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Fulton Holds Inauguration Meeting, Swears in Two New Councilmen

City Court Judge Hawthorne administers the oath to returning Mayor, Ronald Woodward Sr.

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.

City Court Judge Hawthorne administers the oath to returning Mayor, Ronald Woodward Sr.
City Court Judge Hawthorne administers 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.

First ward councilmen, Thomas Kenyon is voted to Common Council President.
First ward councilmen, Thomas Kenyon is voted to Common Council President.

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.

Two new councilmen, David B. Ritchie of the second ward and Donald R. Patrick Jr. of the third ward, take oath along with the returning councilmen on New Years Day 2016.
Two new councilmen, David B. Ritchie of the second ward and Donald R. Patrick Jr. of the third ward, take oath along with the returning councilmen on New Years Day 2016.

“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.

The Mayor, councilmen and city clerk/chamberlain stand with Charles J. Smith III, newly appointed Commissioner of Public Works.
The Mayor, councilmen and city clerk/chamberlain stand with Charles J. Smith III (center), newly appointed Commissioner of Public Works.

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.

Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. and City Clerk/Chamberlain Daniel O'Brien head the city's inaugural meeting this New Years Day, 2016.
Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. and City Clerk/Chamberlain Daniel O’Brien head the city’s inaugural meeting this New Years Day, 2016.

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.

2 Comments

  1. I am known as a bridger of gaps, and a “peace keeper” of sorts when it comes to local politics, so I ask that you read this response with that in mind as it is a little darker than I am used to appearing.

    From an outsider view, and after reading the story, there appears to be some friction, not just in the individuals, but also in the political parties themselves. A democrat and a conservative nominate the conservative, Kenyon. A republican nominates a democrat, Macner, and is backed by a second republican. The republican Mayor then in turn breaks the tie, casting the tie breaker for the conservative who, by all appearances (right or wrong), has opposed the Mayor at every turn and has been quite a thorn in the Mayor’s side ever since he challenged him during the previous mayoral election (of which I ran independent and remember that circus quite well).

    I sincerely hope these people can work together, and I pray that the Almighty guides this group in a positive direction. Unfortunately at this point and juncture, I am seeing friction building already before we even got off the starting line and I am still working to make heads or tails as to how this all went down to begin with. East side vs. west side, one alliance vs. another, or something completely not nefarious and with no foul intended, it is too early to tell. One thing is certain, after this first meeting of the new term, this group has A LOT of work to do to amongst themselves before I can be too optimistic. And one more thing is certain, I will become MUCH more involved once again and I will be keeping an eye on everyone until either I can come up with a definitive conclusion, or until this group proves themselves (by showing positive results) of being able to work together for the better of the entire community.

    Until then, unfortunately, I must remain guarded… as all citizens should. Remember you voted for them, it is your responsibility to make sure they are performing properly.

  2. Fulton city govt has been dysfunctional and friction-filled for decades. Many of the issues they seek to resolve were apparent and problematic years ago. Its sad to think the scope of “big” projects on their radar is a grocery store and dredging a dying lake.

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