Leadership, Vision and Innovation
One of the signs of a good leader is their ability to have a vision and to be innovative in providing good management. Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward has always been very passionate about making sure that neighborhoods are safe, well-kept and maintained.
Over the years, mayors and administrations have been frustrated with the foreclosure process of properties, which resulted in houses being auctioned off and left to deteriorate without any improvements being made.
In 2009 the mayor and all members of the city council agreed to implement a new policy that by utilizing city workers properties would be restored, brought up to code and made salable to working families able to afford a mortgage and placed on the tax roles with value. Many of our very hard working and talented employees provide the flexibility in our ability to work in many different areas especially during winter months.
Since 2009, five homes have been sold and the sixth home is in the process. When this new policy was implemented, the city of Oswego was very interested and met with the mayor and council to further discuss it along with a number of other common interests.
Sometimes a decision to restore a property proves to be frustrating and challenging. For example, a new roof was put on a building in the fall. The roof was shingled to protect the interior from the rain. Later it was detected that the foundation was not recoverable and it would not be cost effective to complete the rehabilitation.
When we talk about housing, we certainly have to think about the Community Development Agency, which is a very effective tool in our city to develop properties and infrastructure. The CDA, under the leadership of Joe Fiumara, recently developed the vacant property that was the site of the Phillips Street School into eight single family houses. In addition to that, the CDA has made 23 properties available to first-time home buyers.
In summary, the administration is working very hard, one house at a time, to restore homes and neighborhoods in the city of Fulton.