by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Mayor Wolfe Defends Emergency Salt Spreader Purchase in Veto

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe vetoed on Feb. 1, 2011 the council passed ordinance that would reduce the department spending level without prior Huntington City Council approval. The level would have gone from $15,000 to $7,500.

Since the decision related to the turn down of the purchase of two salt spreaders, Wolfe wrote to council, “I feel… it would not be in the best interest of our citizens to effect this change [in spending levels], which I believe came about only after an emergency purchase of a salt spreader in December.”

Wolfe continued, “ I stand by my decision to deem the purchase of one salt spreader as being important to replace a dilapidated spreader. We were considering the safety of the streets in areas of schools and for the safe operation of school buses, fire and emergency trucks.”

Speaking of the December 2009 ordinance that increased the spending limit from $5,000 to $15,000, “there has never been any semblance of controversy… The salt spreader was , in my opinion, an essential purchase.”

Wolfe added, “It is not my desire to create ill feeling but to facilitate the smooth day-to-day operations of the Street Division. I am concerned that lowering the allowable spending limit would hinder the safe operations of our public safety services, especially the Fire, Police and Public Works Departments.”

The measure passed council 6-5. In order to overturn the veto, eight votes will be required.