July 15, 2019
Mayor Steve Williams is ready to explore the latest in leadership and management practices, as one of 40 mayors chosen for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
As a member of the Initiative’s 2019-2020 cohort, Mayor Williams is part of a class of mayors participating in a program delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as well as world-class experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network.
The yearlong program launches with a three-day convening for mayors in New York City beginning Sunday, July 14, 2019, which Mayor Williams is attending at no cost to the city.
Each day of the convening, mayors will attend classroom sessions focused on the latest management and leadership practices, using case studies and workshops developed at Harvard.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead as a great opportunity for city leaders to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss how best to approach solving pressing problems for our citizens,” Mayor Williams said. “When it comes to tackling priority issues for Huntington like economic development and the opioid epidemic, my team is invested in using data, working across sectors, and anything else that may help produce results.”
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City, collaborated with Harvard University leadership to create the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2016.
Collectively, Harvard University and Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to help mayors and their leadership teams manage the complexities of running a city, and to give these leaders opportunities to learn from one another. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative will connect Mayor Williams to some of the university’s top educators, coaching from experts, a network of peers, and technical assistance. The program provides an opportunity to share practices and learn from fellow mayors about the promising ideas that are already helping to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world.
After the mayors convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a convening in August and attend virtual classes throughout the year. From the City of Huntington, Huntington Municipal Development Authority Executive Director Cathy Burns and Communications Director Bryan Chambers will participate in the yearlong program, and help Mayor Williams translate what they learn into organizational changes that improve life in Huntington.
Mayor Williams’ participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and that of his two senior leaders – including tuition, accommodation, meals, and airfare – is fully funded by the program thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
July 1, 2019
Are you looking for a rewarding and exciting career? The Huntington Fire Department is now accepting applications through 4:30 p.m. on August 23, 2019.
Applications are available in Room 16 (City Clerk’s Office) at City Hall, located at 800 5th Ave, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You must be a U.S. citizen, be between the ages of 18 and 35 (cannot have reached 36th birthday at time of application), and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to be eligible to apply.
Starting salary is $35,975 and increases to $40,749 after the fifth year.
• Firefighters work an average 56-hour work week with all hours over 40 hours being paid at time-and-a-half.
• Longevity pay. After completing 3 years of service, an increase of $0.03 per hour per year is added to hourly rate. (Example: 3 years of service would equal $0.09 added to hourly rate. 10 years of service would equal $0.30 added to hourly rate).
• Paid vacation. After the completion of 1 year of service, all firefighters receive 12 24-hour shifts of paid vacation time each year. After 7 years of service, all firefighters receive 15 24-hour shifts of paid vacation time each year. After 14 years of service, all firefighters receive 18 24-hour shifts of paid vacation time each year.
• Holidays. All firefighters that work on any of the State Holidays will receive overtime pay for working.
• Hospitalization. All firefighters are eligible for Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance at a rate of $90.00 per month for individual coverage or $217.00 per month for family coverage. Vision coverage and prescription plan are included.
• Health Reimbursement Account. All firefighters that are covered by the City’s health insurance plan will receive a Health Reimbursement Account in the amount of $1,000 for individual coverage or $2,000 for family coverage annually.
• Life Insurance. All firefighters receive a $35,000 employer paid life insurance policy.
• Pension plan. All firefighters are included in the State pension plan.
• After completion of a one-year probationary period, all firefighters are eligible for membership in the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 289.
• All firefighters also have additional job security under state Civil Service laws.
• Opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree through Mountwest Community and Technical College with educational credits for on-the-job training through the State Apprenticeship Program. More information can be found at the following link: http://www.mctc.edu/program/occupational-development/occupational-development
Eligible candidates will take a written exam at 5 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the Tri-State Fire Academy, 4200 Ohio River Road. A Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) will be conducted Nov. 4-6 at Centennial Fire Station No. 1, 839 7th Ave. For more information about the CPAT, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQTWlyEqGqU.
Candidates who successfully complete the written exam and CPAT will be placed on an eligibility list. All new hires will be selected from the eligibility list.
For more information, contact Lt. Clifford Hankins at 304-751-6299.
June 12, 2019
The City of Huntington on Wednesday, June 12, unveiled a new program that aims to provide first responders with self-care tools that will improve their ability to cope in high-stress situations.
The program, known as Compass, is funded through a $1 million award that the City of Huntington received in October 2018 from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ U.S. Mayors Challenge. The yearlong competition challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest challenges faced by cities today. Huntington was one of nine U.S. cities to receive $1 million to begin implementation of their solutions.
Huntington leaders saw the competition as an opportunity to address compassion fatigue within its ranks of police officers and firefighters. Compassion fatigue is a condition characterized by a lessening of compassion over time among individuals who work directly with trauma victims. This can negatively affect a first responder’s morale, wellness, family life, job satisfaction, mental health and client sympathy.
While community leaders have come together in Huntington to address the opioid epidemic and provide assistance to individuals suffering from substance use disorder, there has been a growing need to develop a widely-used model for first-responder assistance, Mayor Steve Williams said.
“Through focus groups and feedback from our police officers and firefighters, we learned very quickly that the high-stress situations of being on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic required a new way of thinking about how we take care of the people who take care of us every day,” Williams said. “Compass will enable our first responders to become part of the decision-making process in developing self-care, training and mental health resources for overcoming compassion fatigue.”
The Compass program will be multifaceted and will include a variety of trainings and policy changes that will benefit the wellness of first responders; wellness coordinators embedded in the police department and fire stations; a state-of-the-art wellness center; and self-care classes and activities for first responders and their families.
