Fulton school board appoints new principal, math coach

By Debra J. Groom

The Fulton school district hired a new principal for Volney Elementary School at its meeting Tuesday night.

Lisa Garofalo, who has worked for many years in the Syracuse City School District, will begin as the new Volney principal on Jan. 6. She will earn $91,500 a year.

Superintendent William Lynch said Garofalo is new to the Fulton district and previously was assistant principal at the West Side Academy in Syracuse. She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse. She was principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and taught math in the Whitesboro school district in Oneida County.

She received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo, her master’s in special education from the College of St. Rose in Albany and her certificate of advanced study from SUNY Cortland.

The previous Volney principal Jeff Hendrickson was moved to the principal job at Lanigan Elementary at the beginning of the year due to a new policy that states spouses cannot work at the same school.

Former Superintendent Michael Egan has been filling in a interim principal.

In other business Tuesday night, the school board had the first reading of the new fragrance policy for the district. Lynch said the policy was studied and went through two months of discussion in the board’s policy committee before coming to the full board.

He said the policy sets a statement about fragrances in the district and “what factors impact people’s health.” He said the policy contains voluntary compliance and is primarily one to raise awareness amongst staff and students on items that could be offensive to some people.

The policy came about when science teacher Colleen O’Brien told the district she suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity and was bothered by various fragrances in school. She told the school board at a previous meeting that students would deliberately spray fragrances in front of her classroom to trigger an attack of her illness.

O’Brien has said in the past she supports the district enacting a fragrance-free policy for its buildings.

The policy will have its second reading and will be voted on at the school board’s Dec. 10 meeting.

Also Tuesday night, the board hired a teacher who will work as an instructional coach for math teachers in grades kindergarten through eight.

Lynnette DePoint, who currently works in the Hannibal school district, will help teachers deal with Common Core requirements in math. She will be paid a base salary of $56,765 a year and a stipend of $5,000.

Fulton Pee Wees hockey wins one, loses one

The Fulton Pee Wees hockey team, sponsored by Cargill, Inc., Foster Funeral Home and Pathfinder Bank, competed in two games this past weekend — beating Ithaca 4-1 but dropping a hard-fought contest to Camillus 4-3.

The action started when the Pee Wees traveled to Ithaca Saturday.

The Pee Wees began the first period strong with an early goal by #35 Eric Shear that was assisted by #25 Sidney Bradshaw. Ithaca countered that goal with one of their own that ended the first period in a tie 1-1.

The second period saw the most activity with an initial goal from #71 Chayton Sykes that was assisted by #35 Eric Shear. Shear ended the period with two more unassisted goals putting Fulton in the lead 4-1 going into the third period.

The third period saw some exceptional defensive and offensive play from #48 Andrew Hyde, #88 Calexander Connolly and #10 Madison Lewis along with the rest of their teammates. The Pee Wees held off Ithaca throughout the 3rd period ending the game with a win 4-1.

Fulton’s goalie #20 Nathaniel Lindsey saved 11 goals.

Hitting home ice on Sunday Nov. 24, Fulton faced off against Camillus 1.

Fulton blazed through the first period earning the first goal of the game with an over-the-shoulder netter by #35 Eric Shear, assisted by #00 Jadon Lee and #86 Johnathan McCann.

Camillus tied it up by the end of the first period and took control in the second period netting two more against Fulton.

In the third period, Camillus garnered themselves a fourth goal.

Pulling themselves up and back into action, Fulton’s #35 Eric Shear netted two more goals that were assisted by #25 Sidney Bradshaw and #2 Jarred Willis, Jr.

Pulling their goalie for the last few seconds of play, the Pee Wees including #15 Derek Carter and #32 Lane Phillips gave their all in an effort to try to tie up the game.

In the end, they weren’t able to pull it off and Camillus won 4-3.

Fulton’s goalie #20 Nathaniel Lindsey saved 28 goals.

There’s still time to view art of Michael Lynne

There is still time to see this month’s featured artist Michael Lynne at the CNY Arts Center Arts in the heART Gallery at 47 S. First St., Fulton.

Lynne has many accomplishments in his career as an artist:

** Featured in the CNY Arts Center Arts in the heART gallery

** Several juried exhibitions including 2013 “Ordinary Everyday Objects,” Still Point Art Gallery Brunswick, Maine, national online exhibit, 2012 International Society of Acrylic Painters Fourth annual online exhibition

** Participated in the 2010 “Oklahoma Friendly” a national juried exhibition

Lynne retired as a high school art instructor in 2006 and since has been working on his paintings and entering his work in art exhibitions.

