Williams and Stanton not seeking re-election to Johnstown City Council
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) —
They usually vote together, now they're leaving together.
Jack Williams and Charlene Stanton confirmed to 6 News they are not seeking re-election this year.
They were both elected in 2015. This is Williams' 4th non-consecutive term over the past two decades, and he says health and age are part of the reason why he’s stepping down.
“After 20-some years it's time to go,” Williams said.
He also blamed the five-member majority that usually votes opposite of Stanton and himself for driving him out.
“There is a majority there that is set in their ways,” Williams lamented. “Just been very aggravating working with the group that we are with now.”
Stanton, a newcomer to political office when first elected, also joined Williams in saying frustrations with the rest of council and city officials have played a role.
“I feel like I'm spinning my wheels trying to get some change in the city,” Stanton said. “To keep banging heads with the majority five of council who vote as a block is a waste of my time and effort.”
Williams and Stanton have been known to butt heads with what they have dubbed the "do-nothing majority five" at nearly every monthly council meeting. It's led to many contentious debates, name calling, and even ballot measures and lawsuits led by the duo to try and do what they feel voters put them into office to do: rankle what they see as corruption and the good old boys club of political establishment in the city.
Opponents of the group have called their actions stunts. Mayor Frank Janakovic expressed relief that new blood maybe coming to council soon.
“I had always hoped that (Williams and Stanton) would work with the other five members a little bit more, a lot more to be honest with you, but you could see that's not really happened,” Janakovic said. “We know we have our problems but we need people on council that are going to take a positive approach to move our city forward.”
Candidates from both parties have petitioned to appear on the upcoming primary ballot in May.