Some Thoughts On The Results of the 2019 City Elections

The Times Union’s article on the Saratoga Springs elections was, if nothing else, consistent with their ongoing message about Saratoga Springs politics. Here are several excerpts from the article.

Madigan was also boosted by large donations totaling $52,000 — many from developers, builders and supporters of Saratoga Hospital’s expansion.

“Morrison, who had less than $20,000 to spend, ran with a message of “Your Voice, Your City,” casting herself as a representative of the average citizen over monied interests. Her primary win, however, opened up a rift in the city’s Democratic committee that led to a host of resignations.

Contrast this with the Gazette coverage which was brief:

“Madigan ran on her record, which includes cutting or holding property taxes in the city steady for the eight years she has been in office. Morrison criticized her for being too close to developers in the city.

And there was this from the TU article on the Public Safety Commissioner race:

Hicks got early support, but Dalton was shored up by more than $33,000 in support from many of the same donors who supported Madigan.

And in contrast this from the same Gazette article:

Hicks, a career member of the National Guard, has faced criticism over a 2013 domestic violence arrest (charges were dismissed) and other personal matters, and was running without support from the city Democratic Committee.

So the take by the TU was that the results of the election were based on the largess of the business community in support of insiders over feisty outsiders.

I go with the Gazette view. The challengers had to overcome a city on a roll. Working in harmony with other members of the Council, Mayor Meg Kelly had brought to closure major issues that had vexed the city for a number of years. In particular, they were issues that festered under Mayor Yepsen whose terms were marked by ugly conflict at the City Council table and an inability to move forward on any of the initiatives begun during her tenure.

So with the City Center ready to build its parking facility, a location for the long needed east side EMS station established, the legal actions blocking the bike trail resolved, a new facility for Code Blue for at least two years located, the eighth year with no tax increase, and a Council table free from bickering and infighting, the challengers had little in the way of concrete issues to go to the public about. The Hospital expansion was about the only question of substance and the challengers were unable to rally the public in opposition.

To her credit, Commissioner Madigan was a tireless campaigner. She knocked on door after door right up to the day of the election. She needed to because her opponent, Patty Morrison showed similar grit.

The only other issue the challengers had was the incident of Commissioner Madigan’s emails to Scott Solomon but apparently it did not find enough traction to undermine her campaign.

I find it interesting that the Times Union never wrote a story on the Solomon emails. Given the TU record in their coverage of Commissioner Madigan it seems more than strange that there was no story. I would love to know why they never covered it.

As for the victory of Robin Dalton over Kendall Hicks for Public Safety Commissioner, I again go with the Gazette story. It was not money that was at the root of Dalton’s victory. The police report on Kendall Hicks that alleged he had battered his girl friend along with the letters to him from a woman convicted of using her underage daughter to produce pornography raised sufficient doubts about his suitability to be Commissioner to doom his campaign.

In the end, it is hard to campaign against success.

One thought on “Some Thoughts On The Results of the 2019 City Elections”

  1. Excellent, JK!

    And this is the reason why we subscribe to the Gazette.
    It’s a fairly good paper if you ignore the Washington Post column fillers.

    And, of course:
    BEST COMICS & PUZZLES; by far!

    Betty is an old favorite:
    (Remember when “Climate Change” was called “Seasons;” back in the day?)

    Be good,



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