Thomas Dimopoulos

Thomas Dimopoulos

City Beat and Arts & Entertainment Editor
Contact Thomas

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Rock Concert. It has served as both rite of passage and meeting place for the gathered tribes. 

In his new book, titled “Rock Concert,” interviewer Marc Myers explores the history of rock and roll over a period of four decades as a live, publicly staged art form. 

Drawing on original in-depth interviews with nearly 100 sources, Myers re-visits some of the more notable performances of the 20th century, and offers a cautionary conclusion about the future of the art form. Breaking its initial promise as a space for inspiration, the rock concert has been drifting into a dangerous territory of becoming an endangered species. 

“From the beginning, live music’s purpose was to transform a gathering into a community by altering their minds,” writes Myers, who chronologically traces rock’s roots from the end-of-World War II emergence of independent record labels sharing the sounds of boogie-woogie and jump blues, up through the mid-1980s era of stadium rock.

“Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There,” is split into four parts – one dedicated to each of the decades between the 1950s and ‘80s. 

Joan Baez recalls singing with Martin Luther King as a crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 joining in a rendition of “We Shall Overcome.” Ronnie Spector remembers the early gigs of The Ronettes at New York’s fabled Peppermint Lounge, and several dozen music industry notables weigh in, Todd Rundgren and Ian Anderson, Marshall Chess, Roger Waters and Seymour Stein, among them. 

The intricate spool that was the concert experience of the 1960s is unraveled to reveal a linear progression from the early inspiration provided by a young Bob Dylan to the landing of The Beatles in America; It forges a path through Bill Graham’s opening of the Fillmore and the staging of massive pop festivals nationwide, accented by the affirmation that was the summer of Woodstock and crashing at Altamont by decade’s end. 

Moving forward, Myers portrays the 1970s as the era that ushered in large arena shows and sired the corporate influences and the MTV age of the 1980s.

Myers’ own first concert was as a 15-year-old, watching Santana perform at New York City’s Felt Forum -  a theater nestled alongside the then-new most recent incarnation of Madison Square Garden. “Rock Concert” comes to a full stop after the 1985 staging of the global jukebox that was Live Aid. 

“The rock concert didn’t disappear the day after Live Aid ended,” explains Myers in the book’s epilogue - although it had significantly changed. Strategies first developed by industry pioneers were leveraged by live-entertainment companies, the emerging youth culture grew enamored with social media and digital access to recorded music, electronics cast an increasing shadow over live performers, and the cost of concert tickets climbed to greater and greater heights. 

“Along the way, the rock and the rock concert became less of an agent for social change and more of a nostalgia business for legacy artists,” writes Myers, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal where he writes about music and the arts.

The voices and memorable concerts that comprise the oral biography provide an illuminating retrospective of cultural happenings that meant so much to so many. Many of the major happenings are covered, although the stimulating energy taking place on club stages - and the movements of glam, punk, metal and funk it ignited, are largely ignored.

“For rock to survive in its original form as an art form of outrage and pushback, the music and rock concert will have to connect meaningfully with the youth culture’s current concerns and agenda,” Myers surmises. “Otherwise, rock and the rock concert risks fading away with the generation that was most inspired by its rise.”     

“Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There,” by Marc Myers. Published by Grove Atlantic, $30. Available at Northshire Bookstore Saratoga. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last week, Saratoga Springs Supervisor Tara Gaston posted a statement and graph image on her official government page depicting the recent spike in the percentage of county residents testing positive for COVID-19.    

“Saratoga County is a leader in the state with COVID19 vaccinations in all ages, and I’m thrilled with the number of residents who have completed their vaccine series (however) when we compare today to one year ago - before vaccinations and before the lifting of many restrictions - it’s clear that the vaccines are not enough to get us out of this,” Gaston said. 

Gaston asked residents to get vaccinated if they had not already done so, obtain a booster if eligible, and to wear a mask. 

