- January 25, 2023
The year 2019 will be remembered in Lycoming County for decades for the ‘ballotopocalypse’ that will take place. For starters, there will be primary and general elections for positions such as the three Lycoming County commissioners, five county row offices, two court of common pleas judges, the mayor of Williamsport, and four Williamsport city council
The year 2019 will be remembered in Lycoming County for decades for the ‘ballotopocalypse’ that will take place. For starters, there will be primary and general elections for positions such as the three Lycoming County commissioners, five county row offices, two court of common pleas judges, the mayor of Williamsport, and four Williamsport city council members. Then, to add a little more mess to the mix, US Congressman Tom Marino has announced his resignation, which means that there will be a special election sometime soon to fill his seat. Since there will be plenty of suitors to choose from for all these elections, this column will attempt in coming months to introduce to the voters as many as these individuals as possible.
Scott Metzger is a very different kind of county commissioner candidate because he comes from the ranks of county management. Metzger, 56, of Montoursville, retired last year after 32 years at the county Adult Probation Office, including more than a decade as Deputy Adult Probation Officer. Born and raised in Lycoming County, Metzger graduated from West Chester University, and along with his lovely wife Robin, returned to the area to raise his family of three children. He became active professionally in county work as well as co-owner of Metzger Executive Apartments. Somehow he still found time for involvement in an array of civic organizations.
In the Adult Probation office, Metzger was exceptional in his field, which was recognized as he was one of eight officers in the commonwealth enlisted to develop reforms and improvements for parole officer training in Pennsylvania. He introduced “cognitive restructuring” counseling techniques to Lycoming County, an innovative approach to counseling offenders in ways to change behavior by changing outlook. The program was hailed as a success and introduced to the juvenile probation system as well.
For those who have not committed a crime, Scott Metzger is best known in the community for his involvement with Little League Baseball. He has served as president of the Montoursville Little League Board for the past 16 years and is one of 32 Little League World Series “Team Hosts” who supervise and assist visiting players from around the world. Among Metzger’s accomplishments was the creation of a “Challenger Division” in Montoursville Little League to allow special needs children to play baseball throughout the summer. High school students volunteered to assist in the program, which included games at Lyter Field, adjacent to Montoursville Elementary School. Metzger noted, “We had these children play under the lights. They loved that. They felt like
Besides Little League, Metzger also serves on the advisory board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the board of Wise Options for Women, a local domestic violence shelter. In 2002, the county presented him with the Lycoming County Humanitarian Award for his service overseeing a food drive for seven years. In 2006 he was presented with The Lycoming County Volunteer Award for his wide-ranging volunteer work in the community.
He intends to take all his business, government, and volunteer experience and pour it into solutions for the county’s key issues, which he believes are public safety, taxes, and job creation. Metzger sees these issues interrelated, and should initially be addressed by improving the communication and coordination between the courts, law enforcement, and the commissioners. “The answer to revenue problems isn’t to raise the tax rates — it’s to expand the tax base by encouraging businesses and industries to locate or expand here in Lycoming County,” Metzger said. “I plan to grow our region, not the tax rates in the county.”
Scott Metzger worked for thirty-two years at a job most people would not have been able to handle for a week. He had to deal with those on probation and those who had to supervise them, where even one mistake could be very costly. Yet Metzger did not operate in a maintenance mode, but toward innovative solutions. He used his “outside the box” type of thinking to make a difference in the Adult Probation Department. “I still encounter people who say our office changed their lives and made them better,” Metzger says. “If you change the way you think, you change the way you act.”
It is this change in thinking that Metzger hopes to achieve, through better cooperation at all levels. The voters of Lycoming County will make the judgment if this new mindset might go a long way toward addressing the challenges that county faces.