COLUMN: Caserta Will Not Hush; City Cannot Afford Large Gifts

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
COLUMN: Caserta Will Not Hush; City Cannot Afford Large Gifts

by Scott Caserta, Seventh District Councilman

I'm not letting go.

 I've been told to "hush" many times in my life. Sometimes I wish I had listened, other times I wish I had not. This is a "not" time for me ! I am at a loss for words, though give me a moment, at the actions taken last evening by members of City Council.

 I am equally puzzled as to why this meeting was not held in a public forum. Any time your elected leaders meet behind closed doors, especially on the matter of giving your tax dollars away, you are not likely to praise the outcome. The topic at hand has been publicly debated, what questions remained?

 Members of the City Council Finance Committee went into executive session yesterday to discuss the legality of Mayor Steve William's sick leave payout to former Chief of Police Skip Holbrook. They found no wrong doing by the Mayor. The results of this meeting were of no surprise to me, even predictable to some, and only left me even more confident in my decision to turn this information over to an outside agency for investigation.

For the sake of batting this ball back and forth, let us take a look at what the law says and see if you read it like I read it. Let me be clear and quote this section of ordinance 200.08 word-for-word for you:

“this provison shall be no way interpreted to mean that an employee is entitled to payment of vacation leave for his or her net accumulated sick leave upon their separation of employment with the city, other than those who retire at the age of sixty (60) years or older, or who have completed 20 years of service or upon disability retirement.”

 

Mayor Williams and his council members want you to believe that he can somehow ignore this law and believe it is at his discretion? That's just insulting our intelligence !  The law means just what it says, if you are not in 1 of the 3 categories you DO NOT get paid for your sick time.

 

Every Mayor prior to this one knew that. I grow weary of this charade and shell game. Fortunately, the West Virginia State Police will be investigating my allegations and not City Council.

 

The reason I went around City Hall has become painfully obvious to many. We all work hard for our money. Many have even lost their retirements, such as myself.  This economy, your family, our city cannot afford such gifts. I am not going to let this go and I will not let it be swept under the rug like some of your elected representatives want. The people of Huntington deserve better.

 

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