To The Editor:
Over the years Fulton has had a number of follies, the first one that comes to most natives of Fulton happened in the early ‘70s.
That is when they tore old Fulton down for urban development.
People are still talking about it to this day.
Then came Fulton’s chance to purchase the Hydro Dams in Fulton which was turned down.
Can you just imagine how much industry we could have had with the promise of cheap power, not to mention how cheap it would be for the taxpayers?
Let’s talk about more recent follies for those recent Fulton residents.
The awarding of a contract for the demolition of the recently acquired Nestle’s site through tax foreclosure to a contractor for free.
Saying things like “It’s a great deal for the city of Fulton,” also the fact that there was no performance bond required.
That free contractor was given the contract to make the site ready for an Aldi’s store.
He quit after taking as much scrap metal he could and leaving us with a mess that costs the taxpayers almost a million dollars to clean up.
Then the rest of the cleanup has costs us almost 4 million dollars. But it was free.
Then there was the purchase of crushed bricks from the free contractor which cost us the taxpayers $300K for bricks that we had given to the contractor.
The bricks were for fill for the foundation for the Aldi store.
The bricks were deemed unacceptable for use as a foundation.
Leaving us paying for something we gave away and then couldn’t use.
Then there was the closing of the east side pool.
The pool could have been saved through grant monies.
The lack of a recent engineering study that would have cost around $4,600, cost the city its only swimming pool.
Now let’s build a splash park for $50,000 to start. Total cost is not yet determined, but for the same amount we could have had a pool.
Let’s demo the east side pool. No let’s just fill it in with fill from the Nestle site.
Let’s not take it apart, let’s just fill it in.
Now the fill is mixed concrete and rebar and pipes and etc.
Yes, it is fill but not good fill.
In the future someone will start digging there and ask just how lame we were not to do the job correctly.
Now let’s demo the dam and drain the pond.
Another Fulton landmark for more than 100 years; used for swimming, fishing, ice skating, blocks of ice years ago.
All gone now.
Now for the accountability part.
Everyone wants to blame the past and present mayors of the city for all of these follies.
Well if you do that you are very much wrong.
Our city government is set up with checks and balances just like our federal government.
The mayor gives ideas and a budget to the Common Council.
The Common Council is the real power of the city to do anything.
So when you ask for the accountability of anything in Fulton look right at your Common Councilors and ask them why they did something.
They will defend what they have done by saying, I’m only one vote, or it would have cost too much to fix, or we had no other choice.
There is always another way and what it cost not to do something is far higher than what it would have cost to do the right thing.
In my 17 years of going to Common Council meetings I have seen somewhere around 11 no votes at the meetings by any and all councilors.
Now they have two meetings a month in the winter and only one in the summer.
So on the average they have had 306 meetings.
Voted on at least five items a meeting.
So somewhere around 1,500 times.
Only around 11 no votes.
Where are the checks and balances?
Hold those accountable that are accountable.
Frank Castiglia Jr.
Taxpayer city of Fulton