Mayor Kim’s Resolution Fiasco

[JK: Thanks to an alert reader and friend, I learned that where I used the word “claim” I should have used the word “complaint” which I have now corrected.]

At the March 21, 2023, Saratoga Springs City Council meeting, Mayor Ron Kim submitted a resolution that was meant to further juice up his conflict with Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino over the claim the latter brought against Black Lives Matter activist Chandler Hickenbottom.

As the video documents, the resolution heading indicated that it was written by City Attorney Tony Izzo.

In the clip, Montagnino calls Izzo to the microphone to inquire about the source of the document :

Montagnino: “You drafted this?”

Izzo: “I did not. It caused me some concern.”

Montagnino: “It says ‘City Attorney’ at the top.”

Izzo: “Yes, so I did check back. I did not draft this document.”

Montagnino: “Do you know who did?”

Izzo: “No, I do not.”

Kim: “I did. I’m an attorney.”

Kim apparently saw no need to consult the City Attorney on the resolution even when appropriating his letterhead.

A Mess

As it turned out, the resolution not only had the inappropriate heading attributing it to the city attorney, it had additional issues. There were typos, and the text referred to Montagnino’s action as a “summons” when the proper legal term was “complaint.”

The Mayor then withdrew the resolution citing the errors in it and his desire for a vote that would include Public Works Commissioner Jason Golub, who was absent. The Mayor asserted he would have Golub’s vote in support at the next meeting.

17 thoughts on “Mayor Kim’s Resolution Fiasco”

  1. Again?! How many times has Kim forgotten that Mayor and City Attorney are two separate positions? At least he’s making it obvious which legal documents are written by him. They’re the ones that are full of mistakes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wasn’t at the February meeting where Hickenbottom (hope spelling is correct) disrupted the C.C. meeting. As I understand it, she went beyond the allotted (2 min limit) for public comment? So is there, or is there not consequences to obeying the rules? Once word get’s out that decorum is a lost art at our C.C. meetings, what then?? Chaos?
    Montagnino complaint was warranted. What are the other council members thinking?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, As a teacher and a counselor, I agree that consequences are often necessary to address inappropriate behavior. That said, there are many ways to do this. I think Robin Dalton’s suggestion that the room be cleared and the City Council then completes the agenda and city business. Legal involvement is not necessarily needed. If the intent of the behavior is to be heard and/or disrupt city business. Robin’s suggestion would result in the opposite result. The speaker would not be heard and city business would be conducted. As a counselor and instructor, I’ve always taught the concept of needs drive behaviors. If Hickenbottom’s need was to be heard and draw attention to her cause then Montagnino’s response did just that. If handled differently she and others might find a different way to be heard.

      PS; I am not, in any way, taking a stand on the message or concern of Hickenbottom or BLM. I’m just pointing out that I truly believe Montagnino’s response was counterproductive to his intent.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi John Veitch. I was present for the entire February 7 Council meeting. The problem that night went far beyond the activist speaking for more than her allotted 2 minutes. She and her comrades took over the meeting. Tensions were high and people in the audience felt unsafe. When a group of police officers came to restore order, Mayor Kim instead sent them away. When the meeting resumed, it quickly devolved into more chaos to the point where the activist was grilling the Council members, individually, about their reactions to the Tyre Nichols tragedy. When the activist didn’t like Commissioner Montagnino’ s response, which included a valid defense of the SSPD, things spun out of control. Even Mayor Kim could not continue to tolerate the behavior and the final adjournment took place. It was an unprecedented failure of City government to operate in the public’s interest.

      Yes, Commissioner Montagnino’s effort to hold that activist responsible, in the most gentle, non-confrontational way possible, was the correct approach.

      Chris Mathiesen


      Liked by 3 people

  3. It was clear from the City Attorneys’ testimony that he did not draft the resolution and the attribution of “City Attorney” as a header was a false representation made by Mayor Kim who authored the resolution. Mayor Kim is an Attorney, and officer of the court, and he should act accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The resolution against Montagnino was not the only item that was pulled from Tuesday night’s agenda. Kim’s odd resolution on reproductive rights which would have done absolutely nothing to actually enhance the protection of reproductive rights anywhere was also pulled. And it was pulled for some of the same reasons as the Montagnino item. In both cases in spite of Kim and Rella both being attorneys, neither one apparently knows how to proofread or research a resolution before it is brought to the table. In any case the reproductive rights resolution seemed designed more to try to divert attention from Kim’s dismal record on local issues and redirect attention to showcase him as a champion on Democratic national issues which he in fact has no ability to impact.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Making a showy resolution or proclamation to garner good press, despite the resolution not actually doing anything? Mayor Kim really is following in the footsteps of former mayor Yepsen.


  5. Dear Ron Kim,

    Yes, you do live in the city. And yes, you are an attorney. But that does not mean you are the city attorney.

    You are simply the Mayor. We understand that this may be a disappointment, but come January 1 when you are out of office, you are more than welcome to apply for the job if one of the positions becomes available.

    Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin Dalton’s idea to clear the room is unfair. (unless she means clearing just the disruptors)
    Anyone that can not follow the rules should be escorted out and barred from the next 2 meetings to cool off.

    Why are a few members of a group that hates police and anyone who disagrees with them allowed to continually disrupt city business? Chris and Tim are going to have to solve this problem in their first meeting after getting elected. Have an old white guy rant about needing to pay council members more that 15k for over 4 minutes and make an example of him. (Saratoga Springs needs people paid, acting and being treated as professionals to run a city with 30 thousand people and a 60 million dollar budget)

    Seriously though, do we want Saratoga to devolve into places that tolerate all this nonsense.


  7. Unless JK pulls rank, I certainly volunteer to be Bob W’s old white guy… I shall require a powdered wig from wardrobe, however.

    Thus equipped, in my rant, I shall reprise a role made famous by F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus.
    For those unfamiliar:

    Related: don’t you wish someone like Judge Wait, Vero or Murphy could call a technical foul on these guys and have them suspended for a meeting or two? That would be a March Madness we all could believe in!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Seems to me this is relatively close to falsifying a document. Are we absolutely sure Ron Kim is an attorney??? Or just a liar and a really bad attorney….

    Liked by 1 person

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