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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, October 14

Everyone has problems

Going into the November election, I was thinking today that both the Democrats and Republicans have at least one problem, due not to their own doing, but to circumstances outside of their control:

Due to construction at the City Center, and the convention center's disinclination to host polling places, five city voting districts (3, 4, 8, 9, and 25) will move from the City Center, where they have been since the building opened, to the Lincoln Baths, in Spa State Park.

All five of those districts are Democratic-leaning, and many of those voters are handicapped or elderly. Although the new polling place is no less accessible (both in terms of handicapped ramps and in terms of parking) than the City Center, we may see some voters reluctant to change their habits, after voting in the same place for so many years. Of course, the two spots aren't much more than a mile apart, but it's the notion of having to drive across town that will turn off some voters, and the feeling is that the elderly in those districts are among the mostly likely to decide casting a vote isn't worth the drive.

I would guess that this will be exacerbated by lower turnout in a local election (as compared to a national one) , in addition to lower-still turnout expected this year across the nation, due to a voting public sick of elections after the two-year presidential election. In this area, that effect will be compounded by the special election we had for Congress earlier this year.

For some reason that I do not pretend understand, Beaver Pond Village, an 85-lot subdivision in Geyser Crest, has become associated with the city's Republican Party. The project was granted preliminary approval by the Planning Board in June, over vocal objections from Geyser Crest residents. The project now needs final approval to move forward, and the residents continue to voice their displeasure.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, none of the currently-elected GOP city officials or candidates have anything to do with this project. The closest connection is that Michael Perkins, a member of the Planning Board, is also serving as chairman of Commissioner of Finance Kenneth Ivins Jr.'s campaign — but Perkins recused himself from any votes on Beaver Pond earlier this year.

To make this link even odder, residents seem to be overlooking the fact that Assemblyman James Tedisco issued a letter to the city urging them not to allow the project to go forward back when he was running in the aforementioned special election.

Setting aside completely that there is no discernible, meaningful link between the Republicans and Beaver Pond, there is still a perception, especially in Geyser Crest, that the party is somehow responsible for it. You can be sure the Democrats will do what they can to capitalize on that.


Anonymous Kyle York said...

I take a different read on Geyser Crest. I don't think residents blame the GOP... they simply blame "the process," a supposed "local cabal" painted as playing fast and loose with the facts and the process.

The community swung to the Democrats when Mayor Keehn campaigned on the promise to oppose Beaver Pond, a crusade quickly and shamelessly picked up by Ron Kim.

And speaking of "problems," today's story about the NYCLU seeking TASER use info from SSPD will present problems to Union officials trying to spin the routine day of an over-worked officer. Facts DO matter here. And the truth could ELECTRIFY the electorate... if the info appears before the election. Don't bet on it.

And finally, WHAT is the PROBLEM with Senior Management at The Saratogian? Here we have two MAJOR debates at the High School tonight at 7:00...

...and not ONE SINGLE WORD today in our very own LOCAL paper. Heck, pancake breakfasts and a lecture on the jungles of French Guiana got plenty of ink and coverage.

Might Barbara and the out-of-town owners care a wee bit... just a teeny interest... in the debates for Commissioner(s) of PUBLIC WORKS and PUBLIC SAFETY?

What's the problem at 20 Lake Avenue?

-Kyle York
Counting on The City Desk

October 15, 2009 at 6:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle York:

Stop the SHOUTING!!!

It's bad enough that you never make any sense. Doing it so loudly is insufferable.

October 17, 2009 at 3:55 PM 

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