Commissioner Madigan Follows Through On Mediated Meeting With Local BLM

Press Statement from Commissioner Michele Madigan: Public Service and Private Matters


July 27, 2021

Re: Statement from Commissioner Michele Madigan: Public Service and Private Matters

Contact: 518-587-3550 ext 2577

At the July 20, 2021 City Council meeting I suggested that the city and the local Black Lives Matter organization enter into professional mediation, in hopes that this would lower the temperature, allow us all to make some progress, reduce the level of stress and distress in our community, and help us all reach some level of understanding. We simply cannot continue to have this level of distress and dissatisfaction tearing apart our community. I still believe that discussion and mediation can help and I am taking this very seriously. Since that meeting I have taken on the task of organizing a mediation process, including speaking to Elz Figuereo and beginning the process of finding professional assistance.

My youngest son was arrested and arraigned on Thursday July 22, 2021 due to his presence at the scene of an alleged robbery. My understanding is that my son was present but not an active participant in the alleged robbery. This involved an alleged dispute over cannabis. There were others present and involved in the dispute who have not been arrested. It is my understanding that further arrests are possible. Those who assaulted the victim are still being sought. As far as I know, everyone involved in this incident is a Saratoga Springs resident. The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible.

Since my son’s arrest, local activists – including Mr. Figuereo – have been loudly equating my son’s legal issues (which are wholly and completely about a dispute between local teens) with the recent influx of violence in Saratoga Springs. This is unconscionable. These matters are completely unrelated, have no bearing on one another, and do nothing to address the issues raised by local activists. These actions are counterproductive as well as being hurtful. Despite this ongoing situation, it is my hope that Mr. Figuereo and his associates will be good faith participants in mediation.

Conflating two completely separate and painful issues and using my family’s current private difficulties to address a public problem is unacceptable. It would be best for this legal matter to play out through the justice system. I also humbly suggest that it would be more effective for our local activists and politicians – those currently in office as well as those currently standing for election – to focus on the important public matters at hand and not add to my son’s and my family’s pain. I feel the same way any parent would feel. I love my son very much and I want to help him all I can.

Please allow me in my capacity as an elected official to follow through on my commitment to begin mediation and please allow my family to deal with our struggles with an appropriate level of privacy and compassion.
Michele MadiganCommissioner of FinanceCity of Saratoga Springs474 BroadwaySaratoga Springs, NY 12866518-587-3550

5 thoughts on “Commissioner Madigan Follows Through On Mediated Meeting With Local BLM”

  1. As a former member of the Commissioner’s campaign team and even more, as someone how calls her friend, I’m proud of how she is handling both her professional and persona life. I think this demonstrates her commitment to the city even while asking for privacy and compassion in her personal life. I truly hope those reading this – especially those who have so far chosen the low road will step up and allow her both of her requests.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is no basis for a negotiation or mediation here and Michelle Madigan is making a personal mistake with repercussions that she does not understand by engaging this group. The city has a responsibility to zone, to run public works, to provide EMS, fire, and police coverage, as well as several other services for the residents. Housing is an area shared by different echelons of the government and there are defined programs to assist the protestors. Policing is under review and policy changes are being considered. Broader economic programs are the domain of the State and Federal government, and the protestors should be in Albany or Washington.

    Michelle’s press release is inappropriate.


    1. Do you not think that anything that helps impacts the citizens of Saratoga Springs is in the interest of the City Council and all Council members? Working with those who life in the city and those that visit is part of their role. So, how is her press release inappropriate?


      1. I think it is appropriate to hold meetings to listen to constituents and citizens, and there is no reason that council members cannot engage in dialog with Lexis and the loose confederation of individuals and groups he may represent.

        Entering into mediation with a professional mediator is a legal process that could result in the city making forced legislative concessions to this group not in the interest(s) of the other groups in the city like the real estate professionals, the downtown businesses, etc. It would not be fair to the rest of the citizens who advocate for policy through the normal fashion – by talking to the council, the media, other citizens, and by taking political action. If Lexis and Company were to file a lawsuit, what would be the relief sought?

        The manner in which our council is empowered to act is through powers granted in the Charter and through State Municipal Law. With the exception of consideration of police reform, which was ordered by the Governor as a matter of policy, the city has no power to meet the fuzzy demands of this group, which mostly consist of chants to ‘suck my (Lexis’s) d***’. I am not inclined to meet this demand as a citizen.

        The BLM activists, to use a metaphor, are ‘barking up the wrong tree’. The city government is the wrong venue.

        Michele is being emotionally reactive instead of rationally considerate.


  3. Sitting down and talking and listening to someone typically is a good thing. I believe the BLM protesters were wrong to block Broadway that evening. The notion of a meeting is good one.


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