The libertarian website “Moving Saratoga Forward” has posted a video documenting a bizarre event at the recent League of Women Voters Candidate Forum. In the video, Ron Kim, Democratic candidate for mayor, claims that the most important issue facing Saratoga is that “we don’t have an eastside fire station.” He goes on to claim that when he was Commissioner of Public Safety, Republicans blocked his attempt to build a fire station on the city’s eastside. This is not true.
The facts are that the only time he submitted a proposal to build any kind of public safety facility was at the October 2, 2007, City Council Meeting, and it was not a fire station station (minutes):
- The project he proposed was a new facility for the police department, not a fire station. It was to be erected not on the eastside but on Woodlawn Avenue. This is from the resolution proposed by Mr. Kim: “WHEREAS, the Final Feasibility study recommended as one of the preferred sites, the construction of a 47,000 square foot facility at the City owned lot at the Woodlawn Avenue Parking Lot;”
- His proposal was defeated by Democrats, not Republicans. There were no Republicans on the City Council at the time. The cost of his proposed facility was estimated at $17,000,000.00. It lost on a three to two vote. In favor were Mr. Kim (D) and Mayor Valerie Keehn (D). Opposed were John Franck (D), Matt McCabe (an Independent who had been endorsed by the Democrats), and Tom McTygue (D).
- When his proposal for the police facility was defeated, Mr. Kim abruptly walked out of the City Council meeting. According to the minutes of the October 2, 2007 minutes: “Commissioner Ron Kim said that sometimes it is important to stand on principle and did not feel the need to spend any more time with the Council. He then pulled the remainder of his agenda and departed.”
The plain and simple fact is that Mr. Kim never submitted a proposal for an eastside fire station during his tenure as Commissioner of Public Safety as he stated at the League of Women Voters event.