According to Saratoga Grid Link To Story
John Safford has accused Joanne Yepsen of stalling the vote on Saratoga National Golf Course until after the election. She in turn accuses Safford of not understanding the land-use planning process. She does note that the “applicant” changed the proposed language requiring the delay.
As people who follow my blog know, I am not uncritical of Joanne Yepsen but this really is a cheap shot by Mr. Safford. This would assume that Saratoga National Golf Course was somehow colluding with Yepsen to delay the process. I fully believe that Saratoga National and their attorney, Michael Toohey, are perfectly capable of acting in bad faith on their own. I share Commissioner Mathiesen’s critique which is that they changed the language of their proposal on the day of the hearing because they themselves wanted to create enough chaos to avoid a vote and delay the process beyond election day.
Commissioner Mathiesen only defeated Wirth by 59 votes in 2013 and Mayor Yepsen only defeated Shauna Sutton by 342 votes so both of them are vulnerable. Since Commissioner Madigan had announced that she would not support the version that would have been voted on on Tuesday night, it is reasonable to assume that Saratoga National did not want a “no” vote and decided to upend the process and delay it until after the election. There is relatively little delay and if things were to go well for Saratoga National in the election they would have the votes they need in January when the new council is seated.
Having said that, I am regret to note that I am sure Mayor Yepsen is indeed relieved that there is a delay. She has been anything but “transparent” in this process. Commissioners Franck has been more than clear that he supports SNGC and Mathiesen and Scirocco have been equally clear that they oppose it. Madigan was clear that she would oppose the proposal that came from the Planning Board and she stated clearly that she opposed the revision submitted by Toohey. Mayor Yepsen, on the other hand, has been conspicuously quiet at the table on this issue. Her statement to my blog was carefully crafted to sound thoughtful without responding to any of the substantive issues. No one, but maybe her inner circle, knows what she thinks of the project but many believe that she plans to support it. Were she to vote for the project she would alienate enough of her base for it to be a factor in an election defeat.
I think that Safford would have been on solid ground to have criticized her for ducking the issue. The accusation that she somehow manipulated Saratoga National to delay the vote is pretty absurd. He either misspoke or he is guilty of another conspiracy theory of which we have too many.