A question I have is who are the leaders of this year’s campaign to change the city’s form of government to a city manager/ward system?
The 2019 Charter Change Campaign
In 2019 when the advocates of the city manager form of government began to campaign to get their proposal for charter change on the ballot once again, they put up an anonymous website. The website included articles that made questionable claims. There was an option to contact the site. I used this option to ask who the people behind the site were. I received no response.
I did a post on my blog about this. Soon after the post appeared they amended the website to include a list of people they identified as the site’s founders. Skidmore professor Bob Turner’s name was included even though he had stated just a few days earlier that he had nothing to do with the site. This is a link to that story.
The New Campaign
This year the charter change supporters who want a city manager/ward system have two web pages and two Facebook pages using the names Common Sense Saratoga and It’s Time Saratoga. The It’s Time page appears to be a carryover from 2017.
I just checked the website called Common Sense Saratoga. This was the site that was anonymous in 2019 and only under pressure put up five names as the site’s founders. Those names are now gone again, and it is again an anonymous site. In fact that website doesn’t even have an ABOUT option where such names would normally appear (There is a delicious irony that their homepage has the words “Accountability” and “Transparency” in bold type).
There is a Facebook page that uses the same title as the website. In this case, it has an About page but there are no names on it.
Facebook now requires that a Facebook page have an owner. The owner is Libby Post, an Albany political consultant.
Try to follow me on this. There is a Political Action Committee called “It’s Time Saratoga.” This is the name of both the other website and the other Facebook Page. According to the New York State Board of Elections this year this PAC has paid Ms. Post’s Albany political consulting firm $3,000.00. The Board of Elections report also shows that Gordon Boyd donated $10,000.00 to this PAC and Jeff Altamari has contributed $3,000.00 to it. That represents $13,000.00 of the $14,300.00 raised so far. I think it is a safe assumption that these two men are among the leaders of the campaign to change the charter. Still it would be helpful to know who the rest of the people are.
Below is the About page for the It’s Time Saratoga Facebook page (No names).
Below is the About Page for the It’s Time Saratoga webpage (No names)
The Organization Saratoga Works Is Opposed to the City Manager Form of Government. Their Website States Very Clearly Who The Leadership of Their Group Is
Contrast the lack of information on the people behind the charter change websites with the Saratoga Works website which is maintained by the opponents of the city manager/wards charter proposal. [JK: Full disclosure-I am married to Jane Weihe]
The difference says it all about what it means to be straight with the community.