FULTON, NY – Representing the only Democratic win in TuesdayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s election for seats on the Fulton Common Council, longtime Third Ward alderman Robert Weston says he is confident that the council will continue to place people before party over the next two years.
Weston won his bid for reelection Tuesday against challenger Wayne Hanson by a more than two to one margin. Weston won 417 votes to HansonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s 191.
Despite his 14 years on the council, Weston admits that he was anxious about the contested race.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe were glad the results came in the way that they did,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston added. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t thank the residents in the Third Ward enough for their continued support.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Finishing his seventh two-year term this year, Weston said he has used both his service to the city and his professional life as opportunities to meet and connect with people.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI feel if you can contribute, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what you should do,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said.
Weston noted that he is looking forward to the next term, working once again with mayor elect Ron Woodward. Weston has worked with Woodward for many years, through his term as mayor, through his service as an alderman and during his most recent appointment as executive assistant to the mayor.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe is very experienced and very knowledgeable about Fulton,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said. He pointed out that that experience will help the council continue the good things that the city has been working for through the years.
With the Fulton GOP candidates securing the remaining five seats on the council, Weston has returned to his familiar role as the councilÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s only Democrat. He notes, however, that he does not see that as an obstacle to progress in Fulton.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere is no question that you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t accomplish anything unless you work together,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNo matter what the (political) makeup of the council is, we will continue to work together for the common good of this city.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Weston said that he believes that party conflicts of other governmental bodies has been an obstacle to progress.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey spend a lot of time fighting and donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get anything done,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI think that our local government has always gotten beyond that. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have any problems working with people. No matter what party, we just work together.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
And there are many things to work on, he notes.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI am looking forward to it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ Weston said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe challenges that we face are constant, such as providing services the most efficient way possible. Nobody likes tax increases. You have to find that balance.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
At the top of recent concerns, Weston said he sees the potential changes at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital as a significant issue that needs to be addressed.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe hospital is one of the legs on the table (of a solid city),ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said.
Weston said that he believes that the hospital is a benefit to recent economic development in and around the city. While the state may save money on one end by closing inpatient and emergency care in Fulton, he said he believes it will be spending more money on the other end through things like transportation costs to Syracuse or Oswego for patient care.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI know that the hospital is looking into the possibility of legal action,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt gets discouraging when you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t hear good news.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Though the tone at the Democratic election headquarters was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsubduedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â on election night, Weston said he is hopeful that his running mates will stay involved and use the motivation that they had to serving on the council to stay involved.
The city always needs people who are dedicated to making Fulton better, he noted.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey have already made connections to people (through their campaigns),ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Weston said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI hope they will continue to reinforce that. … If the opportunity presents itself, they certainly could run again.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œEven running is a commitment that you make to continue to be involved and work to benefit this community,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he added. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI know there was discouragement but I hope there is an interest there in staying involved.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â