Following the recent holiday weekend, the State Department of Health on Friday, Dec. 3 reported the 7-day average positive test rate among Saratoga County residents at 8.7%, with the neighboring communities of Warren and Washington counties reporting 10.7% and 11.9%, respectively. 

“The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors sits as the Board of Health for the County, and can issue guidance or directives accordingly,” said Gaston, one of 23 members of the Board of Supervisors - the legislative and executive authority of Saratoga County government. “Unfortunately, the Board is unwilling at this time to take additional steps to #StopTheSpread, and there is little I can do alone.”

Saratoga County Public Health Services (SCPHS) has “recommended” the wearing of masks in certain situations, but the county board – which directs and oversees SCPHS - has not taken legislative action regarding the matter. Some other communities have been more aggressive.    

In late August, the Saratoga Springs City Council adopted a resolution requiring all employees and visitors regardless of vaccination to wear a face mask when entering City buildings, facilities and/or indoor events sponsored by the city. The resolution additionally called for all public-facing employees to wear a mask. 

And in New York City, residents and visitors age 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities at restaurants, bars, fitness gyms, and entertainment and recreational settings such as movie theaters, museums and concert venues. Compared to Saratoga County’s 8.7% rate, the 7-day average positive test rate in the five New York City boroughs range from a low of 1.6% in Manhattan to a high of 3.5% on Staten Island.     

To combat the rising COVID-19 infection rate in the region, state Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Nov. 29 that a mass state vaccination site would re-open in Queensbury. The location will provide vaccinations (8 a.m. -7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), as well as COVID-19 PCR testing
(8 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). Pre-registered as well as walk-in appointments will be available.

Upcoming Booster Clinics. All are COVID-19 Moderna boosters.    

Wednesday, Dec. 8
For Age 18+ (9 a.m. – noon); For Age 65+ (1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.) at Saratoga County Public Health, 6012 County Farm Road, Ballston Spa.

Friday, Dec. 10
For Age 18+ (9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.) at Mechanicville Senior Center, 178 N. Main St, Mechanicville.

Saturday, Dec. 11
For Age 18+ (9 a.m. – noon) at Saratoga County Public Health, 6012 County Farm Road, Ballston Spa.

Monday, Dec. 20
For Age 65+ (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at Clifton Park Senior Center, 6 Clifton Common Boulevard, Clifton Park. 

Booster Clinics are by appointment only. Visit www.SaratogaCountyNY.gov/COVID to register. Seniors may also call 518-693-1075 to register for a clinic. 

Vaccine Clinics for individuals between the ages of 5-11 years old

Clinics are by appointment only. Make an appointment for your child at the NYS operated vaccination clinic at Crossgates Mall (via am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/) or at a pharmacy near you by visiting vaccines.gov.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Brightly colored snow pants and children’s winter coats cling to rows of metal racks against a far wall. Bundles of bedding and kids’ comforters, stacks of young reader’s books and an assortment of toy trucks and stuffed dolls sprawl across the tabletops. 

Nearly one year to the day since securing a building on the city’s west side to help its growing programs, Franklin Community Center has officially opened the doors of its newest facility, located at the intersection of Franklin and Washington streets. 

The organization’s new building provides more than 10,000 square feet of expanded space, features individual offices, common areas, large meeting rooms, and stands a few yards from its 10 Franklin St. building, which remains active. 

By relocating the non-profit human service agency’s administrative offices from 10 Franklin St. to Washington Street, it provides space to back-stock donations and goods distributed through its meal assistance programs and allows the organization’s food pantry to grow triple its previous size. 

“Food insecurity is not going away,” says Mary Beth McGarrahan, development director at Franklin Community Center, which serves hundreds of individuals at its food pantry every week. “It gives us the space to continue to grow the food pantry.” 

Franklin Community Center has served as a social service hub for the less fortunate in and around Saratoga since 1983. The Center’s programs include the food pantry, a free after-school prevention program for local students and affordable housing for low-income individuals, as well as assisting with furniture and clothing and household needs, among others. 

