Category Archives: Obituaries

No tax increase in 2015 Fulton budget

By Colin Hogan

Fulton officials revealed the city’s $15.7 million proposed 2015 budget Tuesday which, in spite of an increase in spending, holds the line on property taxes.

City spending for 2015 would total $15,710,583, according to the proposed budget — up $114,395 from this year’s $15,596,188 in appropriations. General fund revenues would total $9,324,102 — up $140,669 from $9,183,433 in 2014 — with $6,464,816 to be raised from the property tax levy, which city officials say would be achieved at the same tax rate as 2014 of $19.662 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said the biggest factor in establishing a balanced budget has been reducing personnel. In all, he said the city will be spending over $200,000 less than it did this year on personnel.

“Most of our way of balancing the budget was in personnel,” Woodward said. “We had some retirements that we didn’t fill, or where the person has come back to work part time.”

For example, after public works commissioner Dan O’Brien was appointed to replace retiring city clerk/chamberlain Jim Laboda, the city chose not to seek a new public works commissioner, and instead promoted one of the department’s supervisors to lead it. That eliminated one position in the public works department without any layoffs.

The city is also saving money on personnel by re-hiring some of the full time employees who are retiring this year, such as the personnel director, deputy clerk and dog warden, as part-timers. Woodward said this cuts the costs of those positions roughly in half, with less being paid in salaries and insurance, and without the expense of retirement contributions.

“In New York state if a person retires, they can come back and work on a part time basis as long as they don’t earn more than $30,000 a year. Of course, when these people retire, they’ve got a lot of years in and are making a higher wage. If you bring them back on a part time basis to fill the full time positions, you pay half the salary, you’re not paying retirement,  you’re not paying as much insurance and, because the salary is less, the amount of Social Security the city has to match is less.”

Employee benefits and retirements continue to be a growing burden in the budget. Next year, the city will spend $3,119,687 in medical insurance costs — an increase of $265,932 from this year. That comes alongside a $317,119 increase in fire and police retirement costs, from $1,230,597 to $1,474,134, and an increase of $84,384 in other state retirement contributions, from $243,102 to $299,737.

Last year, Fulton spent 9.68 percent of its budget on employee retirement costs. In 2015, that will grow to 11.29 percent, the budget shows.

Should the budget be adopted as is, spending on the fire department would decrease about 3.5 percent, from $3,017,868 to $2,913,451. The police budget would also shrink from $3,194,850 to $3,144,095, or 1.4 percent. Woodward said both departments are operating with less personnel, but noted that scenario can often increase the amount of overtime being paid.

City water appropriations would total $1,403,437, down $4,621 from 2014. Meanwhile, revenues are expected to reach $1,290,280, down $43,000 from 2014, leaving a difference $113,157 to be paid out of fund balances.

Sewer expenses would total $1,898,590, down $66,572 from this year, while revenues are expected to total $1,807,190, up $93,400 from this year, leaving $91,400 to be paid out of fund balances.

Michael E. Novak

Novak OBMichael E. Novak, 78, of Phoenix, N.Y., passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Sunday December 7, 2014. He was born on January 16, 1936 to his mother, Virginia (Terramiggi) and his late father, Edward Novak in Fulton, N.Y.  A graduate of Fulton High School on the west side, he served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956.

Mike was a master carpenter and the owner/operator of Novak & Sons Home Builders Co., Phoenix. He was a member of the Carpenter’s Union Local 12, Oswego, and the Local 747, Syracuse. Mike was a life member of Phoenix Memorial Post, VFW Post 5540; Phoenix Rod & Gun Club; and an avid golfer.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 49 years, Kathleen F. (Milligan) on May 31, 2008; his son, Charles A. Novak on July 5, 1981; his sister, Katherine Geswaldo in March of 1988; and his brother John E. Novak on Nov. 9, 2014. Surviving are his three children, Michael J. “Micky” and daughter-in-law Gretchen (Gang) Novak of Phoenix, his twins Mary Ann and son-in-law David Quintal of Pennellville, and Martin J. Novak of Phoenix; five grandchildren, Jessica Novak, Nicholas Novak, and Nathan Novak, Steven Quintal and Katrina Quintal; one great-granddaughter, Brook Quintal; his mother, Virginia (Terrimiggi) Novak Albino of Syracuse; a brother-in-law, Louis Geswaldo of Syracuse; his sister-in-law, Gloria Novak of Liverpool; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and many close friends. Mike was so very proud of his family as a whole, especially his children, grandchildren,and great-granddaughter.

Services were Thursday at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix, with Deacon Frank Forish officiating. Burial followed in Phoenix Rural Cemetery, 126 Chestnut St. Memorials to: Friends of Oswego County Hospice, P. O. Box 102, Oswego, NY 13126.

Frank Barilla

Frank (Francis) Joseph Barilla, 80, Oswego, passed away on December 7, 2014 after battling a long illness.Barilla OB

Frank was born February 11, 1934 in Elmira, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine of 60 years; his five children Deborah (Thomas) Akers, Donna (Michael) Weigelt, Diane (Thomas) Putnam, Darlene (Rick) Favata, Frank (Caryn) Barilla; three sisters Carmella VanRensellaer, Theresa Witchtowski, Rose Moshier; 10 grandchildren Joey, Angela, Josh, Karissa, Brianna, Rachel, Gavin, Garrett, Isabella and Jacob;  and four great-grandchildren Judah, Lydia, Luella and Lyla.

He was the owner and operator of Barilla’s Auto Service, as well as many properties in Oswego alongside his wife Lorraine, from 1958 until he was no longer able to work due to his illness.

Frank was also active in local politics, serving as Third Ward Alderman and chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Most importantly, Frank can be remembered as a hardworking and loving husband, father, and grandfather to his family. “I Love You More!”

