According to the November 16, 2013, edition of the Saratogian, Joanne Yepsen beat Shauna Sutton by only 342 votes in what the headline characterized as a close race. This was when Scott Johnson was very unpopular and Ms. Sutton had been his deputy. The unofficial tally was 4,123 for Yepsen and 3,781 for Shauna Sutton. Link To Article
There is a distinct irony that John Safford is running on a platform based on the repeated slogan of transparency. As most people may remember, this was exactly the same theme that Mayor Yepsen ran on.
John Safford has made it quite clear where he stands on the proposed changes in the zoning laws and the Comprehensive Plan that the Council is considering (see August 31 post “John Safford Responds To Questions About Amendment To Zoning Law and Comprehensive Plan.”) He stated, “I would have approved the hotel at National long before the convoluted process that has unfolded subsequently.” You may not agree with him but he doesn’t pull any punches. If Mayor Yepsen were to come out clearly and boldly against the changes she would obviously address the transparency issue by matching Safford in her willingness to be upfront with the public about where she stands. More importantly, she would be able make the defense of the greenbelt the defining issue in the election and distinguish herself from Safford. Saratogians believe strongly in the value of our greenbelt and the need to protect it. The Mayor has spoken eloquently in defense of the greenbelt in the past. Were Mayor Yepsen to define this election on the issue of protecting the greenbelt , I think she would win the election decisively. If she waffles, she gives Safford a weapon against her. He can argue that on this central and controversial issue, the voters have a right to know where the candidates stand. He can point out his own willingness to be straight with the voters and contrast himself with Mayor Yepsen.