FCC’s newest building had previously served as a cutting-edge center of 21st century global technology under the guidance of Elliott and Cathy Masie. The couple built the Masie Center just over 20 years ago. 

Aiming to build an addition to one of its existing buildings to create more space, FCC raised about $1 million toward its goal of raising $2.5 million when the coronavirus started making its way across the globe, slowing fundraising efforts, even as the need for the services the center offers increased exponentially. Meanwhile, the nearby Masie building was listed for sale at $2.6 million. When the Michael and Stacie Arpey Family stepped forward to donate $1 million toward FCC’s purchase of the building, and the Masies agreed to lower their original asking price, a deal was struck. Today, a plaque that hangs outside the building reads: The Franklin Community Center/Michael and Stacie Arpey Family Community Center.

Through the month of December, the new building also houses goods for its Holiday Assistance Program.

“This is our giving program where you ‘adopt’ children, you ‘adopt’ a family,” McGarrahan explains. “Holiday assistance - It can be toys, clothes, bedding, electronics. Fun things for a girl or boy. It might be hygiene products that they may not normally get in their shopping trips, or winter clothes, books, musical instruments,” she says. “It could be anything their family is not able to purchase on their own.” 

Families contact the center and fill out an application which lists the needs and desires of the child. Those needs are then matched up against a list of donors who have offered their support for the holiday program by “adopting” a family. 

Folks either seeking aid via the Holiday Assistance Program or are interested in “adopting” a family may reach out to Franklin Community Center by phone at: 518-587-9826, or via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. and their inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate place. As for donation, the Center says monetary donations are the most-needed ways to help support Franklin. 

Looking forward, Franklin Community Center’s next focus will be on its Project Lift Summer Camp Assistance program.

“We do summer camp scholarships for all our Project Lift kids, so if anybody is looking to support a child and send them to a camp for a week or two, they can support that with our scholarship fund,” McGarrahan said.

For more information about Franklin Community Center and its programs, go to: www.franklincommunitycenter.org

SARATOGA SPRINGS — There are more than 60 cities, 500 villages, and 900 towns in New York State, and each has until Dec. 31 to opt-out of two new state initiatives calling for on-site cannabis consumption lounges, and dispensaries authorized to sell cannabis in their respective communities. 

On March 31, New York State legalized adult-use cannabis by passing the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, or MRTA. The legislation created a new Office of Cannabis Management governed by a Cannabis Control Board to oversee and implement the law, issue licenses and develop regulations outlining how and when business can participate in the new industry. 

Regarding the two initiatives as it correlates to alcohol, Dispensaries are akin to a liquor store, while On-Site Consumption lounges are more akin to a bar, explained Vince DeLeonardis, attorney for the City of Saratoga Springs - which is currently poised to be welcoming of both. 

To opt out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses, a municipality must pass a local law by Dec. 31. A municipality may choose to opt-out of both or just one of the two types of license. If interested in permitting marijuana retailers or social consumption sites, municipalities need not do anything. 

Public hearings regarding the matter are underway in many of Saratoga County’s 19 towns, 9 villages and two cities. 

A decision is anticipated early next month In Malta, said town Supervisor Darren O'Connor. “It’s on for a public hearing on Nov. 29 and then it will be on the agenda on Dec. 6 for the Board to decide what to do, if anything.”

The town of Wilton is opting out and will not allow dispensaries or on-site consumption sites town, said Supervisor John Lant. 

The town of Clifton Park has scheduled a public hearing to take place on Dec. 6, and town officials in Milton are meeting this week when it is anticipated the board will allow both parts of the measure.

“If we do nothing then both are allowed, but we’re going to go through the motions of saying that we’ll allow both to happen in the town,” said Milton Supervisor Benny Zlotnick. “Obviously there will be some benefit in sales tax with sales of that product, but we have no idea what that might be. Public opinion seems to be in favor of on-site consumption, so that’s what we’re going to do. The public comments we have had said we might as well allow both because if other places are going to have it and we don’t allow on-site consumption, then people will drive right by our businesses to go to those locations.”     

