To The Editor:
The recent announcement by Mayor Woodward and the city of Fulton Common Council of the upcoming retirement of our City Clerk/Chamberlain Jim LaBoda and his replacement by the current DPW Water and Sanitation Commissioner Dan O’Brien has prompted me to review some of the many adjustments that have been made over the last few years to our city workforce that were necessary through operating cutbacks by attrition and the operating flexibility of some of our departments.
Adjustments that were prompted by the problems that are facing the city of Fulton such as a stagnant revenue stream with a fixed sales tax that is received from the county and yearly increases in pensions and health insurance.
When Mayor Woodward first took office, he eliminated the position of city administrator, which he assumed and even gave more responsibility to his highly competent administrative assistant, Cathy Trowbridge. That was followed by the consolidation of DPW and Water and Sanitation departments with Dan O’Brien assuming those added responsibilities.
The following positions were eliminated: water and sanitation commissioner; city clerk; city attorney; city engineer; code enforcement officer; and, reduction in numbers in DPW, water and sanitation, and recreation departments personnel. Mayor Woodward, as he did with the city administrator, code enforcement and now DPW, is assuming some of the work responsibility.
As the numbers have reduced, we are fortunate to have so many outstanding city workers who continue to provide services that we, as taxpayers, take for granted. Maintenance of our streets, snow plowing, paving, garbage, recyclable, and yard waste collection, water and sewer service, parks and recreation programs, and all of our public buildings that are under the direction of Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander.
As a city alderman for 16 years, I had the privilege of working and getting to know so many outstanding workers and I continue to thank them for all of the hard work that they do, regardless of sometimes difficult situations, with demanding weather conditions, and maintenance problems.
Let’s not forget the clerical staff who are behind the scenes every day doing an excellent job.
In summary, the mayor and council constantly strive to provide services to their community in the most cost effective and efficient way possible and, when you see a city worker thank them for their commitment to our city.