To The Editor:
When I found out on March 28 that Mayor Ron Woodward was not seeking re-election, I went to see him.
His reasons are his business.
I just wanted him to know I always respected him and would support him.
I knew I could not run as a Republican or a Conservative (which I am registered as).
There just weren’t enough days left (8) to gather the 120 petition signatures to force a primary with GOP candidate Deana Michaels.
So, I asked the mayor if he would be okay with me running as an Independent, if I could not get the signatures in 8 days for Republican.
He was very gracious and said he thought it would be a good idea.
His encouragement has brought me to this point.
I was able to get more than the 161 signatures to run as an Independent candidate.
I left his office and began seeking out the other candidates to meet them face to face just to talk.
I met Deana Michaels, Ethan Parkhurst and Dan Farfaglia.
Dan is a Democrat, Ethan was forced to run as an Independent, as I am.
More about that soon.
Deana is an AVP and branch manager for Pathfinder Bank, has been involved on the boards of many Fulton businesses and non-profits; also involved with the city on the planning committee and ethics committee.
She is well spoken and our meeting was cordial.
I simply said I did not want this mayoral race to be contentious or about party politics.
It should be strictly about who can deliver what’s best for Fulton.
I had similar meetings with Ethan and Dan.
Through the process of getting my signatures, I found out Deana contested Ethan’s petition signatures for the Republican and Conservative parties.
As it turned out, enough of his signatures were ruled unacceptable for what seemed like minor things.
That meant he would have to go Independent.
I don’t know if she contested Dan’s signatures.
Dan is a good man, has been in the County Legislature for 8 years, works with the disabled and is very involved in the community.
Ethan is intelligent, younger at now 30, a business owner and enthusiastic, which is not a bad thing for our community.
I turned in my signatures on May 28, the last day to be eligible, so I could get as many extras as possible, in case I made some small errors.
I found out last week that Deana contested my signatures on May 29!
So, she had so many days to have her “team” pour over them and if she could get enough of them ruled ineligible, she would have to serve me by registered mail.
Well, the letter never came.
So, today I checked with the Board of Elections and I am officially on the ballot.
This raises a lot of questions about why she would do this; especially after not making things contentious.
Why did Pathfinder Bank push her to run for mayor, before Woodward had decided not to run?
Why did she have an expensive dinner as a fundraiser just to run for mayor of Fulton?
I guess she needed money for attorneys and other staff to take the time to review the hundreds of signatures they had to that Ethan and I had gathered.
Even further, why does Pathfinder Bank want one of their management team to be mayor?
I asked her when we met if being mayor was a second job or part-time job for her.
She said yes, that she could do it part-time!
Also, her office would not be at City Hall, since the bank was providing her extra space there!
I don’t know what Dan’s status is with his job working with the disabled, though that probably is part-time.
Ethan plans to have his business partner take over the operations of his business, I believe.
Clearly, Fulton needs a full-time mayor.
So, let me be clear here.
The Republican Party has endorsed a part-time mayoral candidate who is going to do the city’s work out of Pathfinder Bank!
That feels like a conflict of interest to me.
But, even if not, Fulton needs a full-time mayor, not someone doing it on the side!
I have my suspicion why Pathfinder Bank wants her to be elected, but we need to see how things play out.
I also know Deana is, by all accounts, very smart, has great credentials, has lived in Fulton since 2004 and seems like a good person.
Well, all 3 candidates are of a high caliber, with good credentials.
What makes her so much better that she would do a better job part-time than any one of the 3 of us could do full-time?
My background: native of Fulton, 38-year career as a manager in finance companies, responsible for every facet as if it was my own business, promoted and transferred to other offices that were unprofitable and had to find a way to make them viable and profitable. survived 2 takeovers, finally retired at age 58 in 2010 so I could give back to my hometown, Fulton.
I have been VP of baseball operations for Fulton Little League since 2011.
The kids and parents in the community respect me for my philosophy that “it’s all about the kids.”
My wife runs the concession stand.
We both joined the American Red Cross in 2011 as well and are team leaders for disasters.
We cover fires or floods for all of Oswego County.
We have also been to several national disasters, usually for 2 week assignments.
Last year, I was in North Carolina for Hurricane Florence; Lee was in Florida for Hurricane Michael.
Our greatest experience was being deployed to the greater New York/Long Island area 4 times for Hurricane Sandy in 2012-2013, totaling 60 days each!
We are very active in our church, especially my wife, and are well known in the community.
So, the people of Fulton have to decide in November who they think can lead Fulton into the future, to bring it back to a “City With a Future.”
I recommend every registered voter exercises their right to vote!
This is the most important election Fulton may see for a long time.
Do your due diligence and ask the questions you have of each candidate.
I will promise this – whoever the people select, I will support that person 100%.
That is what we will need to move this city forward!
Submitted by David Webber