For the past few years, he has been exploring the world of color and seeking a looser style of applying paint to canvas.

He works in both acrylic and oil and with an occasional work in watercolors.  He teaches a workshop for beginning and intermediate artists called Painting Fundamentals, which explores the “how” of beginning a painting and enriching color.  His classes have been offered at the CNY Arts Center in Fulton.

A Sportman’s World, by Leon Archer

By Leon Archer

My brother, Warren, was five years older than me.

He had his own older friends who weren’t interested in my hanging around with them, and in all honesty, I had no desire to hang around with him and his friends either.

There were only two exceptions to that mutually acceptable separation – hunting and fishing. I fished with Warren whenever he gave me the opportunity, but it wasn’t until I was nearly a teen that he went out of his way to take me with him.

Hunting was a little different story. When I was about 9 or 10, I got the chance to go with Warren and my father as they hunted together. I had to walk behind my father, but I didn’t care, and I did get to take my BB gun with me.

It was all so exciting for me, especially when they would shoot at a rabbit or partridge, or even a grey squirrel in the limbs high above us.

I got the job of carrying whatever they shot. It wasn’t child abuse, it was a labor of love. Warren became a pretty good shot during the two years that he apprenticed with my father, and once he was 16, dad let him go hunting on his own, confident that he would be fine.

My father was not a big time small game hunter; although, when the time arrived, he came out of retirement long enough to get me through my two years of being a junior hunter.

I was especially fortunate that none of Warren’s friends were all that interested in hunting, so when he started hunting on his own he often took me with him. My job was to jump on all the brush piles the farmers had made in the fields. Back then, just about every third pile of brush could be counted on to have a cottontail hiding in it.

I also took it upon myself to walk through big clumps of low juniper bushes which were fairly consistent rabbit holders as well. Warren knocked off a good percentage of the fleeing cottontails, so I often found myself carrying three or four rabbits by the time we headed for home.

My best memories are of the times that Warren would bring down a partridge. To my way of thinking, the Ruffed Grouse was (and still is) the premier game bird, even more so than the gaudy ring necked pheasant that I also love to hunt.

I had the greatest admiration for my brother’s shooting ability when it came to grouse. I was present many times when he quickly zeroed in on a rapidly disappearing bird with a load of sixes.

I can close my eyes and picture a spot that my brother and I never failed to check out for birds when we were hunting in the fields and woods in back of our house in Sandy Creek. The lots and the adjoining woods belonged to a dairy farmer, Mr. Allen, who had no objection to our hunting there as long as we didn’t disturb his herd of Guernsey cows, and we took full advantage of the opportunity.

The spot I am writing about was at the edge of the fields that comprised Mr. Allen’s pasture. On one side there was a stand of new poplar saplings that jutted out into the field.

Walking farther west after clearing the thicket of saplings (which itself often concealed grouse or wood cock) we would come to what is my favorite grouse spot of all time. There had been an apple orchard there countless years before, and a couple of long untended trees still managed to survive. They continued to bear well year after year, and the fruit was a magnet for every partridge living in the big woods beyond.

My brother took his share of unlucky grouse from that locale each year he hunted, and I followed suit in the years after he moved away. I have many memories of that tiny portion of my world, but the best is of the first time my brother shot a partridge there.

It had thundered out from underneath one of the apple trees as we approached, putting leaves and apples between himself and my brother. Warren had been tracking the bird even as he brought the gun up to his shoulder.

He shot quickly, directly through the leaves that pretty much obscured the bird, but instinctively targeting the spot where the bird should be.

A moment later, I could hear a putt, putt, putt sound. I did not know what it was then, but like most every other grouse hunter, I have learned it indicates a successful hunt.

It is the sound of wings still reflexively beating, in their diminishing futile attempt to carry the now dead bird to safety. Running underneath that apple tree, I found the bird about 30 feet beyond, while its wings still jerked spasmodically. In moments; however, all movement ceased as I clutched the limp, beautiful warm bird in my hands.

I admired the exquisite brown patterned feathers of its back, the black ruff around its collar, and the long, barred feathers of the tail fan. The breast feathers were darkly barred over a creamy white.

