Hank Kuczynski Withdraws from Mayoral Race

Hank Kuczynski sent the following email to Democratic Chair Charlie Brown stating that he will not be seeking the Democratic Committee nomination for the office of Mayor of Saratoga Springs.

Charley:  Hope this finds you well this Memorial Day Weekend.  On the Friday before the Democratic Committee Endorsement Meeting on May 20th, Mayor Yepsen released to the press at the last minute that she would not run for reelection and was Endorsing her Deputy.  I believe everyone was shocked or surprised leaving the Democratic Committee in a difficult position.  On Saturday, May 20th, The Democratic Committee met and did not take any action on this matter as it seemed that the Committee needed time to process this sudden turn of developments.

I ran into a number of citizens who suggested that my expertise and awareness of city issues combined with my ongoing communication with elected officials and Democrats would make me an ideal Mayoral candidate at this time. Not only did I think about this”call to duty” but also about the open process that I know the City Democratic Committee has worked hard to put in effect in recent years.

The lateness of the political calendar as we are approaching June made me think of all the mechanical and organizational aspects of putting together an effective campaign.  TIME is always the one thing you can’t get enough of. 

I have limited state wide consulting in the next few months.  This Friday I became aware the the work I do as,Kuczynski Associates , may require additional assignments during the height of the campaign season.  The Family conversations indicated that it is unrealistic to attempt to do both.  I know that to campaign for Mayor is 24/7.

So reluctantly I am informing you that I will not be seeking an endorsement interview or addressing the full Democratic Committee to seek the nomination for the Office of Mayor for the the City of Saratoga Springs.  I wish all the candidates success.

As I write this on the day we celebrate Memorial  Day I think of the family picnics we had at my Uncle Bill Daley’s house.  I think of my Father, Hank, who served in the Army for 5 years in WW II finishing in the China-Burma-India Theatre.  What they did lets us exercise our political freedoms, something I always remember.

Thank you for your forbearance.

Sincerely, Hank

Hank Kuczynski
Kuczynski Associates

Pro And Anti Charter Groups Announce Events For May 30

Below are the two announcements I received for events both in support and opposition to the proposed new charter on May 30.

[JK:I received this email from Richard Sellers of SUCCESS, the group that supports the commission form of government and is opposing the proposed charter change]:

John, we don’t expect a large turnout at this event for the same reason LookTV, the press, council members and public (in addition to SUCCESS) didn’t want the Charter referendum vote on the first day after the Memorial Day holiday.

While this basically is a get together among long-time commission form of government supporters, I’m sending this to you, hoping you can mention the event.



Join SUCCESS at Gaffney’s, 16 Caroline Street on Tuesday, May 30, from 5-7 PM.

We are planning a celebration to mark the election day that isn’t.*

*As you may recall, May 30 is the date the Charter Review Commission wanted Saratogians to vote on their proposal to change Saratoga Springs’ form of government. They actually argued that there would be a bigger turnout only one day after Memorial Day than at a regularly scheduled November election.

SUCCESS didn’t buy this argument nor did area media, City Council members, and the public whose pressure forced the commission to drop their plan for voter suppression.

With the charter change proposal now scheduled to be on the ballot in November, it’s time to pause and celebrate this first victory and plan for the future. Come join us and get the latest update on the charter change proposal and learn how to get involved in educating the public about the benefits of maintaining the Commission form of government in Saratoga Springs.

RSVP is appreciated but not required. Just send a return email or give me a call. Family, friends, and walk-ins are all welcome.

Hope to see you Tuesday, May 30, from 5-7 at Gaffney’s.


Richard Sellers

Saratoga Springs, NY

Below is the event scheduled by the Charter Change Committee for Tuesday, May 30.

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission

Invites You To A


Information Open House

 Learn about the PROPOSED CHARTER at this public education event!

Tuesday, May 30

10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Refreshments at 11 am, 4 pm, 7 pm

Saratoga Springs City Center

The final draft of the Proposed Charter will be available in print at the Open House and online.

The purpose of the open house is to showcase the proposed charter that will be voted on November 7, 2017. The open house will feature “Topic based” areas so attendees can seek information according to their interests. The forum will afford attendees as much time as they wish to explore topics they are most interested in.

Guest speakers, Commission members and subject matter experts will be available throughout the day.

The main Topics Include:

  1. Saratoga Springs Elected Leadership.  Council and Mayor.  Separation of powers and responsibilities in Council/ Manager Form of Government
  2. Professional Management.  City Manager. Administrative responsibilities, qualifications etc.
  3. Finance and Accountability.  How the proposed Charter enhances financial accountability.
  4. Transition Timeline.  Describing the transition plans in the next two years to prepare for 2020.
  5. Research and Findings.  What we learned from our surveys, interviews and research.
  6. Saratoga Springs Elections and Participation.  How citizens will engage in City government.


Email: saratogaspringscharter@gmail.com



Independence Party Announces Endorsements

Eddie Miller, chair the Saratoga County Independence Party, has announced his party’s endorsements.

Their Saratoga Springs endorsed candidates are:

Mayor: Mark Baker (R)

Finance: Michele  Madigan (D)

Accounts: John Franck (D)

Safety: Donald Braim (R)

Public Works: Skip Scirocco (R)

Supervisor: Matt Veitch (R)

Supervisor: John Safford (R)

Judge: Francine Vero (D)


Hank Kuczynski Considers Run for Mayor

According to the Times Union,Hank Kuczynski, former deputy mayor under Ken Klotz, has notified Saratoga Springs Democratic Chairman Charley Brown that he would like to be considered for the position of Mayor on the Democratic line.

