Opinion - Saratoga Springs Politics

The below blog posts are written by John Kaufmann.
These opinions do not reflect the views of Saratoga TODAY newspaper.

Monday, 08 May 2023 09:21

Correction To Previous Blog On Mayor Kim’s Confrontation With Jason Tetu

By John Kaufmann | Saratoga Springs Politics
Correction To Previous Blog On Mayor Kim’s Confrontation With Jason Tetu
This blog reported that Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim had been referred to the police desk sergeant to make his complaint against someone who allegedly emailed threats to him and someone in his family. I wrote in the blog that the desk sergeant reviewed the emails and that none of them rose to the level of threat requiring police action, and this was what provoked Kim's angry outburst in City Hall.
In fact, the video released by the police tells a slightly different story. Apparently, Kim first called Deputy Public Safety Commissioner Jason Tetu with his complaint, and Tetu told him to go to the desk sergeant. It was this response by Tetu that set the Mayor off. In the video, Kim shouts at Tetu "Is that all I get?" before going into his office and slamming the door.
Kim Doesn't Understand
In our form of government, the Public Safety Commissioner is charged with overseeing the police and fire departments, but there is a distinct limit to that authority that Mayor Kim doesn't seem to understand.
The Commissioner's power does not extend to directing the police to make specific arrests. That responsibility remains with the "sworn officers."
This makes sense. Consider the danger of a politician with no background in criminal law ordering the arrest of people?
Note that when Public Safety Commissioner Montagnino took action in the case of Chandler Hickenbottom for allegedly disrupting a Council meeting, he made a complaint to the Police Department. He did not order her arrest.
It is also troubling that Kim's remark ("Is that all I get?") implies that he believed Tetu should provide him some sort of special treatment from the Police Department.
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