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Thursday, January 27

Saratoga Citizen will present financial analysis, council not likely to attend

The following is correspondence between Mayor Scott Johnson and Saratoga Citizen organizer Pat Kane regarding the meeting scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 31 at Saratoga Springs Public Library for the presentation of the group's fiscal analysis. After reading this and speaking to council members today, I am pretty sure the council will not be appearing at said meeting.

Look for an upcoming story on this issue set to be published this weekend.

Letter to Saratoga Citizen 1-24-11

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Monday January 31st at 7:00
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 10:28:16-0500
From: Patrick Kane
To:'Scott Johnson',
CC: Brent Wilkes

Scott Johnson


Saratoga Springs NY

Mr. Johnson,

Per your request, Saratoga Citizen Inc. will be presenting a fiscal note presentation to the council on Monday January 31st at 7:00 PM at The Saratoga Springs Public Library

Please join us in The Community Room on Monday evening.

I am traveling this week, so please contact me via cell phone listed below if I can be of help.

Thank you

Pat Kane

Letter to Saratoga Citizen 1-26-2011

Also, there was some question about when the vote occurred to approve the contract with Barton & Loguidice for design and installation of new gas pumps at the DPW garage. Video of the vote is posted at the city's website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is an example of how a professional group works it is scary. The Mayor requested a financial be delievered to the Council by 1/31/11. The response is an invitiation to the library to the Council where they have a stacked deck waiting for them. Petty politics at best.

January 27, 2011 at 7:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the Mayor and Council are side steping a legal ruling here and will have to spend more money or at least be held in contempt of court. The judge ruled that the financials need not be presented to put this on the ballot. By law after that happens the public would then debate, get costs for the change and a projected budget using Mr. Ivins financials (if they quit changing)adding another close to $1,000,000.00 just since Jan. 1, 2011. The financials were to be presented at a public hearing on Monday Jan. 31st. The Mayor has indicated that the Council has the right to agree or deny, which by state llaw there is no right given to the local body.

January 27, 2011 at 11:52 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What else is to be expected from someone who works for a big corporation that has poluted 3/4 of the planet?

January 28, 2011 at 7:53 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is all the fuss about the financials anyway? It's not like they are presented one day and the vote will be taken the next day. Providing yje figures will only satisfy those who want to know them and don't care about the process. The proposal if found legally to be placed on the ballot ( a judge and NY State have ruled so) then so be it. The financials should then be released and a healthy discussion, debate period and city officials using this proposed form present their views on how the manager form helped or hurt their City. Why the rush for financials when that doesn't even guaantee a spot on the ballot by this mayor and Council. If a group wasnted to put a socialist form of government on the ballot and followed rules of law would the Mayor stop the proceedings because he felt it shouldn't be done? I think the citizans could make up their own minds and should be trusted to do so.

January 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Kane's curt comment and his disrespectful manner used to address his memo to the Mayor is a strong indicator of his arrogance which has been apparent throughout his one man campaign against our Mayor and our system of government. Not only has he insulted our elected representatives,he has succeeded in insulting all city residents with his condescending invitation to attend HIS meeting at the public library during which time HE will reveal the cost of HIS proposal to HIS loyal followers. One can conclude if this is an example of proper conduct exhibited by Kane and HIS cohorts then what could we expect should they be successful in foisting this bogus and suspect proposal on our city? Unfettered ambition coupled with arrogance is a dangerous combination. Diligence is the price we pay to protect democracy. Caveat Emptor!

January 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish this group "saratoga citizens" would Micro manage the GE the way they are Micro manageing the city of saratoga springs,I'm sure the Green people would like that.

January 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy it seems this exiled gov't runned by pat caine hasn't got much respect for the very popular Scott Johnson, Is pat caine the first mayor of saratoga springs who was never elected- but serves in the capacity anyways?

