Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim has appointed Tony Izzo as an “interim” City Attorney. Tony was the city’s Assistant City Attorney for over 30 years before Kim decided not to reappoint him when he took office in January. While I am happy that Tony will be returning to city hall, this is yet another chapter in the continuing debacle as Kim struggles to permanently fill the City Attorney’s position.
The resolution establishing the terms of Tony’s appointment has him working from twenty to twenty-nine hours a week
If you are familiar with Tony’s history, you know he will regularly be working more than those contractual hours. The city of Saratoga Springs has no more loyal supporter than Tony Izzo.
Interestingly, Tony had been making $1,100.00 a week during Meg Kelly’s administration. The terms of employment are the same under Kim, but now Tony will be making $1,800.00 a week. I am glad for Tony. I feel pretty confident that the increase was not rooted in a demand from Tony for more money. His salary will be less than what Kim advertised for a permanent part time city attorney.
In his announcement of Tony’s appointment, Mayor Kim stated, “As we continue our search for a city attorney, Tony has agreed to step in as an interim attorney.”
In the February 16, 2022, edition of the Foothills Business Review, Stephen Thurston reported:
Asked if he [Mayor Kim] is having trouble finding an attorney to take the job, he said there has been no trouble at all.
“We’ve actually been spending a lot of time interviewing people,” he said.Foothills Business Daily
Mayor Kim’s remarks seem a bit disingenuous. After his well-covered fiasco before Judge Wait and his reported intransigence in accepting the clear evidence that the City Attorney is a public officer subject to a residency requirement, it is likely that the Mayor is having more trouble finding a City Attorney than he will publicly acknowledge. After all, he has had since November to find one.
A very reliable source has told me that Mayor Kim had a candidate who initially agreed to the appointment but who backed out two days before Tuesday’s Council meeting.
In his remarks, Mayor Kim emphasized the temporary nature of Tony’s appointment noting that he is continuing his search for a City Attorney. After Tony generously agreed to step in to assist the Mayor and the city it was particularly ungracious of Kim to infer that Tony Izzo does not embody the qualities of a City Attorney that the Mayor is looking for.
Mayor Kim is not one to admit error. For all his protestations that he was wronged by Judge Wait and that he plans to appeal Judge Wait’s decision, the fact that neither Judge Francine Vero nor Judge Jeffery Wait will allow him to appear in their court as the attorney representing the city may have influenced his decision to hire Tony.
I am grateful to Tony for his willingness to take on the job. Having served the city for more than thirty-five years, he will bring with him an institutional history that this new council desperately needs. I just hope that the Mayor will seek his counsel and listen to him.