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September 23, 2018

Mayor’s ‘Cautious Optimism’, Call to ‘Be Positive” Mark First Day for New Common Council


The 2012 Fulton Common Council. From left, Council President and Fifth Ward Councilor Norman "Jay" Foster; Sixth Ward Council Larry Macner; Fourth Ward Councilor Carmella Cavallaro; Mayor Ron Woodward; Second Ward Councilor Dan Knopp; First Ward Councilor Alan Emrich; and Third Ward Councilor Peter Franco.

The 2012 Fulton Common Council. From left, Council President and Fifth Ward Councilor Norman "Jay" Foster; Sixth Ward Council Larry Macner; Fourth Ward Councilor Carmella Cavallaro; Mayor Ron Woodward; Second Ward Councilor Dan Knopp; First Ward Councilor Alan Emrich; and Third Ward Councilor Peter Franco.

One by one, they put their hands on a Bible and promised to do the best they can for the city.

The 2012 members of the Fulton Common Council swore their oaths of office in a brief New Year’s Day ceremony, then got down to the first work of the new year.

The Council has had a radical makeover.  Three of six members were replaced.  Council members Daryl Hayden, Tom Kenyon and Kim Roy chose not to run for reelection.  Alan Emrich, Carmella Cavallaro and Larry Macner won the elections to replace them.

Before they were sworn in, they got a brief pep talk from Mayor Ron Woodward.

The city’s declining finances, due to the loss of manufacturers such as Birds-Eye, declining state aid at a time of increasing state mandates, and the depressed economy, have forced the city to cut its spending and employment over the last few years.

At the same time, the city suffers from its status as the community with the highest combined tax rate in the state, at more than $50 per thousand of assessed value for city, county and school taxes combined.

In spite of all that, Woodward said there was reason for “cautious optimism”.

“We have a lot to be thankful for even though we have a lot of challenges,” Woodward said. (Video of the address is below.)

He urged the Council members not to be afraid of making decisions and not to be afraid of failure.  “I can’t think of anything that will stall…the city more than indecision.”

Woodward also urged citizens to take a more positive attitude about the city.

“I have a lot of faith in the city of Fulton,” he said. “It’s easy to criticize and see the bad in your city but if everyone just once a week said something good or found something good to do, it would be a better place for us to live.

“Whether you donate your time to a a senior center, serve on one of the city’s committees or pick up trash in the park, be positive.  We have an image and pretty much the way we people in Fulton present it is the way people will see it.”

Mayor Ron Woodward’s address to the Common Council:

A gallery of photos from the swearing-in ceremony:

3 Responses “Mayor’s ‘Cautious Optimism’, Call to ‘Be Positive” Mark First Day for New Common Council”

  1. Rowdy1
    January 2, 2012 at 11:04 am

    If the Mayor of Fulton wants the population to feel positive about the city’s condition,then he needs to take the lead. Rasing taxes on an already over taxed population is not the way to do it. The only thing we are positive about is this city government doesn’t have a clue. We are not indecisive about that fact.

  2. Pops
    January 3, 2012 at 8:27 am

    We wish the Mayor and Council the best.
    Fulton is a great community.
    We have outstanding natural resources,
    the infrastructure is improving,
    we have quality services,
    and a modest total cost of living.
    Now we have increasing
    educational and medical opportunities.
    Along with an expansion of small businesses.
    As New York State is starting to
    correct her ailments,
    Fulton will be well positioned
    for her next incarnation.

  3. Matt Geitner
    January 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    All the easy choices have been made in municipal government across Upstate. Mayor Woodward and the Council are working hard to maintain current services and grow the community.

    Anyone who has served in local government including school boards know that what needs to be done and what can be done tragically don’t match up.

    NYS and local communities in the 20th century made decisions that made sense at the time, but are no longer affordable.

    The challenge is changing NYS statute, rules and regulations — or the “unfunded mandates” that you always read about — that are strangling Fulton, Oswego, Buffalo, Poughkeepsie and every other municipal governmetn in NYS.

    This is not a City of Fulton only challenge. This is not a challenge that Mayor Woodward or the Fulton Common Council single handedly created.

    It is a challenge that requires a collective will to overcome.

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