[Alfred E. Newman asks, “What Me Worry?“]
As background, I spent over a month trying to get information from Saratoga Springs Accounts Commissioner Dillon Moran about his plans for temporary outdoor dining. Moran originally promised to answer a set of questions I sent him. Following that original email, I wrote to him each week asking what the status of his answers was. All my emails were courteous. Each week he cited other demands on him and promised to provide me with answers soon. After the fourth week, he stopped acknowledging my emails, and I gave up writing to him.
On May 16, 2023, there was a City Council meeting. Moran had two items on his agenda for that meeting regarding outdoor dining. One was a public hearing on amending the temporary outdoor dining ordinance’s season closing date, and the other was to establish the fee schedule for temporary outdoor dining.
A Simple Question
I decided to attend the May 16 meeting and ask Commissioner Moran a simple question in person. What is the starting date for outdoor dining for 2023?
Here is how he responded to my inquiry.
An Unexpected Ally
As it turned out, I was not the only one struck by Moran’s unpleasant behavior. Here is a clip of Andrew (an anonymous commenter says his name is not Andrew) from Black Lives Matter speaking.
Why It’s Not Just About Me
Mayor Kim should have interceded and asked Moran to “dial it back.” The issue is that Moran not only sent an unfortunate message to this blogger, he, in effect, sent out a poisonous warning to anyone wishing to address the Council. If you disagree with him, you are the potential target of his anger.
Commissioner Moran, There Is No Starting Date
Notwithstanding Commissioner Moran’s imperious pronouncement that the starting date I was looking for is in the legislation, it is not there. Below I have published the full city code on temporary dining, and if readers are skeptical, they are welcome to try to find it themselves. As the ordinance has a hard closing date (November 1, 2022), it seemed reasonable that there would be a starting date.
What Is The Significance Of The Starting Date?
The starting date is important for many reasons.
First of all, it raises legal issues about whether the restaurants, some of which are already open, are operating within the law. Have they opened prior to the official starting date for the season (a date that doesn’t exist)?
What kind of liability do the city and the restaurants have given this apparent mess?
Exacerbating the situation is that the application that they filled out had the fee schedule for last year (2022), and according to Moran’s agenda, there is a new fee schedule. Does that invalidate the application? Can an application containing the wrong fee schedule be approved? Did the restaurants pay the city the outdated amount when they submitted the application? If the city approved the application already, can the city now ask the restaurants to pay more (assuming the fees go up)?
Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the video clip, Commissioner Moran will not answer questions from the public, and his colleagues at the Council table are apparently unwilling to press the issue.
Temporary outdoor dining, which is obviously a potential asset to the city, is, unfortunately, a black box that only Commissioner Moran has access to.
Commissioner Sanghvi: Where Is The Resolution?
Consistent with the management problems that plague the city website overseen by Commissioner Sanghvi, the agenda for the meeting did not include the resolution establishing the temporary outdoor dining fees. The agenda item was there, but clicking on the link resulted in a message that there was no available document (the actual resolution).
I have given up bringing problems with the website to Commissioner Sanghvi as she has made it abundantly clear that she is unconcerned with the issues I raise.
As those old enough to remember Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine, Commissioner Sanghvi seems to live in a “What me worry?” universe.
I urged the Council to table the fee schedule resolution until the resolution can be published and the public can have the opportunity to read it. This did no good. Later in the meeting, Moran moved the adoption of the fees, and following Public Works Commissioner Golub’s second, it was unanimously adopted.
As Commissioner Sanghvi has still not updated the agenda with the actual resolution, if you want to know what the new fee schedule is, you will have to endure watching the video of the full meeting to find the point at which Dillon discussed them. Even then, the presentation was poorly done, and you will have, I think, as I did, little idea of what the fees are and how they were arrived at.
City Code On Outdoor Dining
Here is the ordnance from the city website. See if you can find a starting date.
14 thoughts on “BLM Activist Takes Dillon Moran To Task For his Discourteous Behavior To The Blogger”
I am old enough to remember Alfred E. Newman. And my reply is “What me worry? I sure do!!”
I offer a slogan for Mr. Outdoor Dining Moron’s campaign.
“For more shilling, re-elect Mr. Dillon”
His banter with you JK, was a disgrace.
For entertainment, this blog is worth more per month than the
Disney Channel or even RTN (Racetrack Television Network) which is $50/mo!
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For entertainment, this blog is worth more than the Disney Channel or even RTN (Racetrack Television Network) and that costs $50/mo!
Moran is a not fit to serve our City . He forgets he works for the people , absolutely disrespectful to the citizens.
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Disgraceful, you can’t make it up…they never disappoint with continuous nonsense. If it’s not one, it’s the other. This is what happens when you have people run that are in way over their heads and the new Progressive Liberal Saratoga Springs votes for them. The City is in a death spiral with no leadership or management. Really sad to watch unfold.
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John Kaufmann did not deserve to be treated in that way.
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What did you expect from Dillon Moran? “You are the frog. I am the scorpion. I sting because it is my nature.”
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Agree. I walked into the lion’s cave and I got bitten😎
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that guy isn’t named Andrew
Thank you. What is his correct name?
I believe it’s “Anthony”, I couldn’t make out perfectly what he was saying, but he seemed to introduce himself as “Anthony from Albany.” That’s before just about every other word he said started with the letter “F”.
Alfred E. Newman
Comm. Moron says: “You’re the only person on the planet that has a problem with outdoor dining in Saratoga Springs”
I say: No you are not the only person. I’m not alone in saying that ‘most’ outdoor dining is ugly. Not only ugly, but dangerous. This is not a good image for Saratoga Springs. The concrete barriers do nothing for ambience. The side streets are too narrow, noisy and dirty. They interfere with sidewalk pedestrian traffic. Those restaurants on Broadway do a nice job with their porches and decorations.
Don’t be surprised to see the Commish enjoying a free cocktail, or two on one of his pet patios.
There is also the question about giving away the public right-of-way. It’s a reasonable question (not even discussed at the council table) as to whether the city should charge for providing the sidewalk and parking spaces. The city charged a token fee to simply reimburse DPW for the time its employees deploy, store, and pickup the barriers. The license to use the sidewalk is a token. We are basically giving away the private use of city property.
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