Over the past few weeks, I have been asked what my opinion is about the confrontations as of late, between Mayor Woodward and Councilor Kenyon. Until now, I have viewed the situation as a Republican Primary issue and have respectfully stayed mostly silent, concentrating on speaking to citizens and getting an idea of what concerns the people have, while awaiting the outcome of said primary. Now, the time has come to break my silence on the issue.
Over the past few weeks there has been an obvious feud occurring between my two opponents for the office of Mayor. Some competition is to be expected, as both Mayor Woodward and Councilor Kenyon are battling for the Republican line in a primary. What started out as the normal questions and debate have seemed to have taken a vicious turn toward attacks and hostility. Allegations are being made of improprieties in office, vendettas, and a general sense of fear not only amongst city employees, but also among this community’s citizens. Can anyone specifically say these allegations are true or false? Well the only two that can truly say anything, Mayor Woodward and Councilor Kenyon, give two very different scenarios. I will not stand by and pretend to know who is right and who is wrong, because I don’t know.
What I do know, is who I am and what the situation is that I see unfolding here in the City of Fulton. I am no politician, and for that matter should I be elected I refuse to become just “another politician”. I have never held elected office in my life. I am an independent and therefore have no party to answer to. I am a common, ordinary man who has ideas to save our community. I do not have an expensive vehicle and I live in an average home, although I am proud of that home. I do have experience as a supervisor and dealing with budgets. I have faced adversity at my job due to my run and stood up to that adversity and continued this campaign. I went against the odds as an independent candidate, funding this campaign largely out of my own pocket. Why did I do all of this, risking my livelihood on this election ? The answer is simple, because I care deeply about this community. I see a city that is in critical condition. I see a city that is slowly being bled to death by misfortune and some of the highest taxes not only in New York State, but in the entire nation. I see a city that is quickly becoming null of reasons to visit. I see a city where I remember better times, a city where my wife and I chose to bring up our children. I see a city I am proud to call home. I see a city that is worth saving!
Through a plan of encouraging development, personally seeking out potential businesses, standing up to Albany and their unfair and unfunded mandates, working with the surrounding municipalities to consolidate some services (and perhaps even save jobs), cleaning and utilizing our lake once again, and most importantly, restoring the pride in this community that will be necessary to make these things happen, we can save Fulton! That is me in the most basic nutshell.
I am not here to bash Mayor Woodward or Councilor Kenyon on their service. First, these men both gave several years of their lives to serve the public in the best way they felt they could. Were their ideas identical? Of course not, no more than my ideas match either of theirs. Do I agree with how they handled city government? Obviously not completely or I would not be running for office myself. But I do commend both men for doing what they felt was the right thing, and I do commend both men for taking on the tasks with little thanks or compensation. What does disappoint me is the fact that these two men have went from a reasonable, mutually respectful tone, to an all out attack on each other. I send this simple message to both Mayor Woodward and Councilor Kenyon: I respectfully implore you to not cheapen your service to the city by devolving into mud slinging and personal attacks, and do not insult the citizens of the City of Fulton by detracting from the importance of the issues at hand. The people deserve a clean election, and the people deserve to hear of potential solutions to said issues. The citizens deserve no less from any of us three!
As I have stated in the past, and I will do so again, I officially pledge to run a clean campaign, devoid of mud slinging and personal attacks. I also offer up my web site address, http://www.ralphstacyjr.com for anyone who is interested in seeing my ideas for saving Fulton. You can also contact me via email at [email protected] In addition, the web site has other contact information for me if you would like to talk. I have personally been called everything from a political spoiler, to a bright young man with some good ideas. But one thing I refuse to be called is an instigator, as I am not here to talk trash. I am here to talk what is best for Fulton. For me, this was never about “being the Mayor” or attaining some sort of power. It was always about making my community a better place for the future generations of Fultonians. Should I win this election, I promise to do my best to heal the wounds of Fulton, although I warn it will not occur overnight. Should I lose the election, but some of my ideas are taken and used for good, then we have already won! Like it or not, we are at a crossroads. The future is here. Which path do we take now?
Thank you for indulging me in this response. To Mayor Woodward, and Councilor Kenyon, you both obviously care deeply about your community, don’t lose that feeling for anyone!
Ralph E. Stacy, Jr.
Independent Candidate for Mayor – City of Fulton