A local excise tax will be imposed on the sale of cannabis products by a retail dispensary to a cannabis consumer at 4% of the products’ price. The tax is distributed to local governments based on where the retail dispensary is located, with three-fourths of that tax revenue going to the specific municipality and one-fourth to the county. 

If a town and a village within a town both allow adult-use sales, the revenue will be distributed based upon an agreement between the town and village or divided evenly. In the city of Saratoga Springs, for example, on that .04 tax of every dollar, the city would receive .03, and Saratoga County would receive .01. 

During a recent meeting in the village of Ballston Spa – a meeting ultimately overshadowed by Mayor Larry Woolbright’s sudden resignation announcement - the mayor and all four village trustees said they were unanimously in agreement of allowing dispensaries, and by a 3-2 count agreed to allowing on-site consumption lounges as well. “For now, I’ll consider that we’ve made our call and are not opting out,” Woolbright said, following the village board discussion. 

If a town passes a local law to opt-out, it only affects the area of the town outside of any village within the town. 

In the town of Saratoga, the board will move at its Dec. 13 meeting to prohibit on-site consumption venues via a Local Law, but will allow cannabis sales at dispensaries, said town of Saratoga Town Supervisor Tom Wood. “So, that would be only the town of Saratoga and does not include the villages of Schuylerville, or Victory,” Wood said. “I haven’t talked to (Schuylerville Mayor) Dan Carpenter or (Victory Mayor) Pat Dewey, so I don’t know what their intensions are.” 

As for area businesses located in municipalities that allow the sale of cannabis, Stewart’s Shops chain of convenience stores will not be among them. 

“We will not be pursuing a dispensary in any of our shops,” said Erica Komoroske, Stewart's Shops' director of public affairs.

Even as municipalities allow adult-use retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption licenses, towns, cities and villages may pass local laws and regulations pertaining to local zoning and the location of licensees, hours of operations, and adherence to local building codes. Municipalities may not, however, opt-out of adult-use legalization. Possession and use of cannabis by adults 21-or-older became legal in New York State earlier this year. Adults over 21 can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrated cannabis in their personal possession, according to the state Office of Cannabis Management, and up to five pounds of cannabis at their personal residence.

People can step outside and smoke, as law passed. Some municipalities have prohibited smoking of all kinds in and around its municipal buildings.

BALLSTON SPA — In a move that promises to increase the quality of life for local residents as well as provide a future opportunity to secure tourism dollars for municipalities throughout the county, the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 16 unanimously approved and adopted an official Saratoga County Bike Route Map. 

The map was created through the collaborative input of representatives from area cycling clubs and government leaders in Saratoga Springs and
Saratoga County. 

“It’s the culmination of about three years of work with a subcommittee of city residents and county officials,” said city Supervisor Matt Veitch, following the adoption of the measure. “You’re going to start to see those green bike route signs on roads all over the county, so it will be great to see people start doing some bike tourism, all over the county.” 

Veitch thanked current city council members Michele Madigan and Robin Dalton, city supervisor Tara Gaston and former city commissioner Peter Martin, as well as other city and county officials and bike advocacy groups. 

“This is a great start for improving the health and quality of life benefits that we bring to our residents, as well as the potential for tourism dollars,” said Martin. “I’ve taken many day trips that have included just about every part of the map route.” 

Martin cited states such as Colorado, which have multi-day biking tours that provide positive economic impact for local communities. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of riding several times on one of these tours – it’s called Ride The Rockies – and is in its 38th year. It’s estimated to generate a quarter of a million dollars of revenue – per day – for the towns and villages it travels through.” In Iowa, the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is in its 47th year, and draws 15,000 cyclist to its 7-day, 500-mile trip. “The economic impact in 2021 was estimated to be $25 million in direct spending in the cities and towns the tour runs through.” Martin said. 

“You have a real opportunity here. Our county roads are a real resource,” echoed Ed Lindner, of Bikeatoga. “This beginning is an important step, and you need to build on it.” 

