National accolades for Saratoga shows current form of gov’t works
Saratoga Springs is a wonderful and successful community, according to repeated praise in national and even international media.
The city received positive coverage just this year from Travel+Leisure Magazine, Livability.com, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, and ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC, The New York Times and additional publications.
The head of the prestigious national American Planning Association added more praise in presenting the city another award for having one of the 10 best downtown streets in America. To quote: “Forward thinking and planning” and “thanks to the efforts of city leaders, business owners and residents.”
Other proof our city is doing well:
First, I see the recently proposed 2014 city budget will result in a minor tax decrease, yes decrease, while increasing staffing and services.
Second, under Saratoga’s own commission form of government, we’ve been able to both tighten our belt and provide the desired and necessary services while rebuilding our reserves to protect the city from any future national economic downturns.
Therefore, I don’t understand why the proposal has been made to change us to the city-manager form of government. This is a radically different approach to governing that is less democratic and has resulted in significantly poorer results throughout upstate New York.
Just a question: Is there another city in upstate New York you’d prefer to live in? I can’t think of one. And I give a good portion of the credit for the city’s achievements to our commission form of government and its special mix of transparency, accountability and responsibility that lets us keep the politicians who are working successfully for us and throw the “bums” out quickly.
Let’s protect our city by voting no to the charter change proposal on the November ballot.
In media coverage, Mets trail Yanks by a lot
It’s happened again. The almighty Yankees have once more overshadowed the lowly Mets, and this baseball fan is not happy. You’d think it’d be enough that we have to endure being New York’s “other” team. Do we really have to deal with the media, too?
I was very disappointed with The Daily Gazette’s sports coverage of two key events for the Mets this year. The first was Johan Santana’s no-hitter, a first in the Mets 50-year history [Aug. 23 Gazette]. Where was this milestone news in the Gazette? Buried inside the sports section. What was on the front page? An article that, in comparison, contained relatively minor news about the Yankees.
Then, just recently, R.A. Dickey pitched his 20th win this season, the first time a Mets’ pitcher has accomplished this feat in 22 years. Once again, this news was inside the Gazette’s [Sept. 28] sports section, while the Yankees got front-page coverage.
Mets fans are often irked by their crosstown rivals. The Yankees have a long list of greats whom I admire, so for me, it’s not because of their players, or even their fans. It’s because, courtesy of the media, the “Amazin’s” will never escape being in the shadow of the “Bombers.”
Merry Lee Kraft
Sch’dy needs to become a consolidated county
There’s been much discussion lately regarding the state of Schenectady’s finances and raising taxes. But no one addresses the 600-pound gorilla in the room. Schenectady can no longer afford to be a “city.” In 1950 it had a population of almost 100,000 people, an enormous industrial tax base, and a very small group of people needing social assistance and programs.
Today, its population is under 70,000. That makes it the size of Levittown, Long Island. Levittown is an unincorporated hamlet in Nassau County. There’s county police, town of Hempstead garbage removal, and a volunteer fire department. Its parks are run by Nassau County and the town of Hempstead.
So Schenectady has three choices: 1) raise or create new taxes, 2) cut services, or 3) disband the city charter. Imagine a “Schenectady County Police Department” that would bring together the Schenectady, Rotterdam, Niskayuna and Glenville forces under one administration.
One “county executive” and one “county Legislature” instead of all these mayors, city/town/village boards and town supervisors. One county parks department instead of five. All these multiple layers of government facilitate a wasteful environment of political cronyism and opportunity for corruption that taxpayers can no longer afford.
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