OSWEGO — Elected officials across the county are expected to take the oath of office this week, including a new mayor and three city councilors in Fulton, two new councilors in Oswego and half a dozen new county legislators.
The November 2019 elections saw all common council seats in both Fulton and Oswego up for grabs, along with both city’s mayors and all 25 seats on the Oswego County Legislature. After nearly two months of waiting, the common council candidates who mounted successful campaigns will be sworn into office on Jan. 1, with county legislators following suit on Jan. 2.
The city of Fulton is scheduled to kick off its New Year’s Day 2020 ceremonies with a 1 p.m. inauguration meeting in the common council chambers at the Fulton Municipal Building. Mayor-elect Deana Michaels, along with incoming councilors Douglas Chapman, R-2nd Ward, John Kenyon, C-4th Ward and Audrey Avery, R-5th Ward, will be sworn in by city court Judge Dennis Hawthorne.
Michaels won a four-way race for mayor, defeating Democrat Dan Farfaglia and independent candidates David Webber and Ethan Parkhurst, to succeed longtime Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. as the city’s chief executive. Michaels, a Pathfinder Bank branch manager, won with roughly 55 percent of the vote after running a campaign centered on improving Fulton’s economy and city neighborhoods.
“The future is bright,” she said to supporters following Election Day in November. “And I am excited to be the one who’s going to lead us there. I am so excited to work with all of you to make Fulton the place where people want to live, work and visit.”
Chapman, Kenyon and Avery, who unseated incumbent Councilor Dennis Merlino, D-5th Ward in a rematch of a close 2017 election contest, will join incumbent councilors Tom Kenyon, C-1st Ward, Donald Patrick Jr., D-3rd Ward, and Lawrence Macner, D-6th Ward, on the Fulton Common Council.
Fulton officials are expected to choose a council president to lead the common council through the end of 2020.
In the Port City, Mayor Billy Barlow won a second term in November without opposition after vowing to continue rebuilding the city’s infrastructure and making Oswego a more affordable place to live.
Barlow, who turned 29 in 2019, took office as the youngest mayor in the state of New York in 2016 and in his own words immediately acted “putting out massive fires that were existing for decades.” With a number of those pressing issues behind him, the mayor said it’s time to “focus in on details and keep moving the ball forward” in terms of lowering costs for residents and improving neighborhoods, public spaces and city infrastructure.
The Oswego Common Council that Barlow will work with in 2020 is filled with familiar faces: newcomer Shawn Burridge, a Second Ward Republican, will take office and former Councilor Shawn Walker is returning to represent the city’s Fourth Ward after a two-year hiatus, joining incumbent councilors Susan McBrearty, D-1st Ward, Kevin Hill, R-3rd Ward, John Gosek Jr., R-5th Ward, Ronald Tesoriero, R-6th Ward, and Robert Corradino, R-7th Ward.
Walker served the maximum five terms representing his east side district and could not run for re-election in 2017 due to term limits.
Port City leadership is hosting a 2020 inauguration ceremony 6 p.m. Jan. 1 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center on East First Street. The ceremony is open to the public and expected to last about one hour.
The Oswego Common Council is scheduled to hold an organizational meeting Jan. 6 to choose a council president and vice president to lead the council in 2020.
The Oswego County Legislature is holding its organizational meeting Jan. 2 at the Legislative Office Building on East Bridge Street in Oswego. The 2 p.m. meeting will see six Republican newcomers — Michael Yerdon, District 1, Herbert Yerdon, District 2, Laurie Mangano Cornelius, District 17, Robert Wilmott, District 18, Marc Greco, District 24, and Ralph Stacy Jr., District 25 — sworn in before the body votes to elect leadership for 2020, including chairman and vice chairman, and the clerk of the legislature.
Legislators are also expected to appoint more than a half-dozen department heads, including county administrator.