HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — “Huntington is engaged in a transformational renaissance.”
That was the message Huntington Mayor Steve Williams had for members of Huntington’s City Council, city workers, residents and others on Friday morning at Huntington City Hall during his annual State of the City Address.
“Our imprimatur has become known as a community that faces issues directly by clearly identifying the challenge and collaboratively identifying innovative solutions,” he said.
Williams spoke for about 35 minutes with a focus on optimism for the future.
He cited declining crime, a growing job base and ongoing road, sidewalk and sewer improvements in Huntington as some of his reasons for that.
Mayor Williams has long billed the Cabell County city as a “City of Solutions,” a theme he said he planned to return to again and again in the coming year.
“We’ve learned that life isn’t fair,” Williams said, alluding to the drug epidemic.
“We must face these challenges not as victims, but as warriors. We must never allow ourselves to be seen as a victim nor seen as a potential victim.”
State of the City AddressFebruary 14, 2020
Posted by City of Huntington, WV on Friday, February 14, 2020
His presentation included a proposed budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year which begins on July 1, 2020.
Williams characterized the budget proposal as a “familiar document” with investments in public safety and capital improvements alongside a focus on economic growth and an emphasis on innovation.
“It reflects the policies and priorities that we have sought to deliver over the past three budgets,” he said.
Currently, Williams said revenues are “consistent and sustainable” while expenditures are under control creating “a stable fiscal environment.”
“A stable fiscal environment yields opportunity to create aggressive growth,” he said.
“We’ve positioned the city to be fiscally and operationally sound. The state of the city is stable; therefore, the state of the city is strong.”
Budget hearings will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
Last year, Williams announced his plans to seek reelection.
If he’s reelected this year, he’ll begin his third term in 2021.
Mayors in Huntington are permitted to serve up to three consecutive terms.
Williams was elected to Huntington City Council in 2008 prior to first being elected mayor in 2012.