Common council bids farewell to 2 members, mayor

The Huntington Common Council bid farewell to two of its members, along with Mayor Brooks Fetters, during its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Jack Slusser, one of council’s two at-large representatives, and Richard Strick, the board’s 3rd District electee, are both departing the council.

Slusser ran for a new term in May’s municipal election primary, but fell short on capturing one of the Republican Party’s two nominations for the council’s at-large seats. Strick, also a Republican, won the party’s nomination for the 3rd District seat in an uncontested race, but decided to end his re-election bid in July. He turned his attention to the mayor’s race and, running as an independent, won that race in November.
Strick received a plaque from Fetters as a token of appreciation for his service to the council.

Of Slusser, Fetters praised the councilman for being one of the board’s mainstays, serving for six consecutive terms, totaling 24 years.

“He’s truly given the best years of his life to the City of Huntington,” remarked Fetters.

Fetters commended Slusser for his commitment to being informed and capable of explaining the city’s issues to constituents.

“Jack has always asked questions, but always knows the answer to them – because he went and got the answer before he showed up to the meeting,” said Fetters. “What he wants to know (is), ‘What’s the answer so I can tell the average person at the coffee shop, the hardware store, or on the back porch or wherever it is? I want to be able to explain to them what it is we’re doing and why we’re doing it.’”

Fetters presented a framed picture of the city’s staff to Slusser, which also featured “We Serve Huntington” medallions.

Fetters himself received recognition from Council President Charlie Chapman. The councilman thanked him for being passionate about Huntington and for his business-like approach to running the city.

“You and your team have delivered years of balanced budgets and annual surpluses, thus allowing us to govern from that position of strength,” said Chapman.

Chapman gave Fetters a framed “We Serve Huntington” medallion.

In other business, Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development, reviewed the organization’s activities for the year with council. He stated that he would be asking the Board of Public Works and Safety to renew the city’s service contract with HCUED for a total of $91,000. That figure, noted Wickersham, was only 1 percent higher than the previous contract. If approved, the contract will be paid in two installments, he said.