The City Council will be deciding on whether to approve the charter commission’s requests for funding at its regularly scheduled meeting this Tuesday, February 7, at 7PM in city hall. I anticipate that the Council will consider separately the commission’s request for general operating funds and its request for $37,000 to put their proposed charter change on the ballot for a special election on May 30.
I have received a press release from SUCCESS which is opposing the May 30 scheduling of a special election and supports keeping the commission form of government that currently exists in the city. Below is their press release and a description of their organization they sent me.”
SUCCESS was founded in 2006 to support Saratoga Springs’ Commission form of government. Our primary goals are to alert, inform, and energize voters around charter change issues.
SUCCESS is a non-partisan citizen’s organization that opposes attempts to abandon Saratoga Springs’ Commission form of government that we feel has contributed to Saratoga Springs becoming the most successful city in upstate New York.
SUCCESS members include Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, and members of the Independence Party as well as those who are unaffiliated.
SUCCESS led the last two campaigns to defeat charter change proposals in 2006 and 2012. The organization has recently been reactivated to be sure residents are informed about the latest plan to hold a referendum on May 30th to attempt again to replace the Commission form of government with imitations of structures used in other cities which we feel do not offer the transparency, accountability of and accessibility to elected officials that we enjoy under our current charter.
SUCCESS: Saratogians United to Continue the Charter Essential for Saratoga’s Success
The Charter Commission has formally announced its plan to schedule a referendum to change Saratoga Springs’ form of government in a Special Election on May 30th, instead of putting the issue on the ballot at the regularly scheduled November election.
The Charter Commission has not yet made many critical decisions about the plan that is to go before voters.
SUCCESS is stating its formal opposition to this needless special election. SUCCESS is a non-partisan Saratoga Springs citizen’s organization that supports the Commission form of government. Our members led the last two campaigns to defeat charter change proposals in 2006 and 2012.
After the 3-day Memorial Day holiday, we are concerned that many Saratogians will not be aware that there is an election, and the turnout could be very low. This is not a fair way to decide on the very constitution of our city.
Note that the Charter Commission is claiming the turnout will be high. We leave it to voters’ common sense to make their own judgment about the turnout and decide for themselves how likely it is that an early summer special election will get a higher turnout than the regularly scheduled November election.
We feel the Charter Commission is pushing for the first special election in our city’s history because the lower turnout will give them a better chance to win approval for the new charter they are proposing. Voters resoundingly rejected previous charter change proposals and supported the Commission form of government twice in less than 11 years.
In 2006, Saratogians defeated a Strong Mayor proposal in all 25 voting districts by 62-38%.
In 2012, Saratogians defeated a City Manager proposal in 23 of the 25 voting districts by a 58-42% margin.
Note that Pat Kane led both the 2006 and 2012 campaigns and was appointed vice chair of the current 2017 Charter Commission to try again to push through a change of government.
Remigia Foy, Chair
Bonnie Sellers, Vice Chair
Jim Brophy, Treasurer
Jane Weihe, Secretary