Council Approves Communications Director for Huntington

by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

After a short, positive budget analysis, Huntington City Council approved Mayor Steve Williams budget revision that includes the hiring of a communications director for both in house and outside coordinated news releases by an 8-2 vote. 

Prior to the vote , Council members Frances Jackson and Rick Simmons indicated they favored the resolution, but suggested that the vote be held on Tuesday night when more of the public would be in attendance. Williams stressed that the Special meeting had been announced in advance and no one from the public asked to speak. Nor did they speak on the resolution when it was delayed from the prior council meeting in order so council could make an 'educated' decision based on seeing the budget projection results.

With councilman Scott Caserta absent due to his employment, the late afternoon special session,  split 5-5 on postponing the vote on the budget revision to Tuesday, Nov. 12.  Council members Jackson, Simmons, Gillespie, McGuffin and Thacker voted to postpone. After the tie vote on the postponement (meaning the issue was voted down), council voted on the resolution at the special session

Two council members voted against the revision, presumably the communication director which councilman Pete Glilespie had described as a "luxury,"

“We’ve never had one  before,” Gillespie said. “I’ve never voted against the mayor, but I will on this issue.” Council woman Rebecca Thacker also voted no.

As a matter of recall, when Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe introduced the constituent services liaison , council was divided. However, the position held by Jimmy Johnson, has received many praises from citizens, council members and the administration.

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