Private, family services will be held. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. 4th. St. Oswego.

Doris J. Leonard

Doris J. Leonard, 94, of Hannibal, went to be with the Lord Saturday at Crouse Hospital. Born in Auburn, she had lived in the Hannibal–Martville area for more than 60 years. She had many friends through the New York State Christmas Tree Growers Association as well as from the Martville United Methodist Church. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul D. Leonard, who passed away June 22, 2003. Doris is survived by her twin daughters, Charlotte (Raul) Herrera of Webster and Sharon (Bob) Koch of Palmyra; two sons, Tom (Linda) and John (Colleen) Leonard, both of Hannibal; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. Services were Friday at Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal. Spring burial will be at Bethel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Doris’s family suggests contributions to Martville United Methodist Church, c/o Donald Hass, 13609 Ira Station Road, Martville, 13111.

Clifford  W. “Pa” Casler

12-10 Casler OBClifford  W. “Pa” Casler, Sr., 81, of Phoenix, NY, passed away on Friday November 28, 2014. Born in Oswego, N.Y. to his parents, William and Hazel (Ostrander) Casler on Jan. 16, 1934, he was a self-employed laborer and had worked at General Electric, Syracuse. Clifford attended the Phoenix Nutrition Site at 43 Bridge Street, Phoenix, N.Y. Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Dolores (Longo) Casler; two sons, Clifford W. “Butch” and his wife Beth Casler, Jr. of Phoenix, and David Casler of Pennellville; one daughter, Bonnie J. and her husband, Peter Marino of Rochester, N.H.; a brother, W. Joe Casler of N.C.; a sister, Ella Mae Fraser of Brewerton; ten grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many close friends.  Calling hours and services were on Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014 at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix, NY.

Memorials may be to the Phoenix Area Food Pantry, 43 Bridge St., Phoenix, NY 13135.

Oscar W. Canfield

12-10 Canfield OBOscar W. Canfield, 90, formerly of Fulton, N.Y., died Dec. 4, 2014, in Ephrata Manor, Ephrata, Pa. Born in Altmar, N.Y., he was a son of the late Floyd B. and Huldah (March) Canfield. Oscar was a 1951 graduate of Robert Wesleyan College. He was a WWII Army veteran serving with 793rd Military Police Battalion and a member of VFW Post 569, Fulton, N.Y. He retired after 39 years with Nestle Chocolate, Fulton, N.Y. A member of Fulton Alliance Church, he enjoyed family travels and woodworking. Surviving is his wife of 63 years, Dorothy M. (Mead) Canfield, Sebring, Fla.; a son, William (Susana) Canfield, Croton on the Hudson, N.Y.; daughters, Linda (Donald) Bitterman, Havre, Mont., and Sandra Canfield, Fulton, N.Y.; granddaughter, Sandi Bitterman; nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law, Loraine (Joe) Maietta, Fulton, N.Y. Brothers Douglas, Harold and Fenton predeceased him. Private services will be held by the family with inurnment in Florida.

Jean Ann (Myers) Berger

Jean Ann (Myers/Pickett) Berger, 81, of Pompano Beach, Fla., passed away on October 25, 2014.  She was born on October 6, 1933 to the late Jewett and Georgiana (Keyes) Myers.

Jean was raised in Fulton, N.Y., attended Green Mountain College and Emerson College and worked as a speech therapist in Albany, N.Y. She married Kenneth Pickett in 1957, had four children and moved to Millburn, N.J.   

Widowed at 34, Jean married Herman Berger in 1972. Together they ran a wholesale jewelry business. Jean moved to Pompano Beach in 1981 where she was a small business owner and sales rep.   

Jean maintained many friendships from all stages of her life, and mostly enjoyed spending time with them and her family. She will be remembered for her upbeat positive attitude, and “joie de vivre.”

Jean is survived by her four children and their spouses, James (Beth) Pickett of Mountain Lakes, N.J., Jana Liuzzi of Fort Myers, Fla., Kenneth (Lisa) Pickett of New York, N.Y., and Jennifer (Ron) Morales of Hillsdale, N.Y.; two stepchildren Peggy Slinger and James (Patti) Berger; and nine grandchildren Zachary, Kenneth, Matthew, Sarah, Dina, Thomas, Emily, Catherine, and Michael.

A memorial service will be held for Jean at 4 p.m. on December 6, 2014 at the Community Church of Mountain Lakes, 48 Briarcliff Road, Mountain Lakes, N.J. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Women in Distress of Broward County.

Albert Wygant

Albert Wygant, 88, of Oswego died Monday December 1, 2014 in University Hospital, Syracuse. He was born in Oswego the son of the late Scott and Maude (Richmond) Wygant. He was predeceased by his son Michael Wygant in 2009. Mr. Wygant worked as a furnace technician for Babcock Oil, Fulton, in addition he also worked at Nestle’s Fulton and General Electric in Syracuse. Mr. Wygant served in the United States Navy during World War II. Mr. Wygant was a member of the Barbershop Society, and St. Mary’s Men’s Choir for 16 years. He is survived by his wife of 63 years Ruth Wygant of Oswego, and their children Susan (Donald) Crofoot of Martville, Diane (David) Ferris of Oswego, Peggy (Roderick) Longo of Phoenix, Steven (Nancy) Wygant of Oswego, his sisters Pearl Babiarz of Fulton, Ruth Ketchen of Syracuse and grandchildren Wendy, Christina, Shawn, Jeremy, Sara, Brad, and great-grandchildren Catherine, Dalton, Ethan, and Nicholas. A Memorial Mass will be held in the spring of 2015. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. 4th. St. Oswego.