Personnel Committee Interviewing for “Vacancies” on Huntington Sanitary Board

by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Jim Ritter January 2010 Photo
Jim Ritter January 2010 Photo

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – What’s been the suggested target of numerous ‘investigations’ , only , to have them come up nearly dry? The Huntington Sanitary Board.

Actually, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction and rumor in this adjunct enterprise fund of the City of Huntington.

For instance, based on unaudited financials submitted for the period ending December 31, 2010, the Board appeared to have about a $100,000 shortfall. Earlier in 2010, council woman Frances Jackson held several ad-hoc investigatory styled committee meetings regarding the board’s operations, but , although boxes filled with documents were delivered to council, nothing firm came out of the sessions. One reason : The occupation tax debate and tax reform dominated most of the Spring and Summer.

The committee which first met in January 2010 inquired about the incinerator failure and for not fully stating their equipment needs. At the opening of the meeting, Lora Maynard, assistant city attorney, encouraged employees to step forward as “employers are prohibited from retaliatory acts.”  SEE: http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/local/100108-rutherford-localfactfinding.html

Enter activist Tom McCallister at the Feb. 14, 2011,  City Council meeting to assert that the board’s project on Hal Greer that involves an extension and upgrades around Kinetic Park will come in about half a million dollars under budget.

Council chairman Mark Bates has sent a memo to Loretta Covington, executive director, asking for a financial report on the project’s status.

In addition, Bates told HNN that on Feb 24 prior to the Thursday work session, “the personnel committee will meet to review two upcoming vacancies” on the Sanitary Board.

Numerous lawsuits by former employees of the board are currently pending in Circuit Court, too.

Mayor Kim Wolfe has previously declined to confirm or deny allegations that spew in the board’s direction, suggesting some of the almost continuous consternation  may be mostly  the words of dissatisfied employees or former employees.

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