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New mayor in Saratoga; charter too close to call

New mayor in Saratoga; charter too close to call

Absentee ballots will determine outcome of reform question
New mayor in Saratoga; charter too close to call
Meg Kelly, Saratoga Springs' next mayor, beside husband Doug Mills and daughter Egan Mills, on Tuesday night.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Democrat Meg Kelly will be the Spa City's next mayor, though the fate of the city's commissioner form of government remained in question Tuesday night. 

The charter vote came down to around 50 votes, with 4,202 votes cast in favor of changing the city's government and 4,154 voting against. 

Absentee ballots will determine the outcome of the charter referendum, which would replace the mayor-and-commissioners governmental system with a government overseen by an appointed city manager. 

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Out of the 709 absentee ballots issued by the Saratoga County Board of Elections, 482 were received by Tuesday morning. 

Kelly, who has served as the city's deputy mayor since last year, beat Republican Mark Baker for the post in a vote of 4,630 to 3,911. 

"I have a crew who worked unlimited hours, and we killed it," said Kelly, speaking to supporters at The Inn at Saratoga on Broadway. 

Kelly, a former professional golf instructor and founder of the Saratoga Children's Theatre, also held the Working Families and Women's Equality ballot lines. 

Issues Kelly said she will focus on in office include the Greenbelt Trail, which would connect new and existing routes through the city for transportation and recreation, as well as addressing downtown parking problems, building affordable workforce housing and helping the homeless by finding a permanent home for the city's Code Blue shelter, which is temporarily operating out of the Soul Saving Station Church on Henry Street. 

Kelly said Mayor Joanne Yepsen has mentored her to take over the position, and she's looking forward to working with other city officials.

"I'd like to work with the commissioners and sit down with them to make a plan about the projects we want to work towards," she said. 

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Baker, who previously served as executive director of Saratoga Springs City Center for 34 years before retiring last year, also held the Conservative, Independence and Reform ballot lines. 

"We should remain upbeat and civil, and we ran a campaign we should be proud of," Baker told supporters at the Holiday Inn on Broadway. 

Two Saratoga County Supervisor seats were up for grabs in Tuesday's election, and Democrat Tara Gaston and Republican Matthew Veitch took those posts.

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Gaston, a Saratoga Springs resident, is a lawyer who is developing her own practice that will focus on litigation and security. She is a member of the Adirondack Women's Bar Association and the Capital District Bar Association, as well as the LGBT Committee. 

Veitch, also a Saratoga Springs resident, has served as a member of the county Board of Supervisors since 2008. He has been chairman of various committees within county government, including the Racing and Gaming, and Law and Finance committees. Veitch also serves as chairman of the city's Open Space Advisory Committee. 

Democrat Peter Martin beat Republican Donald Braim for city commissioner of Public Safety. Martin, who is serving his second term as Saratoga County supervisor, was elected to serve a two-year term. Christian Mathiesen, the current commissioner of public safety, decided not to seek re-election.

Incumbents Anthony "Skip" Scirocco, who is commissioner of Public Works; Michele Madigan, commissioner of Finance; and John Franck, commissioner of Accounts, ran unopposed. 

For all Saratoga County election results, visit the Saratoga County Board of Elections website at www.saratogacountyny.gov

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