As I held that bird, exulting in the feat I had observed, and feeling  that somehow I was at least a small part of it, for some reason I was drawn to smell of its warm body. I can still smell it today.

It was the wild smell of the woods, the fallen leaves and the ripe apples, yet that poor description does not truly do it justice. Over the years I have shot many grouse, but I have never failed to bury my nose in the feathers of each and breathe in that day once more.

I would give a great deal to be able to hunt grouse just once more with my brother on a warm October day, and match skill and wits with those magnificent birds. Perhaps there will come a day.

Who knows? I for one have no problem with the American Indians’ description of Heaven as the Happy Hunting Grounds, but if it exists, it must contain Heavenly wild apple trees and celestial grouse.

SUNY Oswego alum returns to campus to perform all roles in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Actor and SUNY Oswego alumnus Carl Whidden will present “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens — performing all of the characters himself — at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego.

While versions of the holiday classic fill many stages this season, Whidden’s evening in Oswego offers a fresh approach to the story.

The veteran artist and 1975 Oswego graduate brings Dickens’ characters to life, from nocturnal spirits to the boy who fetches a turkey on Christmas morning.

For Whidden, his challenging one-actor presentation is also a theatrical homecoming.

Forty years ago this month, he was tapped as a college junior to play Scrooge in the memorable staging conceived, scripted and directed by the late Rosemary S. Nesbitt, then a member of the theatre faculty.

“Having seen Carl’s portrayal of Scrooge in that production, I look forward to experiencing the complete story through his gifts for storytelling,” said Mark Cole, professor of theatre specializing in acting and directing.

“He brings a perfect combination of empathy and humor to comic vignettes like the party given by Mr. Fezziwig and the touching moments with the Cratchit family,” Cole said. “Dickens’ wit and generosity of spirit will come alive in Carl’s performance.”

For the notable 1973 production, Nesbitt re-fashioned the stage to resemble a 19th century Oswego theatre known as Doolittle Hall — complete with a painted Victorian act curtain.

That setting allowed her to add dramatic embellishments to the production like a cameo appearance by Dickens himself. Her research showed the British author could well have visited Oswego during his American tour of 1867.

“Dickens himself often went on the road performing excerpts from his novels, so Carl follows in a time honored tradition,” adds Cole.

Memories of ‘73

More than 150 participants, both college students and children of the community were recruited for six performances in December 1973.

Nesbitt added engaging elements like snowball fights and audience sing-alongs to Dickens’ basic storyline.

Carl Whidden hopes many who remember that ambitious production will attend his performance as a 40th anniversary celebration. His characterizations will be based on Nesbitt’s original script.

Artwork from the 1973 production, loaned by Ellen Stengel Wahl, will be on view following the program. Wahl, who served as a student scene designer that year, now directs the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Oswego County in the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations. Her husband, Mark Wahl, designed the original lighting.

When John Shaffer, Artswego coordinator for the college, called Ellen Wahl this spring, she knew right where to find the renderings she’d done for the Nesbitt production.

“I had made Christmas presents of them to my parents,” Wahl said. She retrieved, from her mother’s former home on Long Island, the 15- by 30-inch sketches that had been enlarged to 15 by 30 feet, loaning them to Artswego’s present-day performance by that long-ago “Scrooge.”

“What a great idea” of Whidden’s, Wahl said. “Forty years — I think it’s so cool. “

Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” with Carl Whidden cost $18 ($5 for students and children).

For more information, an artist video and a link for ticket purchases, visit oswego.edu/arts. Tickets also may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office location, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

Patrons with disabilities needing assistance should call 312-2141 prior to the performance. Parking is included in the cost of the ticket, and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of and to the east of Culkin Hall. Hewitt Union may be entered from the east or west sides.

In and Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

The first schoolhouse was built in the early 1800s in the south end of the district across a little brook on land owned by Mrs. Hozea Godfrey.

The second schoolhouse was built in 1859 near the present intersection of the 66 Road and Rochester Street.

In 1887, when Wesley Hendricks was trustee, it was decided to plant maple trees around the school. One of those who assisted in the planting was Alexander Morrell.  All the trees lived and provided cool shade for the playing students for many years thereafter.

