Fulton Common Council Election: 4th Ward

FULTON – Incumbent Samuel Vono will face challenger John Kenyon this Election Day in the race for the Fulton Common Council Fourth Ward seat. 

Oswego County Today asked Vono and Kenyon where they stand on some topics that have come up in the Common Council meetings before. This article details their opinions on them. 

How do you plan on giving comprehensive transparency to your constituents?

Kenyon: 

Kenyon said since he is retired, he has more free time to spend walking around the Fourth Ward during the nice weather to be visible by residents. He said he will also return missed phone calls. 

“If people are out in their yards, I’ll introduce [myself] and go from there, see if they’ve got problems,” Kenyon said.

Vono:

Vono said he encourages his constituents to attend the Common Council meetings, sends out mailings, telephone calls and walking through the neighborhoods of the Fourth Ward. He also said there is an opportunity to reach out to constituents using social media. He said aside from winter, he rides his mountain bike through the ward. 

“For me, it’s an easier way to see close up without an automobile,” Vono said. “Flag me down.”

What can be done about stray animals throughout Fulton during the next administration?

Kenyon:

Kenyon said although there will always be a problem with animals, the city has bigger issues he would prefer to shift a priority to. 

“I really do, in my heart, believe that there’s bigger missions that we need to focus on,” Kenyon said. “Deal with it, but not make it a priority at this point.”

Vono:

Vono said the Common Council has been working on partnering with Oswego County SPCA to reduce the number of feral animals in the city. 

“It’s been a big problem,” Vono said. “Working with the SPCA and our animal control officer, we hope to keep that under control.”

Vono said residents should stop feeding stray animals. He also said the animal control officer can catch and relocate animals like skunks and woodchucks. 

Do you think Fulton should aim at being more environmentally friendly, and how would you work on that?

Kenyon:

Kenyon said with the proposed policy DPW Commissioner CJ Smith and the Common Council are working on, using brown paper bags for yard waste can help reduce the use of city equipment and vehicles and their fuel needs.

“The less equipment, the cheaper the operation,” Kenyon said.

Vono:

Vono said the city has partnered up with a company to help with energy efficiency to reduce their carbon footprint. He also said Attis plans on striving for green energy.

What can you do to help with the drug epidemic?

Kenyon:

Kenyon said this is one of the issues he believes needs to have the highest priority for Fulton’s local government. 

“We’ve got to make laws that work for the city,” Kenyon said. “If we have a hard focus on one thing at a time… I think you can clean it up a lot better than what it is.”

He said while he does not have an exact solution, the city should try to push drug dealers out using “police force or other methods.” Kenyon said they could further “beef up” the Drug Task Force, which recently gained a Fulton Police Department representative.

Vono:

“Basically the same thing that we’ve done already,” Vono said. “The drug epidemic, we’ve been in contact with our county DA, and we also have our Drug Task Force.”

Vono said focusing on making sure people cannot get into zombie properties (properties that have been abandoned) could help with the issue. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Kenyon:

He said he knows the city is short-handed in employees, but it needs to better utilize the help it does have. 

“The DPW does a great job for being short-staffed; I don’t think anyone moves snow any better than our town,” Kenyon said.

Kenyon said other than the drug epidemic, his other high priority issues are handling squatters in abandoned houses and keeping the taxes down in the city.

“I think people sometimes forget that as a councilor or a mayor, we all pay taxes, and if I get elected, I’m not sitting on that council to raise my taxes.”

Vono:

Vono said since he first got involved with the Common Council, he has seen growth in the city. He said businesses have come in, the Nestle site is shovel-ready,  and Fulton has been determined by the state an “opportunity zone.” 

“What I’ve learned in the last two years, in my mind, really just scratches the surface of how the city operates and how it works and how to get things done,” Vono said. 

He encourages Fulton residents to volunteer for organizations throughout the city and to attend Common Council meetings.

“Find out what is going on and find out what you can do to help,” Vono said.