Valley Viewpoints: Fulton or Russia?

by Lisa Emrich of Fulton

Two months in a row, the common council meeting was not available to view by the citizens of Fulton.

May’s meeting (back when the public was at least allowed to speak their mind) was an extremely interesting and informative one that shed light on a lot things that the taxpayers should know about.

Anytime there is anything the mayor and council (with the exception of First Ward Councilor Alan Emrich) want kept quiet, it just goes away.

June’s council meeting was a monumental occasion for the administration as a new resolution was passed by four of the councilmen to limit the taxpayers to three minutes of questions and comments at the beginning of the meeting and not to exceed 10 people or 30 minutes.

We were also informed we cannot speak a public employee’s name or question anything about them. What we say is also under the watchful eye of the mayor and a Fulton police officer who will sit in the meeting. Seems that after over 100 years of common council meetings being an arena for people to be a part of the city and bring forth questions and concerns, it suddenly is now going to change. Why? Were the questions hitting a little too close to home?

A well known attorney that was at the meeting stood up at the podium and cited legal cases proving that it is permitted to speak about public employees and officials. He stated that being a public employee and representing the city actually makes them more open to public scrutiny. But it fell on deaf ears as everything does in Fulton.

Another gentleman stood up to speak that is a regular attendee of the council meetings to tell the mayor how another city employee has been taking pictures of him when he stops to let children off the bus. Although the mayor feigned ignorance of this, the gentleman told the council that the person knows who he is, and he knows who they are, so no one is fooling anyone.

My husband got up to speak about his disgust with the response at the Memorial Day service. He attended the service as he does every year with our two sons and was so upset when they returned home. He told the mayor and council how the flags were not all at half staff (which my son corrected), how not all the alderman came, and about how unkempt the War Memorial was where they were having the service.

He explained how several of the veterans commented on the overgrown weeds, grass, and the mold growing on the building.

The sixth ward councilor had the audacity to speak at the end of the meeting and say that if people are tired of weeds and how bad the city looks they should stop complaining about it and do it themselves!

Are you kidding me?! That’s like saying that any service you pay for, if it’s not done correctly you should finish the job for them.

To read the rest of the letter to the editor, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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