman of the AV/IT department at St. Paul-Calvary United Methodist Church in the city.
Matilda Noviello - Democrat Candidate
- Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/matildaforwilliamsport/
Here is Matilda Noviello's video response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8VgUG3rmFw&feature=youtu.be
Derek Slaughter - Democrat Candidate
- Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/SlaughterForWilliamsport/
- Link to previous story - http://www.northcentralpa.com/local-news/slaughter-seeks-democratic-nod-...
Liz Miele - Democrat Candidate
- Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/LizMieleForCityCouncil.2017/
Steve Shope - Republican Candidate
- Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/ElectShope/
- Link to previous story - http://www.northcentralpa.com/local-news/head-project-bald-eagle-coaliti...
- Please email News@NorthcentralPA.com if you see any errors.
- We've emailed all candidates inviting them to submit answers to a questionnaire or submit a video.
- Look at Sample Ballots here - http://www.lyco.org/Departments/Voter-Services/Primary-Election-Republic... and http://www.lyco.org/Departments/Voter-Services/Primary-Election-Democrat...