Budgets: City Approves 2022 Plan, County Public Hearing Nov. 30, Vote in December 

Having made revisions to the Saratoga County tentative 2022 budget, the Board of Supervisors, as required by county law, approved a public hearing regarding the revised tentative 2022 budget. The public hearing will take place 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the county complex, 40 McMaster St., Ballston Spa. The county initially proposed its $381 million budget in October. It is anticipated budget adoption will take place Dec. 8. The 87-page 2022 Tentative Budget with Amendments may be viewed via the county website at: saratogacountyny.gov/wp/wp-content/uploads /2021/11/2022-Budget-Workshop -Report.pdf.   

“I did try in our workshop to amend the budget to provide more funding for non-profits. That did not pass,” said Supervisor Tara Gaston. “We’ve heard from non-profits in the city and throughout the county interested in some support recovering from COVID, and I would recommend they come speak to us in order for supervisors to hear that and potentially amend the budget before we pass it in December.” 

In the City of Saratoga Springs meanwhile, the City Council on Nov. 16 adopted a $54.2 million operating budget for 2022. The City Council will seat four new members on Jan. 1. DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco is the one returning member. The current council members, completing their respective two-year terms and it is anticipated the final two meetings of this current council will take place on Dec. 7, and Dec. 21.   

Thursday, 18 November 2021 13:49

Civil War Statue Re-Installed at Congress Park

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The NY 77th Infantry Regiment monument was re-installed on its base in Congress Park this week.  The base had been vacant since the summer of 2020, when the city says the statue was vandalized. 

The 77th Infantry Regiment was mustered in on Nov. 23,1861, and mustered out June 27, 1865, according to the state Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. The companies were principally recruited at Ballston, Saratoga and Wilton. 

The piece required significant repairs to the zinc statue, according to a statement issued by the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works, which coordinated its re-installation.   

Monday, 15 November 2021 12:55

Pickup Truck Crashes into Loughberry Lake

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A truck accidentally crashed into Loughberry Lake last weekend, temporarily shutting down the water treatment plant at Loughberry Lake, which is the main water supply for the city of Saratoga Springs. 

The incident occurred at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 14. Oil from the vehicle was contained to the northeast portion of the lake approximately a mile from the intake system and did not pose a problem for the water treatment plant, according to a statement issued by the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works.  After the truck was removed and oil contained, the water plant was restarted at 9 a.m. Sunday.

The New York State Department of Health was notified of the situation and the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation called in an environmental cleanup crew which deployed booms into the lake to contain any oil that had escaped from the truck.

The Greenfield Fire Department, New York State Police, New York State, and the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works (DPW) responded to the crash.

The driver of the vehicle was unharmed. It is not known if the driver was ticketed.  Residents can contact the water treatment plant operators at 518-584-1848 with any questions or concerns.

Thursday, 11 November 2021 13:42

The Latest Stats on COVID-19

The Latest  Local and Regional Stats on COVID-19 and VaccinesCOVID Charts1200

Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:45

Saratoga County Notes

BALLSTON SPA  — The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors held their monthly meeting Sept. 21. The in-person meeting was attended by approximately 50 people. The Board addressed the following issues: 

Cost-of Living Increases Approved for Some County Officials

• The board approved a local law amending the 2021 county compensation schedule to provide a cost-of-living increase for certain county officials.  Effective Jan.  1, 2021, the measure calls for the compensation for the following county officials to be increased to the following levels:

Elected Officials - Susan Hayes-Masa, County Coroner $31,182; David DeCelle, Coroner $31,182; Michael Zurlo, Sheriff $139,601; Craig Hayner, County Clerk $120,848; Andrew Jarosh, County Treasurer $120,848.

