Interesting Letter Challenges Charter Commission

This is a thoughtful letter that appeared in the recent edition of Saratoga Today

What Part of No Doesn’t the Committee Understand?

“To put it plain and simple,” as the song lyrics continue, Saratoga Springs’ Charter Change Committee should start their work by respecting the voters:

2006: 62% of voters voted no, rejecting a change to a Strong Mayor.

2012: 58% of voters voted no, rejecting a change to a City Manager.

Voters already have said no to the two most prominent options except for simply refining our current Commission form of government.

Pat Kane, who is the current Committee’s Vice Chairman, also led the 2012 unsuccessful referendum to change our Commission form of government. He’s obviously biased.

The voters rejected Pat’s very hard work leading the 2012 group of at least 20 people who labored for more than 18 months. They conducted 67 public meetings, brought in city managers from other cities, garnered front-page articles regularly describing in detail their rationale for change, and significantly outspent the pro-Commission form of government group.

Net: Saratoga Springs voters were educated about the potential benefits of changing to a different form of government.

So why was the latest Charter change referendum led by Pat rejected soundly, losing in 23 or the 25 voting districts in 2012?

Saratogians voted no because they love living in Saratoga Springs, don’t believe any other city is nearly as desirable, don’t trust the “trust me” I know best superior attitude, and recognize our city’s successes including an excellent bond rating and financial health, as recognized by the NY State Comptroller last week as the single healthiest city in the entire state.

Citizens also saw no reason to imitate less successful upstate towns that use the other forms of government being considered.

The current Committee needs to listen to the voters who experience the city daily and have already said no to sweeping change twice in only 10 years.

Richard Sellers

Member of SUCCESS,


6 thoughts on “Interesting Letter Challenges Charter Commission”

  1. I disagree with Mr. Sellers. The Commission form of government does not work well for Saratoga Springs. It is impossible for members of the City Council to represent the interests of our citizens while also trying to oversee their respective departments. These five Council members (including myself) have too much power. Special interests need only to control three officials in order to have their way.

    Saratoga Springs is a great City but it will only be a great community when our citizens have an effective voice in our local government.


  2. Some are interested in the bias.

    Simply put:
    Does Mr. Kane (not to be confused with Mr. Able) self-identify as a democrat or left leaning, water-hole ideologue?

    Is Mr. Sellers (not to be confused, with dear Peter) in the opposing camp, on the right-leaning side of the pond?

    Sounds like the good doctor, (our highly esteemed and respected dental practitioner and Commissioner of Public Safety) presumably, shares the same water in the same hole with Mr. Kane.

    What Mr. Kane might want to ask, is this simple question:
    Why is the watering hole fluoridated?

    Just sayin.’


      1. Romana, dear lady. I am assuming you identify with the female gender?
        You ask if I can write (type) in coherence? Plain English? Are you but a noble spawn of deniable vulgarity and of the dignified peasantry?

        One must understand the virtue and eloquence of metaphor to appreciate the poetic integrity of the written word. My I suggest (for the suggestible listener) that you venture your loins to the Saratoga Room of our well respected city library, approach one; Victoria; and ask the clerk to see and explore the musings of said Frank Sullivan, himself.

        If you would rather I engage in the colloquialisms (of said peasantry); you my dear; will find yourself set adrift; left alone and aloft in the infiniatum of obscure cognition and dissonance.

        Ahh, my age is showing and is but a scoundrel of sustenance in a time of obscurity and truth. Behold, dear lady, that to thine… one end be true! Or both ends, should you be so inclined.

        I suspect you never read Shakespeare (nothing short of Jean Paul whats-his-name), and thus, not are you learned in the written word of philosophical transcendent to the third level of thought and relativity of kind so enchanting.

        Gosh, I love myself!
        In your bias: Chill out kiddo. We’re just playin’ here!
        You can’t read emotion in the written word. JUST DEAL WITH IT.

        And ….Democrats are sooooo literal!
        Totally devoid of so many levels of thought, understanding and emotion…it just boggles the mind that they haven’t totally imploded upon themselves. Oh, wait — the last debate. Trumped! WHAT FUN.

        To you dear Romana (vs. Pax Romana) I gift this:



  3. Mr. Sellers speaks of ’06 and ’12, probably the years that he lived in Saratoga Springs. This Charter Change movement goes back a lot farther in time, actually back to the last century. But, count me in the 62% and the 58% referenced in Sellers Letter to the Editor. The good doctor wants to change for the sake of change? He needs to show us more reasons than the example above.
    Actually, previous commissioners have complained about not having enough power. Do the research, it’s all out there if you take the time to look for it.


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