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Full-time mayor has benefited city

While serving as the elected mayor of Altoona from 2010 to 2013, I had campaigned on the promise of serving full time for a part-time position.

Altoona was the 10th largest city in Pennsylvania, and the only one without a full-time mayoral position.

I knew its importance because effective leadership at this level is extremely relevant to the operation of our local government. It was a daunting task from the beginning because Altoona’s part-time mayor had no office in city hall.

This form of government from 1990 to 2015 wasn’t viable for Altoona because it lacked the time involved for a part-time mayor to analyze issues extensively and meet business and community leaders along with fellow residents on a regular basis.

An opportunity presented itself when I testified before the Government Study Commission in September 2013 to change our form of government.

For the first time since 1989, an election began for a full-time mayor during May 2015.

The overall results will be beneficial for Altoona’s overall neighborhood and business development.

The duties of our current mayor include but are not limited to the following: 1. submission of annual budget, 2. state of city address each year, 3. developing policy with council, 4. promoting economic development, 5. faithful execution of all laws and acts of city council, and 6. supporting regional and intergovernmental cooperation.

We have improved our municipal government as a possible model for other cities in Pennsylvania because of the checks and balances with our mayor, city manager and part-time council.

I kept my campaign promise, and Altoona’s future is definitely better with a full-time mayor.

William Schirf

Altoona

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