Thursday, 20 January 2022 13:17

Saratoga Works! How City Government Has Been Working Since Charter Vote

By Connie Woytowich and Jane Weihe, Co-Chairs of Saratoga Works | Letters to the Editor

Saratoga Works! That was our message to voters in the fall of 2020 as we urged the defeat of the latest attempt to change Saratoga Springs’ commission form of government to a city manager form. Voters agreed and defeated the charter change proposal by over 1,000 votes.

With a new administration in city hall, we thought it a good time to reflect on how well the commission form of government in Saratoga Springs has been working since that decisive vote. 

Charter changers claimed that the commission form is inefficient, that women would not run for office, and that the “5-headed monster” would produce gridlock and the city would suffer.

However, in the last two years, the city of Saratoga Springs: 

• saw seventeen people step up to run for office, including seven women;
• secured land from NYRA for the third Fire Station for 2022 completion;
• finished the Geyser Road Trail for public enjoyment; 
• passed the Unified Development Ordinance to streamline the city’s building and zoning process; 
• resolved legal issues to complete the City Center Parking Structure, increasing downtown parking and EV charging stations; 
• had city government fully functioning in the Rec Center less than a week after fire damaged City Hall;
• completed the renovation of City Hall combining historic preservation with ADA compliance and energy efficiency.

The majority of new Council members were active participants in the soundly defeated effort to change our charter. Our hope is they will remember the message from voters and continue to make Saratoga Work.

 - Connie Woytowich and Jane Weihe, Co-Chairs of Saratoga Works

Saratoga Works is a civic group of individuals from multiple political parties and diverse backgrounds who care about our city and its future (www.saratogaworks.org)

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