Appointed Officials; Christopher Schall, County Auditor $ 89,598; Andrew Blumenberg, Public Defender $135,095; Margaret McNamara, Director of Human Resources $135,182; Anna Stanko, Director of Real Property $ 89,209; Tina Potter, Commissioner of Social Services $141,918

Saratoga Springs Supervisor Tara Gaston cast the lone vote against. “I’m not opposed to the increases. I just would have don’t think that now is the time,” Gaston said. “There are a number of financial issues with regard to COVID that do impact the staff at the county that I would like to see handled prior to that – but again, it’s nothing against the staff here, I fully support them.” 

Positions Created for COVID Testing in Schools

• Earlier this year, the board accepted a $3.98 million Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Reopening Schools Grant. The funds are targeted to assist with establishing COVID-19 screening and testing programs for students, teachers and staff to support and maintain safe, in-person instructions for schools. 

As such, the board approved the creation of temporary positions of COVID-19 School Epidemiology Officers - as needed at the discretion of the Commissioner of Health - at the base salary of $40/hr.; as well as the temporary creation of positions of COVID-19 School Testing Site Supervisors (base salary of $25/hour); and COVID-19 School Testing Site Coordinators (base salary of
$20/hour). 

The Impact of COVID on the County Court System

• Due to the impact COVID-19 had on the Court system in 2020, many cases could not proceed through the system to conclusion, creating a backlog of cases which are now being disposed of in 2021, the board reported.  The backlog has caused an increase in assigned counsel attorney invoices. To this purpose, the board approved a transfer of $160,000 from its Fund Balance to the Human Resources Department to pay for additional assigned counsel attorney services.

October Proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month

• The Board proclaimed October 2021 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” In Saratoga County.  The resolution cited “the horror of domestic violence (that) continues to plague our society.” In addition to resulting physical and emotional damage inflicted, the national financial ramification of domestic violence is $8.3 billion in expenses annually. The following statistics were also cited: 

- 30% to 60% of families where adult domestic violence is present, child abuse is also present; 

- Despite underreporting, domestic violence calls make up more than half of all calls to the police; 

- More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced rape, severe physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner; 

- The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline received 8,584 calls last year.

The proclamation reports heightened public awareness is an effective tool and urges all citizens to support and participate in ongoing programs designed for the reduction and eventual elimination of domestic violence. The help hotline, which operates 24-7/365 is 1-800-942-6906. 

Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:44

City Notes

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs City Council met Tuesday night, Sept. 21 to discuss a variety of issues. The meeting included four council members. City Mayor Meg Kelly was unable to attend the meeting due to a personal issue, said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, who ran this week’s meeting. 

City Seeks Public Input Regarding Upcoming Cannabis Deadline 

• Cities in New York have until Dec. 31 to opt-out of potentially siting dispensaries, and/or on-site consumption facilities as it relates to a local cannabis industry in their respective communities. 

Correlated to alcohol, Dispensaries are akin to a liquor store, while On-Site Consumption is more akin to a bar, explained city Attorney Vince DeLeonardis. 

To opt out, a Local Law would need to be adopted and public hearings held in advance of a Local Law, so any move to opt-out would need to be conducted sooner rather than later. Municipalities must opt out to not be a part of the measure moving forward.  If interested in permitting marijuana retailers or social consumption sites, the city need not do anything. 

Financial ramifications: a 4% local tax is to be imposed if the city allows the measure to move forward  –3% would come to the city of Saratoga Springs, and 1% would go to the county, DeLeonardis said. 

The city is actively requesting the public comment regarding the matter. Comments may be submitted via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Next Move on Civilian Review Board is Up To City Council

Jason Golub, a member of an independent city advisory committee tasked with studying police reform, provided an update regarding the formation of a potential city Civilian Review Board. 

“I think there is plenty of evidence that a Civilian Review Board will add value to our community. I think it protects civilians, I think it protects police, I think it adds transparency and accountability,” Golub told the council Sept. 21. 

Golub had previously served as co-chair of the city’s ad hoc Police Reform Task Force – which had recommended the implementation of a CRB as part of a 50-point plan evaluated by the council earlier this year. The council voted to accept a police reform plan shortly before the state-mandated April 1 deadline, although a handful of the 50 items were removed because the city did not have the authority to implement them, or because they required further evaluation, city attorney Vince DeLeonardis said at that time. 

