FULTON, NY – The city of Fulton held its inauguration ceremony on New Year’s Day. Two new councilmen and the mayor were sworn into their positions, the council elected a president, and numerous appointments were made, among other business.
City Court Judge Hawthorne began the meeting by administering the oath to returning Mayor, Ronald Woodward Sr.
All councilmen were then administered their oath, including the two newest councilmen, David B. Ritchie of the Second Ward and Donald R. Patrick Jr. of the Third Ward.
The next order of business was to elect the Common Council President through a nomination and roll call voting process.
Second and Third Ward councilmen, Ritchie and Patrick made a motion to elect First Ward councilmen, Thomas Kenyon.
Fifth Ward councilman, Norman “Jay” Foster followed up with a nomination for Larry Macner, Sixth Ward councilman and previous Common Council President.
The council was then split equally with three councilmen in favor of Kenyon and three councilmen in favor of Macner.
Mayor Woodward was left to make the decision, ultimately choosing Kenyon as Common Council President as his nomination was the first motion presented.
Both nominated councilmen have served as Common Council President in the past and have held this position alongside Mayor Woodward.
“Tom (Kenyon) and I work well together,” said Woodward. “By the same token, I’ve had a good experience with Norman Foster and Larry Macner as well.”
Kenyon addressed the council and those in attendance in regards to his belief that the council needs to work together to attain a better position for the city of Fulton.
“We now have two conservatives, two republicans and two democrats. We are going to need to work together with the mayor to get things done, to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this city. I don’t care what you are or what you represent, we’re working for the people,” said Kenyon.
Each of the councilmen also spoke to the group in attendance, thanking them for their support, agreeing to work together for the benefit of the people of Fulton and offering encouragement that the Common Council will do their best for the city of Fulton this year.
Current projects such as the demolition of the former Nestles site to welcome Aldi in the coming year and the continuation of the dredging of Lake Neatahwanta are promising plans for the betterment of the city.
The mayor and council will look into other projects throughout the year to continue on that path including issues with infrastructure, waste water and other things.
“I just retired yesterday after working 40 years for the city,” said new councilman for the Third Ward, Patrick. “So it’s as if I’m starting a new job today. I’m excited, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I know I have a challenge with the third ward and there’s infrastructure issues, but we have a lot of opportunities in this city, we just need to pursue them. Ron (Woodward) has been on the right track. I’m really focused on the infrastructure issues with the city and bringing in business.”
The council took a new approach to its committees and meeting times this year.
“We usually have six committees all meeting at separate times and often not everyone could be present. This year, we’ve narrowed it down to two committees, Recreation and Audit and Financing. The other four committees have been combined into one and we will meet for that before our regular meetings so that all councilmen will be present and we can ensure we are all on the same page,” explained Kenyon.
Kenyon also provided an example of the kind of collaborative work that he is hopeful will continue throughout the year to provide the most benefit to the city of Fulton.
“As we continue dredging our lake, the dredge we have can not get to the shoreline. We are looking to complete the former beach area and had planned to have people dig it by hand. However, Granby has their own lake committee and separate dredging supplies and they have offered to allow us to use their dredge because it can come right up to the shoreline. That’s a prime example of how to work together for the best interest of the people. That is what our Common Council needs to do and owes to the people of this city,” said Kenyon.
The rest of the agenda included appointments made by the mayor including Charles J. Smith III, appointed to Public Works Commissioner, Mary Earl appointed as Registrar of Vital Statistics and other official business.
Other appointments include 44 people appointed to Commissioners of Deeds.
Catherine Trowbridge was reappointed to Administrative Assistant to the Mayor.
Kurt Brown, Charles Marks, Alan DeLine, William Wood and David Miner were appointed to the Fire & Police Commission.
Heidi Webb was appointed to Secretary to the Planning Commission.
Rita Kay Davies was appointed to Secretary to the Electrical Board.
Joann Cavalier was appointed to Secretary to the Plumbing/HVAC Board.
Kathleen Yahner was appointed to Secretary to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Peter Palmer was appointed as City Historian.
The Valley News was dedicated the city’s official newspaper.
The mayor signed a yearly contract with the Fulton Historical Society and the 2016 application for Stop Loss Insurance with Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company of New York.
The mayor then announced that due to this meeting, the next meeting of the Common Council would be rescheduled from January 5 to January 19 at the regular 7 p.m. start.