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- MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: Defense Dept. Contracts for Dec. 4, 2013
- Scheme involving thousands of prescription pain pills ends in jail time for Logan brothers
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- CIVIL WAR OP-ED: 74th Anniversary of ‘Gone with the Wind’ Premiere
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- BREAKING... Condolences to Huntington Mayor Steve Williams & Family on the Passing of his Dad.
- Huntington City Council Agenda
Council's Good & Welfare "Reality Show"
Former council member Tom McCallister challenged the matter. Two council member had checked with City Attorney Scott McClure about the higher limit.
“Several of us checked, it’s his right”, said councilman Rick Simmons.
The purchase threshold issue flared in January 2011 related to a salt spreader. After finance committee referrals, council agreed to the $15,000 limit with a caveat that purchases in excess of $7,500 but less than $15,000 require council notification within one week.
“If we do our jobs” [on the Finance Committee] by monitoring line by line revenue and expenses, Williams favors the current arrangement. He does cross his fingers that the ordinance recommended for passage will find enough votes.
Expressing insight into the surprise two salt shaker turn down vote by council, he thanked Mayor Wolfe for contacting himself and at least two other council members prior to making the purchase of one spreader. Based on the spending limit, the administration could have purchased the one spreader without seeking a hint of council wisdom before exercising their discretion. http://www.huntingtonnews.net/801
However, the $7,500 notification did not take effect. Mayor Kim Wolfe vetoed the requirement on February 7, 2011.
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.” http://www.huntingtonnews.net/1473
Prior to the override vote, Charles Holley, director of planning and development explained to council that the advertising for bid, ordinance preparation and time elements essentially adds $1,000 to the procurement costs of a $7,500 purchase. Holley indicated that “reducing procuring authority” reduces “productivity,” adding that small contractors are not able to meet all the specifications (such as bonds) for items placed out for bid.
In addition, vice council chairwoman Sandra Clements supported the veto.
“We do not have any strong evidence that the Mayor is not following procedure. He has done a good job [with the $15,000 limit].”
Former Council chairman Jim Insco made the Motion to Override the Mayor’s Veto. However, the veto was sustained by a vote of 7-3 with Rebecca Thacker absent due to illness. http://www.huntingtonnews.net/1748
After the veto override failed, Wolfe on Feb. 16, 2011 said:
And, Wolfe “was pleased by the turnaround” in the veto override. As the Mayor put it, “That means seven people get the vision. Charles Holley did a nice job explaining [the $7,500 v $15,000 council purchase approval issue] this is really cost savings. It was not meant to be contentious. I didn’t want to get politics into it. Seven council members [saw that] and it’s a good sign. I’m not mad at the other three; I presented a case, hopefully the other three will [come around]. http://www.huntingtonnews.net/1814
AND THE SPEAKING TOOK A RELEVANCY U TURN
Returning to 2013, after the contract limit discussion --- which did contain a little forgivable ego stroking and terse reminders --- the subjects turned to day to day police operations , a complaint regarding private discussions with council, and a fire and brimstone shouting and preaching session on policy.
Following the public portion, councilman Scott Caserta asserted, “Let’s take care of business and be civil to one another… I love to hear you, but we are trying to run a business --- the City of Huntington ,” adding that speakers should “be respectful" and “help move the city forward.”
After Caserta described himself as “at a loss for words”, Rick Simmons condemned the “personal attacks”, stating “we are a council not a CLOWNcil.”
During the Good and Welfare segment, council chairman, Mark Bates, never once raised his voice, but when asked did stress that “we go by council rules and Robert’s Rules of Order”. Council rules limit speakers to five minutes (unless agreed by council).
Councilman David Ball reminded that “day to day operations of both Police and Fire Departments are not the responsibility of council".