HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Huntington Mayor Steve Williams delivered the “State of the City” address this morning, February 14, 2020.
“The state of the city is stable, therefore it’s strong,” Williams said. “This council, this administration, [and] this community [have] chosen to identify the solutions rather than excuses.”
Williams spoke about the progress and challenges ahead for the Huntington, including what appeared to be a reference to the New Year’s Day shooting in the downtown at the Kulture Hookah Bar, which left 7 people wounded.
“They seek to cloak their illicit enterprise with an enterprise that on the surface, appears to be lawful and legitimate,” Williams said. Williams added the city’s crime rate has continued to drop.
“We always need more industry, more job creation, and that’s an ongoing thing,” said Pastor Charles Shaw, who is President of the Huntington Black Pastors Administerial Association. “The substance use disorder issue is always a concern.”
The mayor went on to touch on several multi-million dollar projects in the works to address badly needed infrastructure and sewer projects around the city.
“Every part of the city displays indications of rapid and various improvements,” Williams said.
While acknowledging the city still has challenges when it comes to jobs and the opioid epidemic, Williams says residents are always ready to step up to the challenge, which brought praise from Pastor Shaw. “The biggest take away is that progress is indeed being made,” Pastor Shaw said. “The second thing would be, ‘come on, jump in, roll your sleeves up, let’s work together, and get it done.’ Because it’s possible.”
Mayor Williams says Huntington was always used as the example of how not to do things. Now, he says, people are coming into the Jewel City to learn how to deal with addiction and public safety among other things.
13 News Reporter Shannon Litton live-tweeted the event. You can read that thread by clicking on the tweet below.