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Bates named Director of Council and Citizen Engagement

Mayor Steve Williams announced Monday, Jan. 11, that he has named former Huntington City Council Chairman Mark Bates as the City of Huntington’s Director of Council and Citizen Engagement.

Under the new position, which was proposed by Williams and approved by Huntington City Council in December, Bates will serve as the primary staff contact for citizens with complaints, inquiries, and requests for service. He will also engage City Council members in identifying and addressing the needs of the City and serving as a liaison between members of Williams’ administration and City Council members in resolving constituent complaints.

Bates will also spearhead the implementation of a citizen request management system, commonly known as a 311 system, which will streamline citizens’ requests for service and make the process of fulfilling those requests more efficient for city employees.

“First, I would like to thank Mayor Williams for his trust in me to perform the duties of Director of Council and Citizen Engagement,” Bates said. “I have a long record of serving our citizens as a city councilman and chairman. While this is a different role, I will work with the new City Council and their constituents to provide the most efficient and effective means of handling their concerns.”

Bates was elected to three consecutive four-year terms as the District 6 representative on Huntington City Council. He was first elected in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. He served as chairman of the City Council for nine of his 12 years on the governing body.

Bates actively worked with the neighborhood organizations in his district during his tenure as a City Council member. His community involvement includes serving on the Huntington Municipal Development Authority from 2005-2017 (chairman from 2015-2017) and being reappointed in 2020; serving as a board member of the Huntington YMCA since 2008 (current vice president); serving as a member of the Marshall University Big Green Coaches Circle from since 1995; and serving on the Cabell County Republican Executive Committee from 1994-2002.

“In my time of serving with Mark Bates as a fellow council member and as mayor, it became clear to me that he was a very effective public servant when it came to addressing the needs of his constituents,” Williams said. “He has a vast knowledge of city operations and an established relationship with my administration that will benefit our community members and City Council members when they have issues that need to be resolved.”
Bates began his new position Monday, Jan. 11. Citizens with requests for service or complaints can contact him at batesm@huntingtonwv.gov or 304-638-6031.

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