Aston First Ward Commissioner Mike Fulginiti, during a recent meeting of the Board of Commissioners, received a standing ovation as he retires and in appreciation for years of service to the township.
For the past 30 months, Fulginiti, 58, has been waging a battle with bulbar onset Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The neurological disease was brought to national attention in the 1930’s when professional baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed and it has since been popularly-known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
Now unable to speak, Fulginiti used a special application on his cell telephone to communicate his feelings.
“It is with regret that I can no longer represent Aston Township residents due to my health issues,” Fulginiti said. “I… thank everyone for their patience these past two-and-a half years as I have progressed and am no longer able to speak. Therefore, I feel… I cannot represent my constituents the way you should be represented. I have developed some very special friendships and you will remain close to my heart. I will be there for you if I am needed.”
Fulginiti expressed appreciation to his wife, Andrea, daughters Amber and Kerri; their husbands, Ron and Dinh; his son, Michael, and his wife, Heather., and his grandchildren. He also thanked his fellow commissioners, township secretaries and staff.
In 2007, Fulginiti was appointed to fill the unexpired term of deceased Commissioner Bill Jones. He was subsequently elected and re-elected to his own seat on the board.
Commissioners President Jim Stigale presented Fulginiti a plaque and expressed personal appreciation for a job well done.
“Mike has brought knowledge and concern of community with integrity to many decisions we have had to make over the years,” said Stigale. He displayed a unique business approach to our decisions. I’d like to personally thank Mike for helping me when I came to the board. He helped me to understand what it takes when a decision needs to be made to serve the residents of Aston. Although we did not always agree on everything, he always showed me support as president. We will continue to pray for Mike and his entire family as he continues to fight this challenge. We are all very proud to have served with Mike.”