Former Mayor Prepares For New Role

FULTON, NY – After a quiet campaign, former Fulton mayor Daryl Hayden is preparing to take a different seat at city hall.

Daryl Hayden
Daryl Hayden

Hayden, a Democrat, won the Fourth Ward Alderman’s seat during this week’s General Election against incumbent Republican Dana Smith. Unofficial totals posted by the Oswego County Board of Elections gave Hayden 318 votes to Smith’s 230.

“It was a pretty low-key race,” Hayden said. “Dana is a really good guy. I would take him as my representative (on the Fulton Common Council) any day. The only reason that I ran at all was to give people a choice.

“I didn’t decide to run to get (Smith) out of office,” he added. “If that was the case, I would have campaigned much differently. … I just believe it is always better to have a choice than it is to have one party and one person. … If (Smith) had won, I would have been fine with that too.”

Hayden said he spent no money on the campaign and “recycled” promotional materials that he originally used for his campaign for the mayor’s chair five years ago.

Smith said he also ran a quieter campaign.

“I tried to make it more about what I do than what I say,” Smith said. “And I’ve tried to do what was best for my constituents.”

Overall, Smith said he enjoys his position and will run again when the position comes up for election next year.

“I think the bottom line in a lot of respects is that it was a lousy year to be a Republican,” Smith said. “But I thank everyone who supported me in the election. I wish Daryl well in his position.

“Win, lose or draw, I will be back to try again next year,” he added. “I believe that if you want things to be different, you have to get off your butt and make things different. If you are happy with status quo, things will never change.”

Hayden has had almost a year “off” from city responsibilities and said he is looking forward to the differences his new position will bring.

“I’ve never been an alderman,” Hayden said. “It will be different for me.”

As mayor, Hayden said he was at city hall almost seven days a week for the four years he served.

“I don’t think I will be doing that as alderman,” he said. “But I will represent the people and do what’s right, for my ward and for the entire city.”

Hayden said he is looking forward to one distinguishable difference.

“As alderman, I will get a chance to vote on issues,” he said. “I didn’t get to do that before. As mayor, you take a lot of heat but you don‘t get a vote.”

Hayden’s brother, Russell Hayden, is Sixth Ward Alderman and president of the Fulton Common Council this year. He said that he would also have been happy with either choice for the head of the Fourth Ward.

“I hope Daryl has enjoyed the last several months he’s had off,” he said. “He’s got his work cut out for him.”

Smith’s term officially expires Dec. 31. Hayden will be sworn in for his one-year term Jan. 1, 2009.