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

Thursday, October 15

Who won?

Well, the first of two forums for candidates running for city office happened tonight. On my way out the door a DPW employee (I think it may have been City Artists Phil Steffen, but I'm not entirely sure), asked me who I thought won.

At that moment in time I was so focused on my 10 p.m. deadline (it was 9:11), that I couldn't even formulate a reasonable answer.

Now that I'm thinking about it, though, I think the voter is the real winner.

Turnout was not as high as I remember it being the last time I attended such a forum for a local election, in 2005, but there was a good crowd -- including many city employees -- at the Saratoga Springs High School, and the questions brought forth by the public made one thing clear: people are scared about the prospect of skyrocketing taxes, but also don't want to turn a cold shoulder to the men and women who have faithfully served the city.

The candidates have a tough line to walk. The Democrat's firm line against layoffs will likely curry them favor with the city's unions, but most of the city's residents are not union members, and the Republican candidates' stance on holding the line on taxes will aid them at the polls.

But the chance to see the candidates in action, so to speak, was a good chance for everyone at the forum, and I hope that more will turnout for the the Mayoral and Finance candidates, to meet at a forum next week.


Anonymous Kyle York said...

Any chance that The Saratogian might publicize the NEXT debates on the DAY they take place? True, you've given more than enough "advance notice" in this post.

But if the next event does NOT warrant front page news, just a small blurb... do you think y'all could place it on the "Community Calendar" along with the Art Gallery events and Walking Tours?

Check with Barb... on the off chance that it'll be a slow news day.

Seriously Andrew,
thank you for your coverage. One can only wonder if the turnout... the PUBLIC turnout... maybe a timely announcement in the most prominent local newspaper would have ensured better attendance.

Mayhaps more than a "good crowd -- including many city employees."

-Kyle York
Crowds are Good

October 15, 2009 at 11:21 PM 
Blogger george said...

This guy Kevin Connolly couldn't even make it on time

The man admits on this video he is nothing more than a state union hack with no experience what so ever in Public safety.If you think the cops and fireman are overpaid now wait till they have a union shop steward as their boss doling out overtime.

October 16, 2009 at 7:29 AM 
Blogger Andrew J. Bernstein said...

Kyle: I will make sure that we do more pre-press ahead of next week's debate. I would say, though, that we didn't exactly ignore last night's debate, as I had written a story to advance it in Tuesday's paper.

Thank you, as always, for your thoughts.

P.S. Despite what a certain other blogger (who I refuse to legitimize by naming) thinks, kudos to you for asking a question beyond the obvious "what are you going to do to keep taxes down" questions.

October 16, 2009 at 1:14 PM 
Blogger demroc said...

Andrew, what did you make of the question regarding the absentee ballots being already filled out? The democrat said it wasn't him and my republican friend said it wasn't them, leaving one other person. I don't want to jump to conclusions, so I thought i'd ask if you had any information.

October 16, 2009 at 6:01 PM 
Blogger demroc said...

Do we have a blogger throwdown?

October 16, 2009 at 6:02 PM 
Blogger Andrew J. Bernstein said...

I would say that misleading ballots won't be enough to save Mr. Miller's campaign after a performance on Thursday that was light on substance and heavy on sloganeering.

October 16, 2009 at 6:50 PM 
Anonymous 1199 forever said...

Hey Andrew why don’t you try to organize the saratogian workers in the Newspaper Guild-CWA union. When Barb has your union sympathizing ass dragged out of the building it will be PBA card carrying member of the police union that will do National registers dirty work just like cops have fought against every union but their own for generations.
God bless the real Unions’ like 1199seiu.They do the real grunt work in wal-mart and nursing homes. The taxes caused by the greed of public service workers has been breaking the backs of the real working class. You want to see cops in the Racino. Hand out a few union sign on cards and see your self get tasered to the floor of the buffet.

October 16, 2009 at 7:58 PM 
Anonymous Kyle York said...


Thank you for the appreciation of my question. BUT...what you saw and heard was only the "softball"... part of a game plan that would have been a show-stopper.

You heard all four candidates basically respond, saying--

"Where you live has nothing to do with the job. What matters is being qualified."


My PLAN was to go to the end of the line and ask a second question, just as the Moderator proposed, after every first-time questioner had spoken.

My REAL question, the follow-up, would then have been--


I'd like to ask for your most thoughtful response to what is arguably the most philosophical question of the night. If there is no need for a Union member to be a resident of the city, something you all agree with...and that the ONLY thing that matters is ability...

Why do YOU think candidates like yourselves should have to reside in the city? Please your words... WHY it is good for the City to have Council members who live here?

Of course you DO have an alternative here, which is to say 'residency is irrelevant'...and that we want only the BEST candidates, wherever they might reside.

Thank you."

UNLIKE 2005, when every questioner got to speak and time allowed for people to ask a second question...

...Thursday night got bogged down in the bullshot of budget, rec center, parking, and a new Public Safety building.

Just TRY to imagine any one of those four guys wrestling to explain precisely why residency makes a better Council member but not a better Cop.

-Livin' The Local Life,
Kyle York

October 17, 2009 at 3:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

andrew,what about scrirroccos performance,alot of you know what i mean,yea you know what i mean,to me he's a good reflection of the so called intelligental effete that support this 40 watt bulb, ya know.I think a better question for the candidates might be:How can a community of 29k sustain itself that has expenses that reflect a community of over 50k.

October 17, 2009 at 9:10 AM 
Blogger Ben lives on said...

One simple question for Kim at the debate .Since two years ago in your last campaign I did not remember you mentioning that you were going to fire your competent long serving{under two administration}deputy with a political hack. Would you state for the record who if elected you would appoint as your deputy and city attorney.

Bet you 2 buck he dodges the question.

October 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM 
Blogger demroc said...

Because it makes absolutely no sense in have 5 council members from clifton park on the council. This wouldn't have anything to do with McTygue's citizenship would it.

October 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM 

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