Five seek Williamsport town posts

March 01, 2001

Five seek Williamsport town posts


WILLIAMSPORT - Town projects, teenagers and taxpayer dollars top the agendas of candidates running for mayor and Town Council in the upcoming Williamsport election.

The polls at Town Hall will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5.

There are two mayoral contenders, one candidate for assistant mayor and two candidates vying for the town's two open council seats in Monday's election.

In the only opposed race, longtime Williamsport Mayor John W. Slayman is running against former six-year Councilman Earle R. Pereschuk Sr.


Pereschuk forfeited his council seat Feb. 12 to run against Slayman, who is seeking his fifth term in office. The Council must appoint someone to serve the remaining two years of Pereschuk's term.

Slayman, 68, said he has been an accessible town leader who has taken his task "to heart."

If re-elected, he will help engineer programs for the town's young people and continue to improve such municipal areas as the community park and Springfield Farm, he said.

Slayman attended a Feb. 8 organizational meeting of the Police Athletic League, or P.A.L., to pledge his support for the new Williamsport-based program.

Pereschuk, 48, said in January that he also would focus on the town's youth by working with area churches to develop programs. The county parks and maintenance employee hopes to establish strong relationships with town employees, make senior citizens' needs a priority, and boost attendance at monthly Town Council meetings, he said.

Pereschuk will look into re-establishing a town police force, he said.

Three-term Councilman Walter W. Tracy Jr. is running unopposed for Assistant Mayor James Black's open seat. Black cannot run for re-election because he has moved outside the town limits.

Tracy, who has lived in Williamsport for 28 years, said the town's Independent-Progressive party nominated him for the post at a pre-election convention.

"I guess they feel I'm qualified," said Tracy, 51.

If elected, he would strive to keep the town fiscally responsible to its citizens and taxpayers and continue to push for improvements to the town - especially its parks - through the use of Program Open Space funds, he said.

The two candidates seeking the two available Town Council seats do not face formal competition.

Newcomer James G. McCleaf is running for Tracy's open council seat.

"I'd be very happy and excited to do a good job for the people and to remember that it's not my money, it's their money," said McCleaf, 30.

An employee at Hopewell Manufacturing, McCleaf has lived in Williamsport for three years. He wants to help the town's young people by supporting the local P.A.L. chapter and improving Williamsport by helping to plan town projects, he said.

"My boy's going to grow up in Williamsport and I need it to be a good place for him to live," McCleaf said.

Incumbent Roxann Long, 33, is running unchallenged for re-election to her second term on the council.

She recently spearheaded the successful community kiddie pool renovation project, and wants to continue working on town improvements that are under way, she said.

"It's been a learning experience and I'm really starting to enjoy it," said Long, a 12-year Williamsport resident and mother of three.

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