Here is the link to the Times Union article:


City Democratic Chair Corrects Blogger

I received the following from Charley Brown, Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee Chairman.  Yes, yet another error by your feckless blogger that required correction.  Here is his email.

 Your statement..”Interestingly, they declined to take action on the mayoralty race.  My understanding was that it was a very close vote to delay an endorsement.”  Is incorrect.  The vote to delay the endorsement was nearly unanimous.   

 The closer vote was ‘were we going have Meg Kelly address/introduce herself to our members at yesterdays meeting’?  It was decided that to keep the process as open/unbiased as possible it would be best to wait on that as well….  The debate  was due to the fact that we regularly have candidates that are seeking our endorsement come, address and have a Q&A with our committee. (All the endorsed candidates did in fact speak with the committee over the last few months)

 We will have our ‘official’ statement out later today in our ‘In The Loop’ news letter…..


Joanne Yepsen Responds To Saratoga Springs Democratic Chair’s Allegation That She Failed To Inform Him Properly of Her Decision Not To Run

I received the following statement from Mayor Joanne Yepsen:

Not sure which Charley Brown you spoke to?  

Charley Brown, the City Democratic Chair and I spoke Thursday for 26 minutes.  (I, of course, called Todd Kerner, the county chair as well twice). In our conversation, Charley said he knew I wasn’t sure, and he appreciated the call before Saturday’s meeting.  If you had asked me two weeks ago, I was running.  But out of RESPECT to the process, I made my final decision last week. I brought him up to date that there are too many options opening up that I need to explore and Charley completely “understood” and thanked me for my dedication and service.   

Also in our conversation, Charley was enthusiastic about Meg being willing to run and asked that she call him that evening, which she did.  He said he was concerned about who we could run, if I didn’t.  He asked her to attend the meeting on Saturday.  (I had just been asked to attend the Skidmore Commencement breakfast and ceremony to welcome our special guests, which I did as Mayor on behalf of the City). In the end, Meg waited for 3 hours but was not allowed to speak.  She’s happy to go through whatever process they feel is appropriate at this point.  

In that same conversation on Thursday, Charley and I discussed the fact I would draft a press release and get it out on Friday.  He asked that I call him to let him know when it goes out so I called Charley again — from the Carrie Woerner democratic women’s luncheon on Friday —  I called Charley at 1:18 p.m. to let him know it was done and would be emailed shortly and that I would send him a copy to circulate to the Committee, which I did.  Again, he thanked me and I said whatever he needed, I’d be happy to help.  

 I then sent Charley an email Saturday morning before the Dem meeting to say I hadn’t heard that he wanted me at the meeting.  I wished him good luck knowing it was a big day and assumed he had circulated my letter. 

 Meg Kelly being willing to run (and win!) helped me in my very difficult decision. I love being Mayor and plan to do so with the full vigor and dedication that I’ve shown throughout the last 3 1/2 years. I needed to feel the city would be in good hands after I leave the office.  Therefore, I threw my support to Meg because she’s running with hopefully the Democrat, Working Families, Women’s Equality, and Independence Party endorsements.  With all my campaign experience, I will help her raise money and serve as her campaign advisor. But, I really want to focus on being Mayor, not the candidate.  Charley and I also discussed this as well. 

Happy to talk, or provide you witnesses and documentation to confirm this process as written, if necessary. Hope it doesn’t come to that.  There’s enough distrust in the world.  I’m sure Charley misspoke or misunderstood and will clear it up soon.  




Saratoga Springs Democratic Chairman, Charley Brown, Caught in Lie

On May 20th I emailed Saratoga Springs Democratic Chairman, Charley Brown, asking him whether  Joanne Yepsen had informed him of her decision not to run for re-election prior to her issuing a  media release.  On the same day he emailed back writing that she had not.

Following a request by one of the followers of this blog who had challenged the truthfulness of Mr. Brown’s assertion, I emailed Chairman Brown asking for permission to post his email to me.  He declined.

As it turned out, what he had written me was untrue.  I wrote to Mr. Brown and advised him that I planned to post the unfortunate truth and offered to allow him to write an explanation to the readers of this blog.  He sent me the following statement:

“I was told 16 hours prior to the Press Release”


Tara Gaston Endorsed By City Democratic Committee for Supervisor

I want to publically apologize to Tara Gaston.  Ms. Gaston was endorsed by the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee for County Supervisor along with Pat Friesen.  I did not have her name in the original story about the endorsements.

I have offered to post links to her campaign website once she sets it up.

Also omitted from that story was the endorsement by the committee of Francine Vero for City Court Judge. Again apologies for this omission as well.


Carey Woerner: One of Handful of Democrats In The New York State Assembly To Vote Against Single Payer

On May 16th the New York State Assembly voted overwhelmingly for a single payer health care plan for our state.  According to the website Spotlight News, the vote was 87 to 38.  Ms. Woerner was one of a handful of Democrats in the Assembly to vote no.

Here is an excerpt from the article on the Spotlight News website about the Health Act that Woerner voted against:

The New York Health Act would establish a universal health care system within the state, known as New York Health, and expand coverage eligibility to include all residents, regardless of wealth, income, age or pre-existing condition. In addition, every enrollee would have access to the full range of doctors and service providers offered. The plan would provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care, primary and preventive care, maternity care, prescription drug costs, laboratory testing, rehabilitative care and dental, vision and hearing care.