Three area newspapers did stories on the failure of Saratoga PAC to elect most of their slate. They interviewed Robert “Bob” Manz who is the chairman of the PAC and the CEO of D.A. Collins. D.A. Collins is one of the largest construction companies in the area.
From the Gazette Newspaper:
While a lot of attention focused on PAC members’ support for allowing a resort-conference center to be built at Saratoga National Golf Club, Manz said that isn’t the group’s top issue.
Based on a resident survey the PAC did this summer, Manz said the top issues are the condition of the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, and the need to redevelop the South Broadway entrance to the city, along with a growing vagrancy problem.
From the Saratogian:
“It would be nice to have the elected officials in Saratoga focusing on the primary issues and working together to move those issues forward,” he said. “Our survey identified some key issues, such as the city infrastructure and the revitalization of South Broadway. We’ll advocate that the council focus on these.”
He[Manz] said the organization will continue reaching out to voters and “will now advocate for the priorities that more than 1,100 citizens told us need to be acted on by our city’s leaders with focus on improving our city’s infrastructure and revitalization of our South Broadway corridor.”
What I find interesting is Mr. Manz’s effort to spin the story away from Saratoga National Golf Course. I expect that the feedback they are getting was that their emphasis on development in the city’s Conservation District proved to be a major liability. I fully expect that their agenda is the same but they are shrewd enough to see that if they want to influence future elections they need to change their (dare I say?) branding. Right now they are the big real estate and construction industry out to breach the country part of the “city in the country.”
In addition to cleaning up their own image in hopes of making themselves more appealing to the public they are shrewd enough to realize, I think, that they may be a liability to SNGC’s continued desire to expand. They know that too close an association with Saratoga National Golf Course’s campaign to build a resort may spook the politicians they are counting on. Make no mistake, the PAC is continuing to use their very powerful network to lobby the trio on the Council, (Yepsen, Franck, and Madigan) that they hope will be their key to success.