Mayor Ron Kim: More Missteps

Kim to Appoint Second City Attorney

Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim will be naming Michael Phillips as the second City Attorney at the next City Council meeting.

Phillips ran for Saratoga County District Attorney against Karen Heggen during the last election and was soundly defeated. As Phillips’ campaign manager was Gordon Boyd, it is not surprising that Kim will now appoint Phillips to the City Attorney job. For those of you who are not familiar with Boyd, he is on the executive committee of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee. More cronyism.

Of course, this choice only furthers the chasm between the city and the county.

In addition, as I expected, the Mayor plans to have Phillips take over most of the responsibilities that were Marilyn Rivers’. In addition to his City Attorney responsibilities, then, Phillips will be in charge of Risk and Safety for the city. Given Phillips’ employment history, he does not seem qualified.

While the city attorney is often the initial contact person for risk and safety issues in most municipalities, there is normally a full-time person under them to carry out the extensive responsibilities of the job. Typically that position requires a college degree and a number of years of experience in the fields of commercial property and casualty insurance and risk and safety management.

The city website has a long list of skills required for the current Risk and Safety position. They include

-good knowledge of laws and ordinances relating to claims filed by or against municipalities

-excellent knowledge of Public Entity Insurance

-ability to prepare, originate, organize and conduct training seminars

-ability to determine needed reserves for future claims payments

As background to the Director of Risk and Safety’s full responsibilities, here is a link to an earlier post.

Ron Kim’s plan instead is to have the City Attorney assisted by someone in a newly created position called a “claims manager.” That position will require only a high school degree.

It’s hard to imagine how Phillips, with no background in municipal law or risk and safety, will manage these responsibilities along with the other legal demands that will be made on his time.

Given the chaotic situation in the Mayor’s office, trouble lies ahead.

Kim’s Flawed Election Petition

The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee is currently circulating petitions to get their endorsed candidates on the ballot for the November local city elections but had to recall the separate Ron Kim petitions they were carrying. As previously reported, Ron Kim refused to be on the same petition as the other Democratic-endorsed candidates, and committee members were circulating a petition with only his name on it along with a separate petition for the rest of the slate.

Apparently, however, the separate Ron Kim petition had an error and had to be taken out of circulation after it was distributed. Interesting that Kim, who, as he likes to remind us, is a lawyer, either did not check his petition before it was distributed or somehow didn’t notice there was a mistake. Pat Tuz, chair of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee, sent out the following email to her committee members:

“The Ron Kim petition has the incorrect spelling of his name. It cannot be used. Please remove it from your pack. NEW Ronald J. Kim petitions will be available this evening after 7:00 on Otis Maxwell’s porch..”

Tuz email

9 thoughts on “Mayor Ron Kim: More Missteps”

  1. how was his name spelled on the errant petitions?
    details are kind of important… wasting other peoples time shows his lack of respect…


  2. The clown show continues. Committee cannot even do simple petitions. Does not party matter – incompetence and arrogance are a bad combination!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In defense of the brilliant lawyer and mayor, he does have so much responsibility resting on his shoulders at any given moment. There are a total of 10 letters, a period, and 2 spaces in his name. And the mayor needs to memorize all of those intricate symbols, and in which order they are correctly used, as well as run the city, and also manipulate the press. So, we can forgive this 13 space faux pas. But, now as I consider further, if he can’t get his name right, perhaps we should consider what else he may not have gotten right, especially any issues that were more complicated than the spelling of his name.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m certainly wary of anyone who’s got the support of the mayor and Gordon Boyd, but can you share Michael Phillips’ employment and educational background?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee website promoting Michael Phillips for Saratoga County District Attorney:

      “Michael received his undergraduate degree from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA and his law degree from Western New England School of Law. He was admitted to the NYS Bar in June of 1991. He has 30 years of experience as an advocate, lawyer and organizational leader. He’s worked in both the private and public sectors–from being a counsel at General Electric and Pacific Northern to being President of the Harriman Research and Technology Development Corporation to now being a prosecutor for the NYS Dept. of Health.”


    2. I’m wary of anyone who would accept such a Machiavellist role. It doesn’t speak well of their, let alone their sponsors’, commitment to ensuring our community is best served.

      Liked by 1 person

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