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.
Member of SUCCESS,