FULTON – Beginning in 1982, Ronald Woodward, 70, has dedicated about three decades to serving the city and people of Fulton, and this month he will conclude the bountiful time he has spent at the Municipal Building.
He was born in the old Fulton hospital in 1949 and has been a key member of the community in his adult life.
Woodward first got involved in the Common Council when he ran for Sixth Ward alderman. He had just bought a house in the sixth ward and when he had a few problems, he had asked the alderman at the time for help. After not helping, Woodward ran against him and won.
He served on the Common Council from 1982 to Dec. 31, 1985. Woodward then served as mayor Jan. 1, 1986 to Dec. 31, 1987. At this time he battled his first of two rounds with cancer and took a break from serving the city.
“When I got done with the chemo, I ran as councilor and got back on,” Woodward said.
In 1996 Woodward came back and did not stop working for the people of Fulton to date. He spent 1996 to 2003 on the Common Council again, 2004 to 2007 as executive assistant to the mayor, then he has been mayor of Fulton since 2008.
In every election Woodward has run in since the 1980s, he has won every time.
During this time he has also been an active member of the Fulton community. Woodward was once president of the Fulton Housing Authority Board of Directors, a board member of the American Cancer Society, a board member of the Fulton Salvation Army, and was active in Cub Scouts in the sixth ward, the Parent Teacher Association and other school groups.
Having worked for Nestle until it closed its doors in 2003, Woodward has been committed to redeveloping the former Nestle site along with revitalizing Fulton neighborhoods, Lake Neatahwanta and other city areas. He also became New York state code certified to prosecute code cases to save taxpayers money in legal fees.
As mayor, he began a program to rehabilitate tax foreclosed properties and sell them at market value to first time home owners and single families, bringing the properties back on the tax roll. Fourteen houses have been rehabilitated to date.
During his years working for the city he has accomplished and influenced much more.
“I think we’ve turned the city around a little bit,” Woodward said.
Although he loves the city he lives in, he decided to end his time as mayor due to health reasons. He endorsed Mayor-Elect Deana Michaels during her campaign this year and is sure she will be successful when she takes over for him on Jan. 1.
“I love the city and I’ll never not be involved in some way,” Woodward said. “It’s time somebody new come in… I enjoyed my time as mayor and the Common Council and as executive assistant to the last mayor. I love Fulton. I believe the new administration will do a good job. I wish everybody well and thank them for supporting me all the years they did.”
Woodward will complete his final term as mayor Dec. 31 and then pass the torch on to the next administration.