Newly elected Mayor Meg Kelly changed the format for the state of the city event this year. Rather than simply give a speech she shared the event with the other members of the Council and the Supervisors. Of particular importance was the substance of the presentations. Rather than the usual platitudes or listings of alleged accomplishments, the elected officials identified the projects they hoped to complete during the coming year. It is worth reading the Saratogian story as it lays out the many things planned.
I was also stunned in reading the minutes of the January 16 meeting. The mayor gaveled it closed at 7:50!!!!!! That is less than an hour. These meetings under her predecessor would go on for many hours. Such interminable meetings rather than adding to “transparency” were sufficiently boring as to discourage people from watching or attending them. If you were interested in an item on the Public Safety agenda, which is normally one of the last items, it was hard to expect anyone to keep paying attention as the hour grew late. The new Mayor has successfully expanded the consent agenda so that non-controversial items can be dealt with expeditiously and this has helped shorten the meetings dramatically.