Election 2021 | Johnstown voters approve seven referendums | New
JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania – Voters passed all seven referendums that were on Johnstown’s ballot this year.
The question that attracted the most attention was whether the city council should be allowed to do away with the law that requires the city manager to live in the municipality.
It reads as follows: “Should Article 601 (a) of the Charter of Local Self-Government of the City of Johnstown be amended to allow the city council to determine by ordinance whether to require the city manager to he becomes a resident of the city? “
The referendum was passed by an informal vote of 1,535 to 923, according to information provided by the Cambria County Election Office on Wednesday.
Council is expected to change the language for its next search for city manager.
“This will greatly improve the council’s ability to attract a qualified candidate,” said Daniel Penatzer, interim city manager for Johnstown. “I know it will be on their agenda here on November 10 to start a new research process. and hopefully with these changes we have a much better chance of filling the position very early in the year, maybe in January.
John DeBartola, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor as a Republican, called it “a travesty that the city manager can now live outside of town with no one mile distance.”
“Are we going to have another Pittsburgh city manager like (former interim city manager) John Trant coming in one day a week and having (mayor) Frank (Janakovic) as a puppet running the city?” DeBartola asked. “I think it’s tragic.”
Janakovic said the city manager should be in the city more than 40 hours a week and remain “active and involved” in the community.
“The leverage we have now is to hire the best full-time person for the city,” Janakovic said. “That’s what it gives us now. Whether that person lives in town or out of town, now is the opportunity to hire the best full-time person to become Johnstown City Manager.
DeBartola objected to the city of Johnstown openly endorsing the “yes” vote on referendums.
“I think we have to keep in mind that they used taxpayer money to buy flyers and billboards to influence the elections,” DeBartola said.
“They also had very confusing language in referendums which I think confused people, and that’s why they adopted it.”
The other referendums dealt with questions of procedure.
“The first six were really aimed at simplifying what is too complicated a process to do relatively mundane tasks that come up multiple times throughout the year,” said Penatzer.
“It’s just a complicated way of doing very day-to-day business. These have all been approved and the process is now simpler.
The other unofficial results were:
• Question 1 on the ballot
(1446 yes, 984 no)
“Should Section 304 of the City of Johnstown Charter of Self-Government be amended to allow passage of the City’s Annual Budget and Capital Improvement Plan by resolution rather than ordinance?” “
• Question 2 on the ballot
(1,353 yes, 1,057 no)
“Should Section 902 of the City of Johnstown Self-Governing Charter be deleted so that the Staff Ordinance remains part of the city administrative code but allows for the modification of staff rules and procedures via A resolution ? “
• Question 3 on the ballot
(1,368 yes, 1,045 no)
“Should Article 1007 (a) of the Charter of Local Self-Government of the City of Johnstown be amended to allow the City Council to adopt and amend the City Budget prior to final adoption, by resolution or motion rather than by order? “
• Ballot question n ° 4
(1,315 yes, 1,095 no)
“Should article 1008 of the charter of autonomy of the city of Johnstown be amended to allow the city council to modify the city budget after adoption by resolution or motion rather than by ordinance?” “
• Voting question n ° 5
(1,284 yes, 1,121 no)
“Should Article 1010 of the Charter of Autonomy of the City of Johnstown concerning the administration of the annual budget be deleted in order to allow these matters to be dealt with by means of an ordinance, within the framework of the administrative code?” from the city ? “
• Voting question n ° 6
(1,970 yes, 463 no)
“Should Section 1012 of the City of Johnstown Charter of Autonomy be amended to require that all city contracts be written, regardless of amount, to authorize the City Manager to sign all contracts and to comply with all bidding requirements set by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry?
The unofficial final results were not immediately posted on the county’s website due to a software glitch, according to the election office. They should be online in the next few days.
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5056. Follow him on twitter @Dave_Sutor.