Mayor Williams Casts Vision, Gives Budget in State of the City Address


Tyler Spence, Executive Editor

Make no little plans” has served as the motto of Huntington Mayor Steve Williams since his inauguration in 2013.  

Williams believes Huntington’s present is a transformative and important piece of its future; and he described Huntington’s journey from a city that once bustled in the Industrial Revolution to a city of the digital age in his State of the City Address on Monday.  

We are not being labeled by our challenges. We are being acknowledged by the manner in which we create solutions,” Williams said.  

Williams spoke thoroughly about the city’s finances and budget, frequently making reference to the urgent need for new and improved infrastructure throughout the city. Because of the city’s positive finical situation, Williams believes Huntington will now be able to address these needs quickly, creating a roadmap for their continuous improvement in the future.  

[2021] is the first time in over 50 years that we are not operating from a perspective of scarcity. In 2022, we can report that the city of Huntington, West Virgnia is a financially sound operation with resources available to provide basic services and aggressively address crumbling infrastructure that has either never been addressed or not been addressed in decades,” Williams said.  

Mayor Williams said the level of neglect rampant in Huntington due to the lack of resources over the decades surprised him when he first took office in 2013; however, he praised the city’s leadership team and city department employees for their improvements to public resources. As a result of those improvements, public facilities can now be created, repaired, replaced and upgraded for the first time in the past sixty or more years. 

By 2024, the Public Works Department will operate a ten-year paving cycle where all roads will be scheduled for paving and ongoing maintenance.  

The policies set forth and programs established by this administration will continue on their steady path. As a result, there is no need to change direction or tone. As I said, this budget will be familiar. We have governed intellectually and its result is a steady, strong fiscal balance sheet. We now have the capacity to not just govern intellectually—we now have the capacity to govern with our heart,” Williams said. 

Despite the familiarity of the budgets, many departments would have their largest budgets in the history of the city of Huntington if the budget were to be approved. The Huntington Police and Fire Departments and the Public Works Department would also be able to operate fully staffed and effectively and safely perform their duties” according to Williams.  

Williams emphasized that no fire stations would be consolidated, and two new stations would be built as replacements for two older stations needing serious attention.  

The greatest compliment placed upon the city of Huntington by others was not when we were named America’s Best Community” or named the City of Solutions” or a City of Service.” The greatest compliment that was placed upon our city and our residents was when an African Governor called Huntington, West Virginia a ‘city of compassion,’” Williams said.