Teachers who taught at Cain’s Corners for whom specific dates are unknown include:  Emma Pulcipher, Ada Wiltse, Aggie Phelps, Hattie Phelps, Carriew Blodgett, Rena Palmer, Nettie Sanders, Louise Kent, Emma Umstead, George Welling, Susie Byrne, Alvah Ketcham, Minnie Henthorn, Calista Osborn, Raymond Cooper, Ernest Cooper, Frank Marsh, Grace Atwater, Annabelle Wiltse and Clara Wiltsie.

Also: Etta Naracon, Frank Palmer, Bertha Clark, Georgia Thompson, Fred Cox, Alvah Palmer, Nellie Tilford, Nellie Fuller, Rosa Walker, Nellie Merrimen, Nina Barr, Libbie Kosboth, Estella Eldridge, Ella Doyle, Maggie McNamara, Nellie Shutts, Nellie Byrne, Clinton Tucker, Dora Gillis, and Cora Fry.

Other teachers for whom dates are known include: 1868-Sarah Powell, 1874 William Lund, 1875-Richard Smith, 1876 Elden Storms, 1877 Arthur Wiltse, 1892-3 Bert B. Collins, 1906 Maude Curtis, 1918-9Mrs. George Wiltsie, 1919-20 Grace B. Hawkins, 1920-22 Mrs. Fannie Perkins, 1922-24 Grace B. Hawkins, 1924-26 Mrs. Gertrude Kellogg, 1926-28 Grace B. Hawkins, 1928-30 Mrs. Madeline Adsitt, 1930-31Mrs. Frank Hewitt, 1931-2 Mrs. Earl Van Patten, 1932-3 Mrs. Lawrence Godfrey, 1933-4 Freida Wilke, 1934-41 Grace B. Hawkins, and 1941-49 Mrs. Mabler Robinson.

A lot of old Hannibal names in that list – mostly women and mostly for a year’s length of time.

Wonder why Grace B. Hawkins kept coming back!

The final closing exercises for the school were held in June 1949. The program featured an instrumental duet, Nancy Scott and Donald Wilde; recitations, Linda Scott and Jean Austin; vocal solo, Fred Austin; Reading ‘Si and I,’ Mrs. Mary Scott; solo, Mrs. Adelaide Lyons; solo, Gloria Sherman; accordion music, James Holsapple.

Everyone present spent an enjoyable evening and Mrs. Robinson received many good wishes for the future.

The schoolhouse was later sold and today has been converted into a private residence.

I can’t help wonder what information the ‘Mayor of Cain’s Corners would have to shed on this subject as I know his family forebears attended this school.


Former Hannibal Community Church organist, Able Searor, will be presenting an organ concert and carol singing at 3 p.m. at West Baptist Church, West Third and Mohawk, Oswego.  Able never fails to delight his audience.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or  play games or just some idle chit-chat.  Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.

This week’s menu is:

Monday — Reuben noodle casserole, vegetable, juice, pudding

Wednesday — Cook’s choice menu (call for details)

Friday — Turkey sloppy Joe, baked potato, peas and carrots, orange juice, peaches


Monday — Blood pressure clinic and presentation on arthritis by Oswego Health

Wednesday — Bingo after lunch

Friday — Christmas craft (lighted jar decoration)

Kenney Middle School is holding a BoxTops for Education contest. Two students who bring in the most BoxTops in one week win free ice cream from the cafeteria.

Anyone who brings in five or more BoxTops in one week is entered in a drawing for a large cheese pizza from the Village Market.

The contest runs through Dec. 16.  The student who brings in the most BoxTops for the contest will win a bowling party.  Anyone who brings in five or more BoxTops during the contest will be entered in drawings for several prizes.

Each BoxTops is worth 10 cents to the school. We have raised more than $600 for the school so far this year. All money earns benefit programs for the students.

We also have a new collection box at the Village Market for your convenience.

Hannibal United Methodist Church will have an afternoon of entertainment with the Tri-County Singers performing a Christmas Cantata at 2:00 PM on December 8,2013. They will perform “On This Shining Night”.  It is a “FREE” performance with donations accepted. Refreshments served after. Plan to come and enjoy this wonderful local singing group.

Also on Dec. 8, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third (east side of the River) will hold an afternoon of music with the Hannibal Jammers beginning at 2 p.m.

The Village Market will host its annual Christmas Luncheon for Seniors at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10.  This is free and no registration is needed. The high school music department will be providing music for your enjoyment.

