Smullen visits Johnstown Common Council

State Assemblyman Robert Smullen addresses the Johnstown Common Council Monday night at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Freshman state Assemblyman Robert Smullen on Monday night made his first visit to a Johnstown Common Council meeting.

Smullen told the council at City Hall that he simply wanted to visit, and it was “great” to meet city officials and local members of the public.

He thanked the city for allowing him to maintain the Johnstown City Hall office of former Republican state Assemblyman Marc Butler, whom he replaced at the start of the year.

Smullen maintains an Assembly office in Room 110 at City Hall, 41 E. Main St.

“It’s fantastic and everyone knows where it is,” the assemblyman said.

He also maintains 118th Assembly District offices at the Legislative Office Building in Albany and in Herkimer.

Smullen, a resident of the Meco hamlet of the town of Johnstown, defeated Democratic challenger Keith Rubino of Herkimer County last November to claim the five-county district seat. Smullen won by 60 percent of the vote over 33.4 percent for Rubino.

The retired Marine Corps colonel acknowledged the help of Mayor Vern Jackson and other city officials, as he begins his career with the state Legislature.

“I’m here to listen and act on your behalf in Albany,” Smullen said.

In other business Monday:

∫ Jackson acknowledged he had a certificate recognizing 30 years of service by city Department of Public Works employee Christopher Duesler. The honoree was unable to attend the council session.

∫ The mayor recognized several Johnstown High School students in teacher Sean Russo’s Advanced Placement Politics Leadership and Economics, or APPLE course, who competed earlier this school year in the “We the People” competition at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan. Schools from throughout New York state participated in the event.

The competition required students demonstrate their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, government, public policy, and current events by working in teams to prepare and give four-minute speeches. The students then had to answer six minutes of follow-up questions from the judges, and the JHS students won an award.

“Congratulations to all, and you made Johnstown proud,” Jackson said.

Russo told the council: “I’m very proud of what they accomplished.”

∫ The council conducted a public hearing on an ordinance that doesn’t allow parking on Michael Circle and Robin Circle. No one spoke at the hearing.

The council later adopted the ordinance, effective immediately. Council members ordained that Chapter 20, “Streets Where Parking is Limited,” of the city’s Code of Ordinances be amended as follows: Robin Circle — “no parking anytime” on the inside area of the circle; and Michael Circle — “no parking anytime” on the inside and outside area of the circle.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at