Huntington Mayor Pledges to Put Huntington Sanitary Board House in Order

Updated 6 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Huntington Mayor Pledges to Put Huntington Sanitary Board House in Order
Photo: Mayor's Office

Mayor Steve Williams told a Work Session of Huntington City Council Thursday, Sept. 5 that "what we know for sure is we will get to the bottom" of Huntington Sanitary Board (HSB) issues like "we have gotten our house in order in city government."

Williams stressed that the HSB draft consent order alleging 35 violations and accessing $254,000 in proposed fines allegedly attributed to Special Metals had not been disclosed to the HSB board of directors members before the August 15 dated letter sent to Keith Dabbs, vice president and general manager of Special Metals.

Explaining at the council work session the events leading to the dissemination of the Draft Consent Order, the Mayor stated, “Several days after the last Sanitary Board meeting the newspaper reported that they had received information of a draft consent order that had been provided to Huntington Alloys alleging some violations that had occurred at Huntington Alloys over the last 11-14 years.”

The mayor has now held conversations with “our counsel, legal counsel within the Huntington Sanitary Board, our board members, and subsequently a meeting with the general manager of Huntington Alloys, Keith Dabbs. Dabbs did not “accept” all alleged violations as valid.

The Sanitary board (of directors) itself are “very specifically concerned with eleven to 14 years of [alleged violations]  and only recently did this information come before the board”, Williams said.

“We are also concerned that the draft consent order would be sent to any of our customers, particularly, proposing a $250,000 fine without the [Sanitary Board’s Directors] actually acting upon it”, the Mayor said.

Due to the resignation of former sanitary board executive director, Kit Anderson, Mayor Williams first step will be naming an interim executive director. The HSB board of directors empowered Williams to take the action.

“Once that person is in place then we will begin looking into all the actions that lead up to the draft consent order being sent out without the Board (of directors) acting upon it. Garry Black, Alex Vence and myself were NOT aware of these issues until they were brought to us.”

Williams added that “Huntington Alloys has been a strongly valued employer and valued member of our business community.” The general manager wants “to get to the bottom of” the draft consent order and, in the Mayor’s words, “I have absolute faith that as we work with them we will be able to come to some resolution. What that resolution is, I do not know. And, if I did know, this would not be the venue (in which) to discuss.”

No member of council attending the work session asked Williams questions about the proposed order, the executive director’s resignation, or the ratification of the labor/management agreement with union employees of HSB.

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