By Ashley M. Casey
Outgoing councilors say goodbye
Three councilors acknowledged the end of their terms on the Fulton Common Council after the Dec. 26 budget hearing. First Ward Councilor Alan Emrich, Third Ward Councilor Pete Franco and Fourth Ward Councilor Carm Cavallaro thanked their fellow councilors, Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. and the public in their statements.
“I think we were a very, very strong team,” Cavallaro said. The new Fourth Ward councilor will be James R. Myers.
Franco addressed the difficulties of creating the 2014 budget in his statement.
“It’s been a contentious year for the budget,” Franco said. He added that the Fulton Public Library could have lost $100,000, but the council brought the cut down to $50,000.
Franco thanked his constituents and said that longtime former Third Ward Councilor Bob Weston had encouraged him to run in the first place. Ryan M. Raponi will succeed Franco as Third Ward councilor.
Emrich said that he made each of his votes on the Common Council “for what I feel is in the city’s best interest,” including his dissenting vote on the budget. Emrich will be succeeded by Tom Kenyon.
The mayor thanked the three outgoing councilors and extended his best wishes for their futures.
“Carm, Alan and Pete: I’ve enjoyed working with you the past two years,” Woodward said. “You came in at the hardest time for the city of Fulton.”
Ethics committee tweaked
One member of the city ethics committee, announced at the Dec. 4 meeting, has stepped down.
Charles Marks will be replaced by Jhoram Dilk, who will serve until Dec. 3, 2016. Woodward explained that Marks gave up his position on the committee so he could be appointed to the fire and police commission instead.
Franco inquired about training for the ethics board members. Woodward said the city would ask the state about training opportunities.
FHA position created
In preparation for its transition from public to private, the Fulton Housing Authority sought the Common Council’s approval of the creation of the position of deputy executive director.
“This position will help us facilitate the transition from public housing to private,” said FHA secretary David Fontecchio. “(It) will remain a permanent position after the transition.”
The transition is expected to take three years and will cost $25 million. New York state has pledged $6 million, and an investor has pledged $19 million. The FHA receives no money from the city of Fulton.