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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, January 27

Front Page: Saratoga Citizen to present financial report Monday, state ethics bill being discussed behind closed doors

Good morning! I'll be off starting tomorrow until Tuesday, when the City Council is scheduled to meet beginning at 6:50 p.m. for the firetruck hearing.

A few notes I didn't manage to get in yesterday; I keep getting calls about Saratoga Citizen's New York State Board of Elections disclosure form being late, despite my earlier post explaining that they are late to file and are reportedly working on it.

I spoke with group organizer Pat Kane yesterday. He said he would be completing the report last night and submitting it to the state, so we can look for that on the NYS BOE site sometime next week.

Kane also confirmed that the group has scheduled a presentation at Saratoga Springs Public Library for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, to reveal the financial information requested by Mayor Scott Johnson during his State of the City Address. An official release on the meeting is pending and will likely be sent today.

Also, I heard from Rep. Chris Gibson's communication director Stephanie Valle, who called to ask who Gibson was speaking to during the State of the Union as President Obama was discussing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Screen cap from the YouTube video shown below:

Valle said the Rep to Gibson's right is Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell, who represents Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where Gibson spent time stationed during his military career. No word on what was being said during the applause, but it's interesting to see that Gibson was in on the speech's bi-partisan seating arrangement.

in the headlines this morning; The city Planning Board gave a positive advisory opinion to the City Council in the case of a planned land swap between Saratoga Golf and Polo Club and Saratoga Hospital. They started discussion on the Lillian's Lot too late for coverage. [Srtgn]

In Albany, an ethics overhaul is being discussed, in secret (oh, the irony). [LoHud]

State Senate Democrats and the four member Independent Democratic Conference are already engaged in a war of words over spending. [DN/DP]

Good government advocates are calling for Gov. Cuomo to look at tax increases to balance the budget. [TU/CapCon]


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Reference is made to your story on the additional $200,000 needed to totally remediate the environmental damage at the DPW garage.

The agenda for the City Council meeting that you report included an executive session on this matter does not reference an executive session or any proposed vote.

Perhaps you could run all this by Bob Freeman.

As you know, Johnson includes language at the top of essentially every agenda that refernces a litany of matters that are often discussed in executive session, but in so doing he violates the Open Meetings Law. The OML requires a nore specific reference, for instance something like this: Proposed executive session to discuss status of DEC Consent Order.

Of course NO votes o appropriate or spend money can be taken in executive session.

Did the Council come out of executive session, reference what was discussed and then vote to hire the consulting engineer or was all of that done behind closed doors.

Way back when the may took the Council into executive session and actually voted on appropriating money to pay the DEC imposed fine. That, of course, was patently illegal.

The mayor accuses those in favor of charter reform of playing 'hide and seek' but it is he who has been playing this game for over three years now and it is costing us dearly.

January 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick - Has the submission of documents of Saratoga Citizen been filed to dat. This is not an issue to be taken lightly. After 18 months of work a simple document cannot be filed on time. That's the real story. This group has been attacking professionalism from Day One and can't complete a simple task. Leaves several questions to be answered!!!

January 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick - I would follow up on the erroneous statement made concerning executive session for the facts. Appears Lulu having a memlry problem and is at it again.

January 27, 2011 at 5:20 PM 
Blogger Patrick H. Donges, City Desk said...

After an executive session on Jan. 18, the council voted unanimously to approve a contract with Barton & Loguidice for, "additional services for compliance to the DEC consent order," proposed by Commissioner Scirocco. A recording of that vote can be seen on the city's website, and I will post a link to the video page in my next post.

January 27, 2011 at 5:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Patrick for getting the job done. There are some very bitter people out there who spend day and night just looking for something to take a shot a the Council with. Only problem they never deal with reality or facts.the rhetoric needs to stop. You would think we're in nursery school at times!!

January 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM 

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