Mathiesen Crushes Burger

In an unofficial tally that does not include mail in ballots.  Chris Mathiesen defeated Sarah Burger 550 to 298.

As a sidebar, Sarah Burger sent out the email below on the primary day.  As you will note, she alleged that she had some kind of polling numbers at 6:03 the night of the primary showing her ahead.


From: Sarah Burger [] On Behalf Of Sarah Burger Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 6:03 PM To: =?utf-8?Q??= Subject: THREE HOURS LEFT! GOTV

Have you voted yet?  Three hours left! Polls close at 9pm!!
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Dear Friends, Exciting news!! Poll result shows that we are in the lead. BUT, that can change very quickly. There are three hours remaining and I need your support. Please go vote for progressive urban planning, comprehensive development and to put the focus back on law enforcement. Thank you again for your support. We can do this! Vote for change! Yours truly, Sarah
Copyright © 2015 Sarah Burger for Public Safety, All rights reserved. You joined this list by signing up at an event for Sarah Burger for Public Safety. Our mailing address is:

Sarah Burger for Public Safety

44 Stafford Bridge Rd.

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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Sarah Burger And Saratoga PAC

In his excellent report on the League of Women Voters event, Joe Levy reported:

“Regarding the Saratoga PAC, Ms. Burger said that she spoke with their representatives earlier, but couldn’t figure out what their angle was, and decided not to accept any money from them (I guess she hadn’t seen the list of donors or she might have figured it out).”

I am a bit more skeptical than Joe on this.  I asked her weeks ago whether she would seek the endorsement of the PAC and she gave me a carefully parsed, evasive answer.  It was well covered by the Gazette and the Saratogian who the principal organizers of this group were and the agenda was clear to the most casual observer.  According to his letter in Saratoga Today, Bob Manz interviewed her on behalf of the PAC.  Mr. Manz is the CEO of D.A. Collins which is probably the largest construction company in the region.  He spoke of her glowingly in his letter.

I have enough respect for Ms. Burger to find it begs credibility that she was so naïve and uninformed that she did not know “what their angle was.”

As for “she decided not to accept money from them” one wonders what she might have told them that she was either offered money from them or expected them to offer her money.

Resort In The Greenbelt? An Old Idea That Finally May Have Found Its Time

This is an interesting article from Grid Saratoga from several years ago.  Attorney Stephanie Ferradino pitched the idea of turning a major part of the conservation district into a resort district.  Sound familiar?  Worth the read.

Pitch To Create A Huge Land Use Zone For Resorts

Joe Levy Reports On League Of Women Voters Debate between Mathiesen and Burger

Joe Levy went to the LWV debate and here is his report on it:

I was at the event and want to mention a few observations while they’re still fresh in my mind. For the record, I’m not a registered Democrat and don’t have a horse in this race.

First, as I approached the UU building, a Burger supporter was installing lawn signs on the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street in front of the venue. An LWV representative made it clear that campaigning of any sort was not allowed and the signs were then removed. Inside, there was a full house of about 150 people, give or take. The audience was asked by the LWV moderator to refrain from comments, jeers, or cheers during the forum and that courtesy was generally observed.

Questions from the audience were written on 3×5 note cards and passed on the moderator, with each candidate answering the same question in alternate order within a 1.5 minute time limit. There was also an optional opportunity to comment or respond back, which rarely happened.

For the most part, the candidates were in agreement on a wide variety of issues from disaster preparedness to maintaining the integrity of the Green Belt to keeping the city owned ambulance service. They nit-picked over the staffing of fire trucks, last call at the bars, and civilian review of complaints relating to police actions.

They differed strongly in relating how Ms. Burger came to resign as City Attorney. Ms. Burger said that she was being asked to perform duties that in her view were unethical; Dr. Mathiesen said that the five council members were all in agreement that she wasn’t a good fit (read: not a team player) and gave her the choice of resigning or being fired.

Although their general disagreement over the Collamer lot and land swap was well-documented by John in his interviews with Tom McTygue and Dr. Mathiesen [ ], one question that I had (and asked) was finally answered. Although Ms. Burger was acquainted with Joseph Zappone as a fellow lawyer, she came to distribute his last minute offer to buy the Collamer lot in her then official capacity as City Attorney. During the public comment period, Mr. Zappone presented his surprise offer and it was passed on to Ms. Burger by the clerk. She gave it a read and then had copies made to distribute to the five council members for their perusal. Apparently, it was as much as a surprise to her as it was to everyone else in the room and she had no prior knowledge that it was coming.

Regarding the Saratoga PAC, Ms. Burger said that she spoke with their representatives earlier, but couldn’t figure out what their angle was, and decided not to accept any money from them (I guess she hadn’t seen the list of donors or she might have figured it out). Previously, Dr. Mathiesen also said he would not accept money from that group and called for reform of campaign finance laws in general.

Finally, in the event that one or the other lost the Democratic primary (as is sure to happen), neither would agree to endorse the winner. Yes, politics does make people crazy.

League Of Women Voters Forum For Candidates Competing For the Democratic Party Public Safety Commisioner Line

There will be a candidate Forum sponsored by the Saratoga League of Women Voters:

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Primary Candidate Event

Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7 pm

Candidates: Sarah Burger, Christian Mathiesen

Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs, 624 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

The Democratic primary takes place this Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 12 noon to 9 PM.

John Franck Sets Hearing On Changes In Zoning Law and Comp Plan For Saratoga National Golf Course

At the last City Council meeting, John Franck announcedthat there would be a public hearing on the new language in the city zoning code and in the city comprehensive plan to allow resorts in the city’s conservation district at 6:45 pm on September 15th.  This would be prior to the regular council meeting at 7:00.  I think it may take more than fifteen minutes for the public to weigh in on this.

He told the Gazette Newspaper that he hoped the city council would vote on it that same night.

If you care about trying to protect the greenbelt I would urge you to contact members of the city council and to speak at the hearing.  Chris Mathiesen and Skip Scirocco have already stated they are against the change.  John Franck has stated he is for it.  The two potential swing votes are Madigan and Yepsen.

Much Thanks

I want to thank all of you who have supported my blog by visiting it or by establishing yourselves as “followers” so that you automatically receive my posts via email.

The good news is that it has become a huge success.  Yesterday I had over 500 people visit my blog and they had 831 views which means in blog parlance that they looked at 831 posts.  In addition to this I have over sixty followers so about 560 people read posts on that day.  In a city of 28,000 that is a very impressive number and the kind of people who visit my site are the kinds of people who engage others in conversation about our city.

I hope the blog will become an increasingly positive force for both informing our community and for holding our elected officials accountable.

Tomorrow I will be leaving for my annual fly fishing trip to the Canadian Rockies.  Jane and our dogs will still be here in Saratoga to monitor the goings on.  In addition, I will receive the usual helpful emails from people assisting me in learning what is going on.  I plan to find time in the evenings to continue my posts but there may not be as many.


A lot of clothes and fishing equipment ready to go west.