This week, Golub pointed to specific points as being critical to forming a successful board. Those points included securing the support and involvement of police and political leaders, ensuring the board is comprised of credible and impartial members, and setting appropriate funding that would secure budgetary needs over multiple years, as opposed to year-by-year where they may be subject to ever-changing political winds. 

Golub also provided a framework for a timeline. He suggested six months be spent in preparation and in advance of hearing any potential cases, as well as using that time to ensure that funding is in place, and setting two years for a pilot program. “To me that would be the next logical step from where we are today.” 

Absent of future City Council direction, Golub indicated last Tuesday’s presentation would serve as a final update. The City Council will now need to determine if taking steps to form a CRB is something it wants to move on. The council is scheduled to next meet on Tuesday, Oct. 5. 

Council Looks to Future Saratoga Springs as a Bike-Friendly City 

• The council unanimously voiced its support for a resolution from the Saratoga Safe Cycling Coalition and presented by Bikeatoga that calls for the city’s continued budgetary funding of future bike lane signage and striping projects. 

“As we pass this resolution I want to make the council aware that we want to work with (the department of) Public Safety, Traffic, Complete Streets, and Bikeatoga to come up with some good projects to connect our community with good bike lanes,” said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan.  Madigan reported there is currently $233,000 available to spend on an “upcoming good, overall Complete Streets project” as well as $100,000 in the mayor’s Capital Budget passed during last month’s council meeting - “so, we’re already looking at $333,000 - which is a fair amount of money to start looking at an engineering plan and scoping out some good bike lines internally for the city.” 

City Supervisor Matt Veitch additionally noted there have been multiple talks regarding bike route systems at the County level. “We’ve come up with a proposal to present to the county for bike routes that would be sign-bicycle-routes on county roads connecting various communities,” Veitch said. “There will be at least one road in every single community designated as a bike route, and a few local roads as well that we’re going to hopefully get some of the towns to sign off on and make connections to county roads.” Veitch said the goal is to bring the measure to the county Board of Supervisors for approval in October.   

Next Steps for UDO - Public Hearings in October, Vote in November 

• A presentation was staged Sept. 21 regarding the proposed city Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO – a tool which aims to streamline the review and approval process as it relates to zoning and subdivision regulations. Public Hearings regarding the UDO, which may be reviewed on the city’s website, are slated to take place during the next two scheduled council meetings Oct. 5 and Oct. 19, with a potential vote to adopt on Nov. 16. 

Page 1 of 62

Blotter

  • COURT  Earl T. Walsh, 28, of Schuylerville, was sentenced to 1 to 3 years’ incarceration, after pleading to felony DWI.  Jack D. Smith, 33, of Mayfield, pleaded Nov. 19 to felony DWI, in Galway. Sentencing Jan. 21.  Joshua E. Greco, 31, of Gloversville, pleaded Nov. 19 to felony grand larceny, in Ballston. Sentencing Jan. 21.  Shamiek A. Shorter, 25, of Schenectady, pleaded Nov. 19 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing Jan. 24.  Erika L. Pettit, 39, of Ballston Spa, pleaded Nov. 19 to felony DWI, in Milton. Sentencing Jan. 19.  Travis C. Edmonds,…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON James Rusinko sold property at 19 Silver Lane to Linda Figueroa for $290,000. Rosetti Acquisitions LLC sold property at 32 Pasture Pl to Meagan Tumer for $351,102. Barbera Homes Kelley Farms LLC sold property at 23 Stablegate Farms to James Kochan for $567,782. Marielena Hauser as exec. sold property at 21 Garrett Lane to Mark Hauser for $200,000. Kathleen Coleman sold property at 270 Middle Line Rd to Kathleen Coleman for $197,500. Route 50 Realty LLC sold property at Route 50 to Saunders Lane LLC for $400,000. CORINTH John Collura sold property at  Eggleston St to Nicholas Burke for…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association