Remigia Foy is an old friend with a legacy of service for this city. She has asked me to post on my site a letter she has written .
A brief bio:
Ms. Foy served three terms as Commissioner of Finance. She was a Fulbright Scholar twice . She was the assistant vice principal of Mechanicville High School.
During her tenure as Commissioner of Finance she was a full-time Social Studies teacher. She also taught a course at St. Rose.
For some months your readership has been treated to a series of news articles and letters to the editor advocating for a new system of Government in Saratoga Springs known as City Manager/Mayor by the Charter Review Commission. This new system is predicated on the following notions;
1 The Commission System does not work because it is old and outdated having been instituted in 1915,
2 Council members act as both the legislative and administrative heads of Departments. This is also called the five-headed monster, The five silos or the five fiefdoms and doesn’t work.
3 The professional Manager will eliminate dysfunction of Elected Officials managing Administrative Departments in conflict with one another.
4 The proposed Charter will bring competition to local elections.
Let’s remember that 11 of the 15 members of this Committee were appointed by Mayor Yepsen who is in favor of Charter change.
They didn’t analyze the present Charter and make some changes. They already had the idea for a new Charter based on Pat Kane’s 2012 Charter proposal which was soundly defeated by1750 votes
They claim that this bogus system, under the aegis of “Professional Leader”, will eliminate political bickering, the dysfunction of administrative/ legislative heads of departments, reduce the cost of Government and bring competition to local elections.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Commissioners are in a better position to prepare budgets for the departments they head. They are both responsible and accountable and answer to the taxpayers every two years.
Furthermore, the elimination of the independently elected assessor will mean that the person who decides the value of a property will not be elected by the people.
Under our present system, we enjoy the second lowest property tax rate in the State. There has been plenty of competition for elected offices in our city. When there is no competition could it be that the people are satisfied?
Our system has succeeded through two World Wars, two recessions 1929 and 2008 and the times in between. No one knows what a faceless unelected bureaucrat will cost and how he will run all the departments that’s why I am voting NO and urge Saratogians to do the same.
Remigia Foy.95 oak st saratoga springs NY 518 584 2528…Former Commissioner of Finance 3 terms and chair of Success.