Amy Berner has assumed the position as program manager for Compass. She will be responsible for program execution and evaluation, direction of project support staff, and the maintenance of required records and quarterly reports.
The Compass model will be used to address compassion fatigue not just for the opioid epidemic, but for all crises that responders face, such as natural disasters, school shootings and fires, Berner said.
“I am so excited about working on the Compass project because I believe that creating a replicable model of wellness and self-care for first responders can help not only the members of the Huntington community, but a variety of communities facing similar, high-stress situations like the opioid epidemic,” she said.
For more information about Compass, visit the program’s website at www.CompassHuntington.com.
June 10, 2019
The Huntington Municipal Development Authority (HMDA) voted Monday, June 10, to appoint Cathy Burns as the agency’s next executive director.
Burns, who is the city manager for the City of Huntington, will officially begin her duties as HMDA executive director and relinquish her duties as city manager on July 1. She will lead an agency that has been and will continue to be a key player in efforts to revitalize more than 50 acres of former industrial property in the city’s Highlawn neighborhood.
“We are embarking upon the most important economic opportunity for our city in more than half a century. The next five years will determine our next 50 years. We must have the most capable and qualified person to guide us through these waters,” said Mayor Steve Williams, a HMDA board member who nominated Burns to become executive director during the meeting. “Cathy Burns possesses the skills, experience and temperament to help us navigate through a complicated, ambitious and sophisticated economic revitalization plan. The citizens of our region are fortunate that she has accepted this challenge.”
The Municipal Development Authority’s purpose is to foster capital investment in Huntington and contribute to the creation and retention of jobs. The agency also enables city government to use certain assets owned by the city for the specific purpose of attracting additional capital and industry.
Burns has served as city manager since June 28, 2016. She also has an extensive background in economic development and building relationships with the business community.
She began her career as an administrative assistant in the Mayor’s Office from 1985 to 1988 and then spent nearly 11 years as the director of the Department of Development and Planning.
Burns left City Hall in 2000 to become executive director of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone, a position she also held for nearly 11 years. She was hired as the workforce
recruiter for RCBI in 2011 before she was named president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in September 2013. She remained with the Chamber until she began her stint as city manager in June 2016.
“This is an exciting time to be joining HMDA as the executive director and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Burns said. “HMDA board members are prepared to take bold economic development strategies and I’m pleased to help them fulfill their mission.
“My work as the city manager and 20 years of regional economic and workforce development experience will allow me to build upon established partnerships for new site development and job creation.”
“I am thrilled that Cathy Burns agreed to accept this challenge,” HMDA President Bob Adkins added. “She has an institutional memory and breadth of experience that will enable her to hit the ground running. Those who have worked with her know that she won’t stop running until she reaches the goal line.”
The Municipal Development Authority purchased 8 acres of the former Flint Group Pigments property located on the north side of 5th Avenue at 24th Street in February and authorized its executive committee to enter into a purchase-and-sales agreement for the acquisition of approximately 42 acres of the former ACF property for $3.125 million on Monday. The deal is expected to be finalized sometime this summer. The land is proposed to be transformed into mixed-use development space known as the Highlawn Business Innovation Zone (H-BIZ).
Among the plans for H-BIZ is a baseball stadium for Marshall University.
The acquisition of these properties is also a key component of the Huntington Innovation Plan (HIP) that city leaders submitted to the America’s Best Communities competition. Huntington was named the winner of the nationwide competition and the recipient of a $3 million grand prize in April 2017.
May 16, 2019
The City of Huntington and Honeywell on May 16, 2019, announced the third phase of a 15-year energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which in all three phases is expected to save approximately $4.8 million in total operating costs for the city.
This current phase includes a comprehensive LED lighting system upgrade aimed at improving overall energy efficiency and occupant comfort levels, all while helping to reduce maintenance frequency. The LED lighting technology will be complemented with occupancy sensors across portions of the facilities to automatically control the lighting. In addition, HVAC system improvements and a control system upgrade will be made at City Hall. The improvements under this phase are expected to generate approximately $112,000 in annual energy and operational savings.
"The upgrades and improvements we’re working on with Honeywell will improve lighting in most of our buildings and help reduce operational costs and energy consumption citywide," said Huntington Mayor Steve Williams. "We’re encouraged that work under the third phase of the project will again be supported by expected energy and operational savings. This limits taxpayer costs and the need for upfront capital investment."
The current project scope will cover 14 buildings, including: City Hall, Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington Police Department, A.D. Lewis Community Center, Fairfield East Community Center, Safety Town, Centennial Fire Station No. 1, Guyandotte Fire Station No. 5, Westmoreland Fire Station No. 8, University Fire Station No. 2, John W. Gallagher Fire Station No. 10, St. Cloud Fire Station No. 4 and the Public Works Department’s Traffic Building. This phase of the contract is expected to be completed in September 2019.
The lighting system upgrade at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in particular will create a more comfortable environment and a more welcoming facility for hosting events. It will help assist in addressing the facility’s need for more flexible lighting technology and the current challenges of accommodating different lighting scenes. The LED lighting and controls technology will enable quicker adjustments to the lighting conditions and operate more efficiently than the former system.
"We are focused on bringing energy savings and enhanced comfort levels to Huntington residents and employees through these city facility enhancements," said Wayne Kent, vice president and general manager Americas of Honeywell Building Solutions. "Project upgrades, specifically at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, will help to attract a wider variety of events, while optimizing energy consumption and comfort levels in some of the city’s most critical facilities – including the police department and fire stations."
The first and second phases involved facility upgrades, including lighting retrofits, mechanical and controls improvements, domestic water conservation efforts, traffic signal retrofits as well as building repairs.
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