Spa charter change won’t improve city
I am writing to express my concerns with the proposed Saratoga Springs charter change.
One need only look at municipalities elsewhere in the state to realize the unique system of government that Saratoga Springs enjoys.
While other municipalities are rife with the scourge of political patronage in non-civil service positions, Saratoga Springs residents have the privilege of voting directly for their commissioners who exercise control over the city’s various departments.
Under the proposed charter change, as majority control of a council and mayorship shifts between parties, political appointees would roll into and out of leadership positions.
Instead of being occupied by those chosen by the voters, departmental leadership positions would be filled with political operatives and donors chosen not because of their qualifications, but because of political allegiance.
Perhaps if the proposed change would result in a significant savings to the taxpayers, these faults could be stomached. However, the proposed change is expensive, providing for numerous well-paid department heads and the appointment of an unelected city manager with a salary easily in the high-six figures.
Voters should ask themselves, will the charter change make Saratoga Springs a better place to live? I believe the answer is a resounding “no” and I will be voting against charter change.
Michael A. Brandi
Only let owners vote on school budgets
This is Part II to my July 31 letter (“To vote on school budgets, pay taxes”). The year Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school budget failed,our taxes would have gone up $100. It went directly to a contingency budget. We received a letter saying we have to pay $25 per child for school supplies. Having four children, it cost us $100.
The taxpayer can’t win. I attended a budget meeting and posed a question of why the teachers were getting a 10% raise per year for three consecutive years. I was told we were not here to discuss that, as it is a different negotiation, even though it is included in the budget.
True story: My next door neighbor was on the committee that drew up the budget one year. We were talking one day about it and he told us to vote against i,t as there was a backup budget just as good. His wife’s words: “Not me, I’m voting for it. It will keep the riff raff out of here.” Education at its best. You could only vote for the Ballston Lake sewer if you own property. It should be the same for school budgets. If you don’t pay taxes you have no right to vote.
Far left taking over academia, cities
I have always believed that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has been one of the reasons why America has been so successful. I love this country. I think most Americans do as well.
What I don’t understand is the violent rioting taking place in many of our cities. This destruction is being caused by many young people who claim that they hate America. Where and how did they come to this belief? There is only one answer: Academia – mostly far left college professors, but also some high school teachers as well. I know this because I was a rare conservative high school English teacher.
We are at a crossroads. The far left has not only taken control of academia, but also the current Democratic Party. The Democrats now seeking office believe in “abortion, dependency and the pursuit of political power.” If you also believe that be sure you vote for Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats.
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