Saratogians will have two separate charter votes on the November ballot.
One will be a yes or no vote on the changes proposed to make the current commission form of government operate more efficiently. These changes include some routine cleaning up of confusing language but also reorganizing some departmental functions and responsibilities. One of the more significant proposals is to give council members the power to approve a mayor’s appointments to land use boards. Currently the mayor has the sole power to make these appointments.
The second vote will be an opportunity to vote yes or no on the proposal to add two members to the city council who would have no administrative responsibilities. According to the charter commission’s lawyer changing the make up of the council requires a separate ballot item.
The vote by the charter commission to accept the changes was unanimous but before the vote commissioners had some differences over whether the two new council members should be the city’s county supervisors. Some members also expressed reservations over the wisdom of adding two council members who would not have departmental responsibilities. What was interesting to watch was the thoughtful and civil way these charter commission members worked through their differences and arrived at consensus. Different positions were thoughtfully presented and listened to, the validity of arguments acknowledged even when disagreed with.