Sanghvi to Blogger: Make Corrections!

During this last week, I received two more emails from the Saratoga Springs Finance Department.  One from Finance Commissioner Minita Sanghvi, and the other from her Executive Assistant, Samantha Clemmey. Both reiterated that Commissioner Sanghvi had no time to answer questions about the budget until after the 2023 budget was passed. In addition, Commissioner Sanghvi charged me with making false claims on my blog and called for me to correct the record.

Minita Sanghvi Wants You to Know That She Doesn’t Read This Blog

Commissioner Sanghvi has taken me to task for writing that she read the post that dealt with her refusing to answer my questions on her budget. In her email, she asks me to set the record straight for the readers of the blog by informing you that while she regularly reads the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Gazette, Saratoga Today, the Washington Post, the Saratogian, and the Times Union, she stopped reading my blog sometime this summer or fall. Apparently, while she wrote me to criticize my post, it was her staff who alerted her to its contents, and I guess she scrupulously avoided reading it herself. Maybe Ms. Clemmey read it to her.

Minita Sanghvi Wants You to Know That She Never Received an Email I Sent Her

In one of the emails I sent the Commissioner, a copy of which was in the post she did not read, I observed that there was no point in my taking up her offer to meet with me regarding the budget in December as, by then, the budget would have already been adopted. I wrote in that post that she had not responded.

Rather than simply asking me to resend the errant email or, better yet, respond to the copy of it in my post, she tasked her staff to search the city’s servers for it. Her Executive Assistant not only searched the servers, but she also sent me screenshots of the failed searches proving that the Commissioner never received it.

Let the record show that I acknowledge that the Commissioner never received the email I sent her.

As it is now established that she knows the contents of that email, it would be helpful if she would address the substance of my concern i.e., that a meeting after the budget is adopted is pointless.


The full text of the emails is below.

The Emails

From: “john kaufmann21” <>
To: “Minita Sanghvi” <>
Cc: “kaufmann” <>
Sent: Monday, November 7, 2022 8:45:39 PM
Subject: Response

I am sorry about the confusion regarding my last email to you.  While you apparently did not receive it, the email from Ms. Clemmey indicates that you read it on my blog.  In any case, here is the text from my email response again:

“As you are aware, my questions pertain to the 2023 budget, which must be adopted by November 30, 2022.  It is pointless for you to offer me dates to meet with you in December.”

I am also not clear why you would task your IT staff to search your servers and then have your staff craft graphics of the computer screens when you clearly had read my post and knew what I had written to you.  The simple approach that would have spared your staff for better things would have been to simply email me asking me to send it again.

When you offered to meet with me at the last Council meeting, I assumed, as did most people observing the event, that you were offering to meet with me prior to the adoption of the city budget so I could be better informed to thoughtfully provide input at the next scheduled public hearing and to inform the readers of my blog on the issues.

I am rather stunned that you appear to not understand that meeting with you to get these answers in December after the budget has been adopted would be pointless.  Can this really be true?

I am also troubled by the idea that answering my questions should be so burdensome.  My questions were based very specifically on the items in your PowerPoint which I specifically referenced using the same numbers you used in your presentation.  If these PowerPoint items were crafted based on rigorous research and analysis, the questions about them should have been easy to respond to.

The optics of your statement that you do not have the time to answer questions from the public on your budget is extremely troubling.  You and your staff continue to point out opportunities for the public to comment on the budget. What is missing is the opportunity for the public to hear replies from the Finance Commissioner to questions about the budget. This should not be a one way conversation.

An informed public is the lifeblood of democracy.  If you were not prepared to devote the time required to fulfill your duties as Finance Commissioner, you did a disservice to this city in running for office.

I also did not understand the offer extended by your Executive Assistant to set up a call with you if I “still require a further level of assurance.” I’m not sure what this means. 

To: John Kaufmann

From: Minita Sanghvi

CC: Samantha Clemmey

Date: November 9, 2022 4:24 PM

Subject: Re Response

Mr. Kaufmann, 

I am sorry but I stopped reading your blog in later summer / early Fall. I read the Saratogian, Saratoga Today, Daily Gazette, Times Union, New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal to stay abreast local, and US news. So providing a little context is always helpful in your future correspondence. 

My staff informed me about you not being able to reach us. So our staff checked the servers to ensure your correspondence was not getting caught in the security system. We do this with any complaint from our constituents trying to reach us. 

If you have made false claims on your blog, I am assuming you will print an appropriate retraction. After all, truth and facts are the lifeblood of our democracy. 

I want to clarify – that I am not meeting you as a writer of a local blog. It is not an accredited source of media with oversight or fact-checking. I am meeting you as a constituent who has questions about the budget. I appreciate your interest and am really excited to share our budget process and data with you. However, as you know, we are still in the process of working on the amended budget. So once the process is over, I am happy to meet with you. 

Best, Commissioner Sanghvi

Minita Sanghvi
Commissioner of Finance
Saratoga Springs, NY

From: Samantha Clemmey

To: John Kaufmann

CC: Minita Sanghvi, Heather Crocker

Date: November 7, 2022 1:17 PM

Subject: Meeting

Samantha Clemmey <>Attachments1:17 PM (2 hours ago)
to me, Minita, Heather

Good Afternoon Mr. Kaufmann, 

I had reached out last week on 11/02 inquiring about setting up a meeting between yourself and Commissioner Sanghvi. I have not yet heard back from you. In the spirit of transparency, and to assure we did not miss an e-mail from you, I had our I.T. department run a full City-Wide e-mail search for Commissioner Sanghvi, myself, and Deputy Crocker. The attached screenshots indicate that no e-mails were received from you since 11/01/2022. 