The Hannibal Senior Band will present its Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Lockwood Auditorium. This concert will feature the jazz ensemble and the concert band presenting many familiar carols and winter songs. Audience members are asked to bring a donation for the Christmas Bureau.

Prior to the concert, band members will serve their annual complimentary lasagna holiday dinner for local senior citizens in the high school cafeteria beginning at 6:15 p.m. Community seniors wishing to attend should make a reservation by calling 564-7910 ext. 4132 before Dec. 9.

The Elderberry Christmas Dinner has been changed to noon Thursday, Dec. 12 at the American Legion.

The Elderberry luncheon will be catered by Brenda Fletcher. Call George Darling now and make your reservation today. Hope the change in date doesn’t inconvenience anyone too much.

I have it on good authority that Santa Claus is coming to Hannibal. From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 13, he’ll be at the Hannibal Fire Department Firehouse on Oswego Street.

He’s keeping his eye out for all those good little boys and girls from birth to 10 years old and I understand from one of his elves that he’s put a few gifts in his bag. Kids of all ages are invited to share in refreshments.

Tis the season to be jolly…please e-mail me or give me a call if your organization has any special plans for the holiday season that you would like to invite your neighbors to.

Don’t you just love the outdoor lights coming on?

Rita Hooper


Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

I always think of Ben Franklin when Thanksgiving draws near.

Ben had a lot of good ideas and did many great things for our young nation. But at Thanksgiving time, I am always thankful that at least one of Ben’s proposals didn’t get past our founding fathers.

Ben was pushing hard to make the turkey our national symbol. The possible impact of what may have happened to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner if that proposal had been accepted always hits me at this time of the year.

Tell me what respectable American family with even a thread of patriotism would sit down on Thanksgiving Day and stare across the table at our national symbol in all his glory on the platter.

The alternative? Stuffed eagle with all the trimmins’ anyone?

Yes, Ben had some good ideas, but I am thankful to wise minds on this one.

–From The Fulton Patriot, Nov. 30, 1993

Ben Franklin’s 5 & 10?

Thinking about Ben Franklin takes me back to a time when maybe my knowledge of American History wasn’t so good and I thought that Ben Franklin owned a five and 10 cent store a few blocks from my school.

Anyway, there it was, the Ben Franklin Store and since I could go there from school without crossing busy intersections, Mom said it was okay as long as I told her where I was going. I liked to buy my mother presents and there was one time when I thought my purchase was really special.

It was getting close to Christmas and I found and bought something for Mom that I thought she would think was really special. It was a Christmas tree ornament and I was sure she would like it even though it was sparkly and orange instead of the usual red and green. I had enough money with me to buy two of them.

When I got home, as always when I bought something for my mother, I wanted to give it to her right away. I didn’t wrap my purchase; I just handed it to her and told her to look inside the bag.

When I gave it to her and she opened it there was a surprised look on her face.  I was young and inexperienced enough that I couldn’t distinguish between a happy surprise look and a puzzled surprise look.

She looked at the bag’s contents for a while before I said, “They’re Christmas ornaments.” When I said that Mom smiled with what, I’m sure now, was a big smile of relief.

She told me many years later that when she opened the bag and saw the two orange objects that looked to her like small, stubby, misshapen carrots she thought that they were the ugliest earrings that she had ever seen. And what made it worse was she knew she would have to wear them so as not to hurt my feelings.

I’m not sure that they were ever hung on the Christmas tree – maybe way in the back – but I do know that they never made it to my mother’s ears, and I’m pretty sure it was a Merry Christmas.

Just wondering!

Are all the cowboys who wear white hats really good guys?

Why does it matter if your pocket has a hole in it if you don’t have anything to put in it anyway?

Is spinach really good for you?

Why is one end of your shoelace always longer than the other?

Why is it that one sock of every pair gets a hole in it?

And why doesn’t your mother (or wife) buy socks which are all the same color and pattern?

Why are you doing your best sleeping of the night when the alarm clock goes off?

How does anyone really know that there aren’t two snowflakes alike?

Why is baloney spelled like bologna, but macaroni isn’t spelled like macarogna?

How come when you ask your kid, who has been outside with his friends running up and down the street all day, to go down to the corner store for you he can’t because all of a sudden he is too tired?

Why is there always more blanket on my wife’s side of the bed than there is on mine?

