The text of Woodward’s announcement is below:
It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve as Fulton’s Mayor for the last four years. The challenges the city has faced in these past years and the challenges ahead are some of the toughest ones in many years. I will be running for re-election this year and I think it is good that including me, there will be at least three candidates running. I feel the most important part of any election is accurate and true information. That is why I believe there should be at least two public forums where all candidates are allowed to present their ideas on how they will keep property taxes stable as well as water and sewer rates. How these candidates will improve the neighborhoods and deal with increasing State and Federal mandates such as the mandated improvements to the city’s Waste Water Treatment Plant, are other important matters that should be debated.
Within the first months of my term, my administration had to deal with the collapse of our DPW garage. My administration took that unfortunate incident and looked toward the future to envision a way to rebuild and consolidate. We were able to sell the old DPW building on N. Fourth Street to an out-of-town private business and place it on the city tax roles. We are in the process of placing our water crews in the same building and have someone interested in purchasing another city building to return it to the tax roles. The consolidation of these separate departments under one roof helps to lower the overall heating, electricity and maintenance costs to city taxpayers. We have been able to continue infrastructure improvements with several miles of new sidewalks and many blocks of new water mains which have served to improve water pressure and improve fire protection in those areas. We have also secured grants to build eight new single family homes on the former Phillips Street School site. In addition to the new homes, the city has been able to totally rehab and bring fully into code compliance, five tax foreclosed properties in neighborhoods which have been sold to working families while reducing the number of absentee landlords. Contrary to rumors that the city is only doing this as a profit making venture, the main purpose was to stabilize the neighborhoods, encourage home ownership and reduce the number of rental properties in the city.
There are many issues the public has a right to question and get answers to from all candidates. I feel that home ownership is the only hope that we have to restore the Fulton neighborhoods back to the times many of us remember. During election years the rumor mills and whisper campaigns always seem to pop up. Most of the time the information is false or misleading. The best way to confirm any of this information is at candidate forums or if it involves this administration, all you need to do in simply visit my office or call. I look forward to a busy year and once again I thank the Fulton residents for the opportunity to serve them the last four years.
Ronald L, Woodward, Sr.
Mayor, City of Fulton