On August 6, 2020, Saratoga Today ran a story that the group that drafted a charter to change Saratoga Springs’ form of government that failed to pass in 2017, have launched a campaign to pass another version that will be on the ballot for the November elections. So they are back for another bite of the apple.
Today I received a press release from a new group called “Saratoga Works” announcing a campaign to oppose the charter’s passage.
[JK: Full disclosure. I am married to Jane Weihe]
A diverse group of Saratogians have come together to oppose a proposed change in Saratoga Springs’ form of government that will appear on the November ballot. Called Saratoga Works, the new organization issued the following statement:
“We are concerned with the third attempt in eight years to change our city’s form of government to a more expensive, less stable and risky option particularly during this time of pandemic and extreme economic crisis.
Abolishing and setting up a whole new form of government is expensive, disruptive, and challenging under the best of circumstances. Imagine doing this during a pandemic and national economic crisis equal to the Great Depression!
This expensive version of charter change will transfer power away from the people and give it to an appointed bureaucrat called a City Manager who cannot be voted out. It will also politicize our neighborhoods by dividing them into wards.”
Saratoga Works points to the many examples of success under the city’s current commission form of government including keeping taxes flat for 8 years and guiding the city through the current crisis.
“Our commission form of government has used its disaster plan to successfully run our city when forced out of City Hall by a fire, and now has managed a pandemic and is working through the national business meltdown.”
The proposal to radically change the city’s form of government to a hired city manager and to divide the city into wards will appear on the November ballot in Saratoga Springs.