Given that you published on 11/04/2022 that you had responded and never heard back, please double check that this e-mail was sent to the correct recipients. 

I will, again, let you know that at this time I am not scheduling any non-city department related meetings for the Commissioner until the budget has concluded. The public has been given ample opportunities to comment on the 2023 Comprehensive Budget. A list of dates and times for budget workshops and public hearings were published at the start of October, providing advance notice for the public. The second Public Hearing for the Comprehensive Budget will remain open at least until the next City Council meeting on November 15th, 2022 at 6:30 PM. If you would like to make any further comments to the Council, we encourage you to do so at that time or during the allotted Public Comment period. 

I would still be happy to extend to you one of the following dates/times for a meeting: 

– Monday December 5th at 1:00 PM 

– Friday December 9th at 11:00 AM or 1:00 PM 

– Monday December 12th at 10:30 AM 

If you still feel you require a further level of assurance – I am able to set up a call with the Commissioner. 

Again, thank you for your patience as Commissioner Sanghvi and the Finance Department continue to navigate through this incredibly busy period. I can assure you the Commissioner and her team are working tirelessly around the clock to publish a balanced, thoughtful, and forward-thinking budget. 

Very Respectfully, 


Samantha F. Clemmey
Executive Assistant to Commissioner of Finance

Department of Finance

474 Broadway – Suite 15
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

518-587-3550, Ext. 2526

8 thoughts on “Sanghvi to Blogger: Make Corrections!”


    Dear Ms. Sanghvi,
    As a taxpayer and voter, I am disgusted that you have designated both the Saratogian and Saratoga Today as “…accredited source of media with oversight or fact-checking.”

    I would like to know what are the sources of this ‘accreditation’ you are citing? In fact, it is exactly because these antiquated media are not doing a thorough job of oversight, that gives rise to blogs like Mr. Kauffman’s.

    I also would like to know the number of employees you think there are in both the above cited media’s “fact-checking departments?” Can you name even one person in each whose FULL-TIME JOB is fact-checking?

    Check this fact: You appear to be oblivious to the fact that Mr. Kauffman’s blog is carried on Saratoga Today’s website RIGHT NOW – while they disclaimer that the opinions are John’s and not necessarily theirs, I am sure they must think his writings have some utility to their readers and the general public. I highly doubt they would link to sources that they find are totally non-credible.

    But observing your ‘performance’ in office to date, Ms. Sanghvi, I find your manner of responding to the public’s inquiries to be arrogant, and contradictory to your stated goal of citizen participation in the budgeting process.

    Indeed, instead of obsessing about the ‘confrontational nature’ of the furniture you inherited, I would suggest you attend to the confrontational nature of the people whose butts sit in said furniture currently – e.g.: You, and your staff.

    Since you don’t read this blog, I don’t expect a response – nor answers to my questions – even after the budget process is completed. But I assure you that you will have MY answer, and, I suspect many others – on November 7, 2023.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spot on Arthur, Saratogian is hardly a trusted news source and Wendy Liberatore with the TU should stick with covering the social scene. John’s blog is the go to for many Saratogians who are looking for trustworthy political reporting.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I find Commissioner Sanghvi’s response to questions about her budget curious in a number of ways:
    * Commissioner Sanghvi and her staff obviously spent a great deal of time dealing with Mr. Kaufmann’s communications. This time might have been better spent just answering his questions. After all his questions aren’t hard or “gothca” questions. For instance one question is “Is there money for the civilian review board in the budget?” How much time does it take to reply to that??

    *It’s interesting that she has confidence in the oversight and fact checking of the mainstream media. I wonder if she has recently read a Wendy Liberatore article.

    *Since she doesn’t read Mr. Kaufmann’s blog I guess she wouldn’t know that he has been quite willing to make corrections when errors are brought to his attention. Since she doesn’t read his blog I guess she’ll never know that he has also acknowledged the errors she has brought to his attention.

    *Commissioner Sanghvi’s academic specialty is “political marketing”. Aside from the principled position of being transparent and accountable you’d think she would realize that refusing to respond to legitimate questions about her budget is not a good look. Does she not have a clue to how embarrassing and inappropriate her behavior is?

    *She makes an odd point of saying she will meet with Mr. Kaufmann not as a blogger but as a constituent. This just seems silly.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It appears she’s trying to hide in plain site…..good luck always with that.. she should welcome the honesty of JK…she needs to own this present watch!!!


  3. She also claimed not to have received an amended budget email from the public safety commissioners office at the last public safety budget workshop. IT falls under finance, I believe. They should really look into that. It seems to happen frequently and coincidentally with regard to budget related emails.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The problems with IT, which resides in the Finance Department as you pointed out, continue. Apparently the server went down on Thursday and was out until late Friday afternoon. Now even today, Monday, Council members are unable to upload files for the public to view for Tuesday’s City Council meeting. None of these problems occurred during Michele Madigan’s 10 years as Finance Commissioner even when City Hall burned but since Minita took over almost all of the IT staff has left.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am cringing reading the response by the Commissioner, for someone who teaches political marketing, she doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to communicate with a constituent. Instead of searching the city servers and compiling a list of all the newspapers she read, etc, etc wouldn’t it be easier to just meet with John? It would certainly take up less time than drafting than drafting that cringe inducing email.

    She also clearly does not have the time to function as even a part-time commissioner, if a resident wants to meet with you and you can’t accommodate that request for 4 to 6 weeks, you don’t have time to be in local office and execute the duties of a public servant.

    Liked by 3 people

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