If you follow my blog you know that I try to minimize the use of hyperboles and harsh language in my posts. The recommendation by the Charter Commission to make our two representatives to the County Board of Supervisors voting members of the city council makes restraint simply impossible for me, though. Whatever you may think about the commission form of government versus the city manager form, putting our representatives to the county on the city council would be a disastrous change.
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is plain and simple a disgrace. Dominated by one party they are a study in cronyism. They have operated this way for decades. There have been a number of outrageous scandals in recent years, however, which have indicated a marked decline in the integrity of this board and there has not been the slightest glimmer that this sclerotic institution can change.
Several of the worst recent scandals happened when one of our own supervisosr, Matt Veitch, was chairman of the board and our other representative, Peter Martin, was on the board.
The point here is not to personalize the problem to these two men. The real issue is what self respecting person would ever want to waste their time in such a place. The only reasons I can think of to want to serve on this board are:
- Possibly benefit from the cronyism
- Get health insurance for life which is a benefit if you serve long enough.
- Build name recognition to run for a better office.
Such people are not the kind of individuals that we need voting on our city issues.
Below are a series of posts that document some of the scandals that have plagued the county. In most cases Mr. Veitch publically defended these and Mr. Martin chose the route of silence. These men report to the City Council at the end of each meeting and neither of them ever mentioned any of these scandals. Do we really want people like this as voting members of our council?
The Infamous Energy Plant
The county built a cogeneration plant in 2002 that was to provide electricity to the county’s nursing home and allegedly save millions of dollars. It turned out that it cost $3,000,000.00 to build the plant, and the plant lost money every year until 2016 when the county wanted to sell the nursing home to a private equity fund. The fund would only close the deal if the county decoupled the plant from the agreement.
How one might ask could the county run the plant at an annual loss for over a decade without taking action? Why, one might ask, did the county not take legal action against Siemens Corporation who sold them the idea and built the plant as at least one other county did? In fact, the D.A. in Warren County opened a criminal investigation into a similar deal Siemens made.
Most relevant to this discussion is why did our supervisors, Matt Vietch and Peter Martin not insist on a full investigation to find out who was responsible and what action against Siemens was possible?
For all the sordid details and the role our supervisors played, here are links to coverage of this story and others below.
Link to TU story with pictures in their extensive expose.
The County Mental Health Debacle: Sexual Harassment And Patronage Violation Of Mental Health Law
The Anita Daly Ethics Scandal (Participates In Creation of Her Own Job And Salary)
The Dumping The Visiting Nurses
The Slap On The Wrist For The County Public Defender