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

Tuesday, February 16

FOIL Update & A Primer on the Commission System

Just a note, I received timely notifications of the receipt of two FOIL requests by the city last week, by phone, email, and post.

On a historical note; during my interview with Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Frank Dudla, he gave me a brief introduction to the origins of the city commission form of government.

For those who may not know, the commission system of governance was first established in 1901 in Galveston, Texas. They needed more administrators in more areas to help rebuild after a horrific hurricane leveled most of the city. For those interested, some stunning reportage from the 1900 storm and a commemoration can be found here.

The commission system is still sometimes referred to as the Galveston Plan or the Texas Idea. Dudla noted that some time in the first quarter of the 20th century establishing a commission system became "the thing to do", but that since then most larger cities have opted for an alternate form.

Saratoga Springs has employed the commission system since being established as a city in 1915.


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