But all three of these lawmakers-turned-mayors urged the oversight board to keep open the issue of giving cities new taxing powers.
What could be going on?
It's just a guess, but the little things the state has allowed these four cities to do amount to tinkering around the edges of fiscal disaster.
Over the decades, state politicians have graciously given municipal police and firefighters pension benefits that residents of the cities cannot afford.
Thirty-one West Virginia municipalities operate 53 retirement plans. Collectively, those plans have unfunded liabilities of almost $1 billion.
Charleston residents face a $120 million unfunded liability for police pensions and a $138 million liability for firefighters pensions.
Huntington residents face a $71 million unfunded liability for police pensions and an $88 million liability for firefighter pensions.
The state can now graciously give city politicians the power to tax the heck out of their residents - or it can do what should have been the case all along:
Give city officials a majority voice in pension decisions that affect their continued survival.
Otherwise, everybody's kidding everybody out of earshot of the people who will pay the bills for this folly.