Charter Commission Moves Referendum Vote To November Election

I received the press release below from the Charter Commission tonight.  One odd thing was that the email time stamp on the release was 7:35.  The website for the Charter Commission has the following agenda:

7pm                  Public Comment

7:15-7:20          Introductory comments by Commission Chair, and approval the minutes.

7:30-9:00          Discussion, fine-tuning of the language of proposed charter

9:00                   Adjourn

So the release appears to have been sent out five minutes after the business part of the meeting began.

For immediate release

February 28, 2017




The Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission voted 15-0 on Tuesday night to hold the Charter Referendum on the general election on November 7, 2017 instead of holding a special election on May 30th.

“We have listened to the general public and elected officials, and they have told us they believe public participation and interest in the Charter Referendum will be highest in November during the city election,” said Bob Turner, Chair of the Charter Review Commission. “The Charter Review Commission has worked very hard to review the Charter the right way.  Whether or not our recommendations are approved, our goal is to make the process as open, transparent, inclusive, rigorous and thorough as possible.”

“We plan on using the additional five months to reach out to as many voters, neighborhoods, and groups as possible,” said Beth Wurtmann, Outreach Committee Chair. “We will do our best to ensure that citizens have all the information they need to make an informed decision when they go to the polls on November 7th.”

“We want voter participation to be as robust as possible and for our community to make its decision based on the merits,” said Laura Chodos, Commission member.  “People are interested in what we are doing. This election could have a record turnout that would make us all very proud.”

Commission Vice Chair Pat Kane said, “Our members heard clearly the views of elected officials, the general public and others, that the Special Election option would create undue controversy that would obscure the merits of our proposal.”

The Charter Review Commission is an independent commission consisting of 15 volunteers. Under the current City Charter, the Charter must be reviewed at least every 10 years.  The last review was in 2006. Under NY Municipal law, a proposed charter must be approved by voters in a referendum.

6 thoughts on “Charter Commission Moves Referendum Vote To November Election”

  1. What next? This poorly led group should disband and a new one formed democratically,this was a poor attempt by Yepsen and Pat Kane to change something that doesn’t need to be changed,four years ago the same city manager concept was soundly defeated and who was behind it in 2013….Pat Kane….and who was behind the one in 2006…Pat Kane..Do the RIGHT thing for the residents of Saratoga Springs take Pat Kane out of the mix and update the current City Charter,,,if they are truly listening like they say they are they would do this,,,you’ve wasted 9 months that’s what this Committee has accomplished!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. merlin concedes that the City Charter needs to be updated; he just doesn’t like the composition of the current commission. Instead of a charter referendum in November, let’s do it the right way, scrap the current proposal, and vote on members of a revised commission. He and other citizens can be candidates, free of the prejudice of political appointment. I’ll be happy to run and hope that John K. will put his name up, as well.


  3. And where is the proposed new charter document? With the vote moving to November, does that mean the committee is going to wait even longer to produce the document?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t wait for the video of this meeting to go up so I can watch the commission engage in a thoughtful, thorough, and transparent discussion of when to hold the referendum. This commission is truly amazing to get a finished release complete with quotes out to the media almost in real time. It’s interesting the Saratogian managed in the 20 minutes between getting the press release and posting a story at 7:56 to even get a quote from the Mayor who gee whiz must have been watching the live streaming and sitting by the phone ready to instantly react when the reporter called.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s Jo Jo again just looking out for us and don’t forget she is not involved with this Committee other than touching base with Gordon, Pat or bob on a daily basis’ she hardly talks to them…..unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

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