HUNTINGTON — The Huntington City Council met Monday night for its regular meeting, despite having no resolutions or ordinances for the new council to approve.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams told council members that this was done intentionally and “out of respect” for the newly sworn-in council.
A few years ago, the city adopted a new process for approving resolutions and ordinances. Prior to an item being up for vote, that item must first go through a committee within council and only goes to the full council if it receives a favorable recommendation.
The committee process is not a new process for the city or council, but was used more sporadically in years past instead of as a rule for every item up for a vote.
Williams explained this process to the council, which consists of nine new members, during his reports from the mayor remarks.
“I am so eager to be working with each of you — what you bring to the table, your new ideas,” Williams said.
Council members also got their first look at the city’s financial statements. As a general rule, Williams told council members to be sure to always check the final page to ensure the city is bringing in more money than it spends.
Before them were the financial statements for November 2020 and the fiscal year 2021 budget.
Thus far, the city has collected $27.5 million in revenues, which is 10% more than it was projected to have collected by this time in the fiscal year.
With 42% of the fiscal year complete, the city’s expenditures sit at 35% of its total budget.
Williams also informed council of the recent hiring of Mark Bates in the newly created position of director of council and citizen engagement.
Under the new position, which was proposed by Williams and approved by Huntington City Council in December, Bates will serve as the primary staff contact for citizens with complaints, inquiries and requests for service.
Bates, who served on the Huntington City Council for 12 years, will also engage city council members in identifying and addressing the needs of the city and serving as a liaison between members of Williams’ administration and city council members in resolving constituent complaints.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25.