If hot dogs are really hot why do we keep them in the refrigerator before we cook them?

Why can’t you play a tune on a shoe horn?

Was the short fortune teller who escaped from prison really a small medium at large?

How come the sun is shining outside the window of the radio station that you are listening to when you wake up in the morning, but it is raining at your house?

How come there are no horses or radishes in horseradish?

Why is it that no matter how long we have to get ready for winter, we’re never ready?

“I don’t understand – this shirt fit me fine two months ago.

Why am I asking all these silly questions?


                             …. Roy Hodge

Letters to the editor

Man mourns Caravan

Allow me to express my condolences to the family of Vince Caravan.

He deserves much credit for being a good newspaper man. He always gave the opposition a chance to have their say, even thought i might have been in direct opposition to his point of view.

I can say that with experience, because I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum from him and wrote my opinion to him more than once. He didn’t have to print any of my views, but he did. Why? Because he was a good publisher, loved his job and took it seriously.

I have also written to him when I was in agreement with what he said in his column “Vince the Caravan.” Even though I now live in Florida, I grew up in Oswego, have always read The Oswego Valley News and still get The Valley News by mail.

Ralph Riker

Silver Springs, Fla.

Castiglia questions county budget 

It’s that time of the year:

It’s not just the holiday season but it’s also budget season.

Holiday season is fun and budget season Isn’t.

I have been looking over the first draft of the budget for Oswego County. I will not have a vote on this budget but I and all of you will have to live with it for the next year.

What I find surprising is the fact that in a budget of $196 million, that there is $30 million listed as “Fringe Benefits.”

Now your initial response might be “Oh My God” but you have to look and see what they call “Fringe Benefits.”

They are: retirement and Social Security.  These are basically untouchable and therefore we somewhat have to live with them.

What we shouldn’t have to live with is the fact that the county Legislature receives almost $88,000 in “Fringe Benefits” when it is a job that is part-time and is a job that they all chose.

In the $88,000 is almost $20,000 for reimbursement for mileage and other travel reimbursements. I’m sure that the part-time workers at McDonalds and Rite-Aid don’t get paid mileage to go to work.

Why should an elected official take taxpayer money to pay for them to attend meetings? It’s just not right.

Somewhere in the budget is reimbursement money for attending seminars. Why? Also in the budget is $57,870 for books and periodicals and $34,935 for memberships and dues. That is a total of $92,000 of what I would call real “Fringe Benefits.”

Now this over $90,000 is for all the county departments. Either way why should a taxpayer that can’t afford to have more than basic cable have to pay for these “Fringe Benefits.”  It’s just not right.

Also in the budget is $100,000 in a contingent account for the Legislature. You and I both would ask — Why?

Oh did I fail to mention that there is almost $10,000 worth of raises for the county Legislators. I don’t feel any elected official has the right to vote themselves a raise. Do you?

All this money isn’t coming from some corporate giant — it’s coming from TAXPAYERS.

The reason I bring all these items up is the fact that almost always the county legislators are asked to look over the budget and make suggestions as to where there might be a way to cut the budget and save the taxpayers some money.

Now I know that so far this budget as it stands goes up only some 1 percent and there doesn’t seem to be any increase in the tax levy.

What you may not see though is the fact that this year they are going to take some $5.5 million out of tax stabilization fund in order to balance the budget (according to the paper).

I don’t know if they did this last year or the year before but what I do know is that doing this kind of thing is what put the city of Fulton into the shape they are in now.

I am going to suggest that although the county administrator has done a “good job,” we can no longer be satisfied with “good” we need “great” and the way to start is by cutting the entire budget by 5 percent saving over $9 million.

That way he wouldn’t have to take the $5.5 million from the tax stabilization reserve fund.

I know the first words are “You don’t understand it’s not that easy.” I say nothing worth having is ever easy. Also they may say “What should we cut?” I would say the same thing my boss at the business school only had to say to me once.

“Frank, if I have to tell you where to cut and what to do I don’t need you.”

With that, you must keep in mind the fact that these cuts must, I repeat must be made without cutting staff or services and you can’t outsource.

Frank Castiglia Jr.

County Legislator Elect, 25th District


Editor’s note: The legislature’s Government Committee removed legislator raises from the proposed county budget Oct. 28. The Finance and Personnel Committee confirmed the tentative budget without raises Nov. 6. 

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