Three vie for Williamsport council seats

February 26, 2009

Candidates for mayor, assistant mayor discuss issues

Three candidates are vying for two open seats on the Williamsport Town Council. Council terms are four years and the position pays $2,500 a year, Mayor James McCleaf II said. The seats will go to the two council candidates who receive the most votes, regardless of party and regardless of who is elected mayor and assistant mayor.

Bobbi Cole

Ticket: Citizens First

Age: 32

Address: 33 E. Frederick St.

Years in town: Six

Occupation: Senior supervisor for customer service at United Healthcare in Frederick, Md.

Previous town positions and years: Williamsport Days committee, 2006-present (chair in 2008 and 2009)

Priorities for the town: Cole said her top priority as a councilwoman would be to cut back on wasteful spending so the town can lower fees for residents. For example, she said the town should have accepted a grant for Springfield Farm Barn renovations instead of paying for the work with residents' taxes. With enough cost cutting, the town might be able to offer residents a break on water and sewer rates, she said.


Cole said she would also focus on fundraising for Williamsport Days, the town's fire and EMS company, the food bank and other causes.

Timothy W. Fraker

Ticket: Independent

Age: 52

Address: 133 N. Artizan St.

Years in town: About 40

Occupation: Owner of Tim Fraker Signs in Hagerstown

Priorities for the town: Fraker said his top priority as a councilman would be to "try to get a handle on" utility costs.

"Some of the electric bills have doubled and tripled here, and since I'm not in office, I can't really do anything about that right now, but I'd like to look into that and maybe look into alternative energy sources," he said.

Fraker said he would also seek to revitalize the downtown by holding absentee landlords responsible for their properties and seeking grants to help restore buildings.

Joan E. Knode

Ticket: Independent

Age: 65

Address: 8719 Neck Road

Years in town: 65

Occupation: Retired

Previous town positions and years: Williamsport museum secretary and events coordinator (1994-present); Harvest Hoedown coordinator (1994-2005)

Priorities for the town: In a written statement, Knode said her top priority as a councilwoman would be to work with residents, churches, merchants and organizations to develop a plan for Williamsport that would serve residents of all ages, attract businesses and tourism, and "make Williamsport a better place to live, work and play."

She said she will focus on revitalizing the downtown by following the recommendations of a feasibility study.

Until recently, Knode wrote the "Around Williamsport" column for The Herald-Mail. Per company policy, she will not write the column while running for or holding public office.

If you go ...

What: Williamsport municipal election

When: Monday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Williamsport Town Hall.

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