Sarah Burger to Vie for Public Safety Post
SARATOGA SPRINGS –The 2015 city election season heated up early with an announcement on Tuesday, Feb. 24 that Sarah J. Burger, former City Attorney, stating that she wanted to make Saratoga Springs a better place to live and do business, will seek the post of Commissioner of Public Safety.
This announcement sets up a primary battle for the Democratic Party endorsement against two-time incumbent Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, who has indicated he will seek re-election this fall.
In her announcement, Burger stressed her family history in the area, which dates back to the Revolutionary War, as well as her experience with labor / management negotiations and pledged to keep an open mind on issues while listening to the entire community in her decision making. While she did not get into specific campaign platform issues in this announcement, she did criticize the Public Safety department for “bad decisions that have led to legal challenges.” Later, she cited the recent attempt to create a district, generally around Caroline Street, outside of which 4 a.m. bar closings would not be permitted, as “discriminatory and ill-advised.”
Burger declined comment on the city’s sale/exchange of parcels on the Eastern Ridge and the Collamer lot at 500 Broadway, stating that she was City Attorney at the time.
Yet it would be hard to visualize a campaign in which this will not be a subject of contention as the election season goes forward, as this is one such subject under litigation.
Currently a labor attorney at Cooper, Erving & Savage, LLP, with offices in Saratoga Springs, Burger was appointed by Mayor Joanne Yepsen to be City Attorney in January of 2014. She resigned from that post abruptly last September, citing a “fundamental disagreement” on how to handle the legal affairs at City Hall.
Burger stated that she would be also seeking endorsements of other political parties as well. If elected, she would be the first female to hold the position of Commissioner of Public Safety in the 100-year history of Saratoga Springs.
Burger was introduced to a gathering of her supporters at the Empire Room at Maestros at the Van Dam Restaurant by her long-time friend, Gary Dake, president of Stewart’s Shops, who stated that the conduct of city council business should not be based on ideology, but balance.