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story.lead_photo.caption Two candidates — incumbent Steve Moore, pictured at left, and Bobby Washington — are competing to fill one open Fulton City Council seat for Ward 4 in the June 2, 2020, election.

Two candidates — incumbent Steve Moore and Bobby Washington — are competing to fill one open Fulton City Council seat for Ward 4. The rescheduled election is June 2.

Steve Moore

Moore was born and raised in Callaway County. In 1984, he ran for Fulton City Council to address an issue with sidewalks. He's been there ever since and has also served as deputy mayor. He is on the resolution committee for the Missouri Municipal League. As part of the committee, Moore was involved in hiring current City Administrator Bill Johnson. Moore is a member at St. James United Methodist Church, where he's attended for more than 20 years.

What are your qualifications for this position?

My overall experience, for a starter — I've been a council member for 35 years. We've done a lot for the city. When we're on a tight budget, we'd rather have a councilman who's had the background of what's going on in this city. I've done a lot of training classes, including going to the Missouri Municipal League to become a certified municipal official.

What makes you a better choice than the other candidate?

I do believe I've been dedicated. When I first came on in 1984, the guys who rode the back of the sanitation truck, they were at $5 an hour. It's not a lot, but at least they're up to $12 now. I truly believe every year, except for one, we've always been able to squeak out a 2-4 percent raise for them.

Some people may say I've been on the council too long. When I've come to the point where I'm bored and grumpy, it'll be time for me to leave, and you won't have to ask me.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your ward, and how will you respond to it?

I still have hopes we can do some improvements and updates in Carver Park. All the parks have issues, but with the (new recreation center under construction), it'll be a tight budget. The new building's going to have a lot of things in it for community; hopefully they're going to use it. It should be a very nice facility.

We do have some resurfacing that's going to be done this spring.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Fulton, and what are your plans to address it?

Fulton as a whole — the COVID-19 kinda threw us for a loop. You don't know what's going to happen in the fall. I think the biggest challenge for all eight council members is we might have to check some of our wishes out. We're owed $325,000 in utility bills now, and we're down 5.5 percent in tax revenues from last year.

People ask us to do things, and this might be the year where we just say no. Financially we can't do that this year.

We're going to have to open something for the children in the community. I think the Splash Pad would be better than the swimming pool. We can't expect them to spend the whole summer and not play in parks.

Currently, the city of Fulton is committed to several high-dollar projects (notably, the municipal recreation center), with more potentially on the horizon (such as a second splash pad). How do you feel about Fulton's current spending patterns and priorities? If you would change them in some way, describe the changes you would make.

The hardest thing is, we don't know if (COVID-19) is coming back in the fall. That splash pad might be on the back burner for a while. We do have some projects underway — we'll be finishing up on Fourth Street and Jefferson Street is in budget. But some of the streets we have listed in 2020 budget for overlays, we might cut some of those.

The biggest thing is, as council, we have to agree how we're going to cut back.

I think if we all want recycling, we all have to pitch in, both merchants and citizens. Recycling might come back. I don't think we'll ever get $24 a ton again — our current cost is $140 a ton. Those things cost money, and we only have so much.

Bobby Washington

Washington is the pastor of Fulton Church Of God In Christ in Fulton. Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, he graduated from Topeka High School and later received a physical education degree from Ottawa University. Upon moving to Fulton, he was employed to teach at the Missouri School for the Deaf, where he remained for 32 years. He's received many awards for his efforts in education and community service. He leads by example, encouraging the members of Fulton COGIC and others to grow and develop into disciples for the Lord. Washington is married to Ella (Cole) Washington. After 39 years, this union has been blessed with two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren.

What are your qualifications for this position?

I am over the age of 21. I have been a resident in Callaway County for 40 years. I have met the criteria for signatures to become a nominee and I am in good standing in the community. I'm active in the community: I served as a housing commissioner for 27 years and a commissioner on the prison board for one.

What makes you a better choice than the other candidate?

My opponent is highly respected, and he is one choice. I am another choice with a different vision for the City of Fulton.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your ward, and how will you respond to it?

I see housing as a major issue of concern. Too many homes of condemned status or in need of repair occupy areas in the 4th Ward. I would work with the city to find the owners of these homes and work with them to have the home(s), repaired or demolished.

What do yo see as the biggest challenge facing Fulton, and what are your plans to address it?

I think we need to do all we can to keep a hospital in Fulton. We have two colleges, the State Hospital and the population of Fulton. All warrant having a hospital in full operation. The key is getting the funding for this service. I am not sure how the funding would come. Perhaps a tax that is set to expire could be put on the ballot for continuance for this need.

Currently, the city of Fulton is committed to several high-dollar projects (notably, the municipal recreation center), with more potentially on the horizon (such as a second splash pad). How do you feel about Fulton's current spending patterns and priorities? If you would change them in some way, describe the changes you would make.

I feel that the commitment to the recreation center should be completed as planned. In light of the pandemic, the other projects on the horizon should be looked at to see when they could be appropriately phased in. Also, I would like to see higher salaries for our first responders, local law enforcement and city employees be made a priority.

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