Some of the names and faces may have changed, but for Fulton’s Common Council, the challenge remains the same.
Three new members of the Council were sworn in on January 1. Kim Roy replaced Russ Hayden, who chose not to run for another term as 6th Ward Alderman. Dan Knopp won the 2nd Ward seat that Dave Guyer vacated. And Pete Franco became the first new face to represent the 3rd Ward in 16 years, replacing the retiring Bob Weston. Roy and Knopp have served on the Common Council before; Franco recently retired as Fulton’s Deputy Police Chief.
Fulton City Court Judge Spencer Ludington swore them in, along with returning Aldermen Daryl Hayden, Tom Kenyon and Norman “Jay” Foster.
The three new members enter at a difficult time. Costs are continuing to rise while help from the state and federal government is shrinking. It adds up to a severe test.
Mayor Ron Woodward praised the newcomers for their “courage to step forward in the current times.”
One by one, they acknowledged what they’re up against.
Daryl Hayden called 2010 “a tough year.” “A long and challenging year ahead of us,” said Franco. Kenyon: “It’s gonna be a rough year.”
Yet they also agreed with Woodward, who said, “We haven’t got anything we can’t get through.”
Woodward set up a new budget committee, with Knopp, Hayden and Roy representing the Council. The group is an outgrowth of the Council’s Energy Committee, which found ways to cut the city’s energy costs.
“That will give us a full year to make decisions” about the 2011 budget, Woodward said.
He said the administration is putting together a document as a starting point for the committee. It takes all of the 2010 budget expenditures and adds any contractual obligations for 2011.
“It’s time to look at revenues now,” said Hayden, “because the end of the year sneaks up on you. It’s gonna be tough.”
“I know it’s going to be challenging, but it’s always been challenging,” said Roy. “I don’t fear the situation we may be facing because we’ve always been facing it.”