I served 16 years as an alderman representing the Third Ward on the City of Fulton’s Common Council with present mayor Ron Woodward as an alderman, later as an executive assistant to former Mayor Daryl Hayden and then as mayor in 2008 and 2009. I found him to be a very caring, knowledgeable and intelligent person who always did what was in the best interest of the people in the city of Fulton.
In the position of mayor the last four years, he has taken a very strong and innovative approach to organizing and operating the city in the most effective and efficient way possible. There have been many challenges to local government as administrations have had to deal with unfunded mandates from the state, increases in pensions and health insurance. Without increases in revenue the city has had to make cuts in personnel, which affects services.
I will list just some of his accomplishments: 1) Having served as an executive assistant to former mayor Daryl Hayden, he chose to save $50,000 a year in salary by not having one. 2) He consolidated city positions such as water and sewer with the Department of Public Works and the city clerk with the city chamberlain. 3) He eliminated the need for a city attorney by using a per diem system. 4) He got certification as a code enforcement officer representing the city in city court. 5) Rehabbing foreclosed properties putting them back on the tax rolls.
Mayor Woodward has taken every opportunity to try to save money such as conversion in city buildings to a more efficient lighting, however, the state ended up raising the utility tax from ¼ percent to 2 percent. In addition by putting housing stock in the city back on the tax rolls he has increased the assessed valuation, however, this year the state reassessed the city’s utilities lowering them by a significant dollar amount negating any increased revenue.
The position of mayor is a full-time job with a part-time salary, which carries a tremendous responsibility. Mayor Woodward has proven himself to have the experience and vision to continue to operate our city in the best possible way in these very trying times and he is the best possible choice to lead our city as mayor.