To the editor,
Last November, voters gave Fulton a new administration in hopes that things would change. We have changed the jockey (mayor), but we have the same old horse and trainer.
Yes, we have a more visible mayor now, one that presents information and is out and about in the city. This has the façade of looking like everything has changed. Think again, or look past the façade and look inside.
We have a city planning board that approved the plans for a dog kennel in the middle of the city. The area it is planed for is not zoned for a dog kennel. The planning board voted yes on the plans even with the objections of the neighbors and the Common Councilor.
We have a Common Council that approved a new mobile food vendor location without any notification. The city will say they have the right to do so without any notification or public hearing. That is true. However, we have almost a dozen brick-and-mortar food establishments in the city all of which pay taxes. In these trying times where the loss of revenue is critical, any and all avenues to recoup those lost revenues is important. City leaders should have given the existing food establishments in the city a notice of the new location. They should have been given the chance to bid on the location, or put in an application and draw a name out of a hat making the selection random. No, they voted on the location and at the same meeting awarded the location to a non-Fulton-taxpaying vendor. We may lose several of our taxpaying establishments do to the COVID-19 pandemic. A location like the new one may have helped save them.
We have a zoning board that approved a rental property in an R1A zoned area. Now this property was once a multi-family rental. It was empty for over a year, which means in reverts back to a single-family home. The city zoning book states a multi-family unit may be converted to a two-family residence in a R1A, but it must be owner occupied and the renter must be a family member. This is not the case. Also several people spoke against having a rental property in the neighborhood. The owner’s request to convert the property to a two-family property was granted.
What it comes down to is: money and politics talks! Nothing has changed in Fulton and you can’t tell a book by its cover — a façade is what we have.
Frank Castiglia Jr.