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Williamsport Sun: March 16, 1946 – County Gets Petition for Controller

A petition for a referendum seeking the establishment of the office of controller for Lycoming County was filed with the Bureau of Elections at the Court House Friday afternoon.

The petition, which contained the signatures of 112 electors of the county, was referred to Marshall C. Anspach, county solicitor for approval.

If the petition is in order, the question of whether or not the county will change from a board of three auditors to a controller will be placed on the May 20 ballot.

Should the electors approve of the controller system of checking the county’s finances, the voters would be given the opportunity to name such an official at the election in 1947. A controller would be elected for four years.

The taxation committee of the Community Trade Association, which is called in annually to make a survey of the county’s budget before it is adopted has for several years advocated for the election of a controller.

In addition to petitioning the county commissioners to place the question on the ballot there is another way in which the controllership can be established. A petition can be presented to the court, which must be signed by five percent of the county’s electors who voted at the general or municipal election next preceding the date of such petition. This petition, however, must include the signatures of the elected officers of the county.

“The court, after consideration of the petition and hearing, if any is requested by the taxpayers shall, if it deems same for the best interests of the county, direct the electors to choose the citizen for the next municipal election,” according to the law.