Some of Saratoga Springs’ longest tenured residents have been speaking up against the proposed change in the city charter. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” they say. “You newcomers just don’t know how the system works.”
Well, if that were true, we would have had a parking garage near the City Center more than 10 years ago, when the idea was first broached.
We would have had a public safety and emergency services building to serve thousands of residents and visitors east of the Northway. Instead, in both cases, all we have now is a bunch of court cases. Also, our water system might not be showing signs of stress, having been outpaced by growth and development.
The old-timers tell you they know how to get things done, but what they really mean is that they know how to stop almost any innovation they don’t like by pushing one or more politicians’ buttons.
City employees told the Charter Review Commission they spend too much time dealing with political conflict between departments, frustrating completion of their assigned duties.
Under the proposed charter, the City Council will have the responsibility to set priorities.
The manager they hire will be charged with carrying them out under a unified administrative structure just like the ones that every other local government in New York state has, except Mechanicville, which is like ours.
The governmental structure we seek in the proposed charter is one that promotes efficiency, accountability and savings to the taxpayer.
I have lived here more than 45 years. I will be voting yes for a new City Charter on Nov. 7 and urging my friends to do so as well.
The writer is a member of the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission.