On Wednesday, March 24, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce is hosting what was once a hugely popular event - The State of Saratoga County Breakfast.
Of course, this breakfast will be unique in many ways. It’s the first time we’ve ever hosted one during a pandemic. So we’re taking extra precautions to make sure everyone is safe. You have to bring your own breakfast. You’ll have to make or buy your own coffee. You have to find your own seat. But it can be anywhere in the world. You’ll need a computer, laptop, tablet or phone to actually attend. You don’t need to dress up. You won’t need to bring any business cards. We won’t ask new members to stand up and introduce themselves.
This year’s event will be virtual. The good news is that this means anyone can attend. You’ll be on mute but we will take questions via chat. The event is generously sponsored by The Adirondack Trust Company. During the breakfast, virtual attendees will hear from the 2021 Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, Town of Moreau Supervisor Todd Kusnierz, and the new Saratoga County Administrator, Steve Bulger.
Since taking over in January, the Chairman and the Administrator have made sure to focus the county’s efforts on stopping the spread of the virus. They appointed Supervisor Tara Gaston to lead the effort as Chair of the Board’s Health & Human Services Committee. This committee and every County department are working diligently to slow the spread of the virus and to help local residents to get vaccinated. We’re sure the breakfast will cover this topic extensively.
Chairman Kusnierz and his team have been hosting regular updates via Facebook live as the year has progressed. They’ve taken action to help local restaurants by supporting a cap on third party delivery fees. They’ve helped promote the work by the Saratoga County Industrial Development Authority and the Clifton Park Industrial Development Authority to provide tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursement grants to help local businesses and nonprofits pay for personal protective equipment expenses. They’ve supported efforts by the Saratoga Casino Hotel to expand their hours of operation which has helped them to attract more people to Saratoga.
The County is regularly sharing information on the vaccination program online and on social media. The Chamber has been keeping close track of this information. We’re publishing a weekly chart that updates everyone on the progress being made to vaccinate the county’s residents. This is vital if we are to reopen our local economy fully later this year. It’s vital if we want to be allowed to have a more normal summer with fans at all of our most popular venues.
With the passage of a new stimulus law at the Federal level, there are now millions of dollars in assistance coming to Saratoga County. It’s likely that the County’s leaders will update attendees at this breakfast as to how this money will be allocated. As with everything else, there are likely strings attached to this funding and maybe some areas where our local officials will have some flexibility. We look forward to hearing about all of this and more.
These two leaders, of course, also have the regular and more traditional work of the county to lead. We’re blessed with having decades of great leadership in Saratoga County. Even during a pandemic, Saratoga County leaders maintained our lowest in the state property tax burden. They successfully managed to balance the county budget while providing all essential services plus so many unanticipated costs associated with the war against COVID 19. In many ways, this was what the focus was of this former annual event. Just because it is not at the top of the agenda this year doesn’t take away its importance.