Williamport Mayor Campana: 'Will not sign the 1 mil tax increase'

December 19, 2012

In regards to the 2013 Budget, it is refreshing to experience a positive budget process that was constructive and focused. It was a positive one between City Council and myself and I want to thank City Council.

After reviewing the changes that City Council made to my budget I have formed the following position:

My 2013 Budget proposal was sufficient as I addressed the issue of personnel legacy costs by not filling 5 city positions and by minimizing a tax increase as much as possible. However City Council increased my proposed tax increase from .85 mil to 1 mil. I believe the 1 mil is excessive for our citizens and is not necessary.

In addition, by City Council reinstating a Streets and Parks position (one that I eliminated) and adding a full-time IT position at over $90,000, this spending continues to kick the can down the street. Instead of cutting positions, Council has decided to add more employees to my budget. I have spoken to multiple computer service related companies and as the Administrator of City Hall, I believe we can provide sufficient IT service and save dollars through contracting services instead of taking on another full-time employee. 

I believe it is not the time to add more City employees with future pensions (legacy costs). 

I respect City Council, however philosophically I do not agree with City Councils 2013 Budget position and will not sign the 1 mil tax increase.

Finally I wish our citizens a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana