Saratoga Springs

New government will make city even better

Vote yes for charter
As a member of the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission, I’m disappointed at the expressions of insecurity our proposal has provoked among some incumbent commissioners. Or perhaps I should be grateful, because their vehement opposition helps us make the case for change.
We need a new charter because economic growth here is outpacing the city government’s ability to keep pace. We aren’t mobilizing all the talent in our very active community because the electoral system is both daunting and given to insider trading. Our major chronic needs, water system, emergency services, downtown parking and affordable housing are results of growth. Addressing them requires coordinated, professional administration and elected legislative leadership. But today, if commissioners are from different political parties, or are rivals within the same party, all bets are off as to the outcome.
A successful future for Saratoga Springs requires services delivered efficiently and without favor, internal financial accountability, competitive elections for all offices, and long-term infrastructure planning, to name a few things missing from today’s system.
A professional manager and elected council will eliminate today’s dysfunction of elected officials managing administrative departments in conflict with one another. The proposed charter will also bring competition to local elections, tapping the wealth of talent in our community. Too many individuals have been discouraged from running either by the nature of the offices, the demands of being both legislator and administrator, or by the indifference of the major political parties to allowing competition in the first place.
Complacency is the greatest risk facing any successful enterprise. Opponents of charter change are betting the city will continue to prosper without adapting to the future. I’m betting that an improved future for Saratoga Springs will be led by a city government that is more nimble, more accountable, more participatory and inclusive of all the talent in our strong community.
For these reasons, I will be voting yes on Nov. 7 for a new Saratoga Springs charter.
Gordon Boyd
Saratoga Springs

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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