Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs charter recount hearing canceled

Referendum to change city government was defeated last month
Absentee ballots are reviewed and counted at the Saratoga County Board of Elections.
Absentee ballots are reviewed and counted at the Saratoga County Board of Elections.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A hearing to review the city charter referendum results that was slated for Wednesday has been canceled.

The hearing, which was to take place in the Saratoga County Municipal Center in Ballston Spa, was scheduled after three members of the city’s former Charter Review Commission filed an action in state Supreme Court in November, seeking a full review and recount of all ballots cast. 

On Nov. 7, the charter change referendum, which would have moved the city from its current mayor-commissioners form of government to a government overseen by a city manager, came down to around 50 votes — 4,202 votes cast in favor of the change and 4,154 votes against. 

But absentee ballots were counted Nov. 14 at the Saratoga County Board of Elections in Ballston Spa, overturning the initial results by an even narrower margin, with 4,458 voting against the charter change and 4,448 votes in favor. 

Charter Review Commission members Gordon Boyd, Bob Turner and Pat Kane were told Tuesday that there would be no appearances on their motion Wednesday. 

“The court has asked counsel for both sides to submit memoranda of law by Jan. 8, after which the court will ‘consider when scheduling oral argument,'” Boyd said in an email. 

“I hope this won’t drag too far into next year,” Boyd said. “It will be two months after the charter was voted on to have the next milestone with the court.”

Meg Kelly and Peter Martin, the city’s new mayor and commissioner of Public Safety, respectively, will join the City Council in January. Boyd said the cancellation of the hearing is further hindering the transition of city government officials.

Albany-based attorney A. Joshua Ehrlich is representing Boyd, Kane and Turner in the challenge.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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