January 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see where Pat Kane's reply to Mayor Johnson was disrespectful, just answering the Mayor who had no business demanding in that tone of his to put up or else. The campaign was won in court by Saratoga Citizen, something you would hope our unpopular Mayor would know about. Now it's all about stalling the process, something the Council has done since July. Caveat Emptor is a business term not a political one. In a democracy, the people still rule and can do so at the polls not to be decided by a goateed emperor. And people it's not just Pat Kane. He is one of 3 or 4 group leaders and 30 committee members along with about 2,900 petition signers (yes we still have people wanting to sign)all Saratoga Springs voters.

January 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM 
Blogger Speaking-of-Saratoga said...

It is the right of all citizens to spell as horribly as they wish.

It is the right of council members to do as they choose on any given Monday evening.

Just as elected leaders shall always be free to express indifference or arrogance, so shall voters have an inalienable right to ignorance.

But the most valued right of a democratic people is the procedure that allows citizens to propose change to their form of government, where the courts are trusted to ensure that all proposals meet strict legal standards. The Court has ruled the proposal from “Saratoga Citizen” satisfies every standard, and must now be rightfully placed on the ballot.

Monday night’s presentation by “Saratoga Citizen” is an opportunity to absorb, to question, to learn names, or to stay at home. Freedom is a right to be practiced daily.

But there is NO right for the current council to ignore the law. They need only obey their oaths and do nothing that restricts the citizens’ right to vote for or against the proposed change. When that vote comes, every member of the council retains the powerful right to cast a ballot for or against change. Or they can stay home.

Respect the law, decide by the ballot, and lead with dignity. By their every action, let the current council do “the right thing.” For now, let them focus their energies and resources on the challenges that demand no less than their full attention.

-Kyle York

January 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mayor I guess speaks for the entire council now.
I guess we bypassed the elctions and went right o the dictator model.

January 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the charter group deserves to present their findings. This is a perfectly normal request.
Once again the current city council behaves in a manner that make us agree that changes need to be made.

Rock on Charter Group!!!

January 28, 2011 at 8:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Nolan was clear....City Council lives under a rock.

Time to flip the rock

January 28, 2011 at 8:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Popular Mayor Scott Johnson?????
What city are you speaking about?

Not our Scott The Arrogant One!

January 28, 2011 at 9:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor Scott Johnson was and probably will be elected Mayor again..key words elected and majority,now it's 2900 names one more article you'll have 5,000 names,judge nolan gave you a political decision like it or not,the people do rule but in this case it won't be the minority,cavet emptor(let the buyer beware) is very appropiate in this case seeing how it involves SNAKE OIL and alot of it. Kyle cite me the law the council is breaking,please stop preying and spewing out misrepresentations and untruths to the gullible

January 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This saratoga citizen group is late in their filing of their financial disclosure forms with the new york state election board...WHY---and they criticize and sue the city? These people are novices,for gods"sake wake up.

January 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the no nothings' who think this can't be stopped----the Council does have the means...-,- even in spite of Judge Kyle and HE knows it,Good-bye.

January 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law the mayor and Council are breaking is the Municipal Home Rule Law. The judged also ruled on this. The law states that if signatures are valid the Mayor must (a) agree to let the proposition on the ballot or (2) If it is denied twice by the Council it automatically goes on the ballot. It seems the mayor (an attorney) knows this and is intentionally delaying and breaking the law. Yes there is something else the Mayor can do (a commission) and the cost of one will be around $40,000.00 or more. But think about it, if he appoints one now with all the money he has spent and the indifference to quite a few citizens, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes come Nov. if he runs again, no matter how much money of his he spends.

January 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 207

I find your comment "To the no nothings' who think this can't be stopped----the Council does have the means" very disturbing. Do we live in North Korea? China? Iran?...No..We live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Where "WE THE PEOPLE" are in control. Not the City Counsel. I don't know where I stand on changing the form of government, I'm still trying to educate myself in order to make an informed decission. But it seems growingly clear, that the counsel is trying to railroad the process. Men and Women have fought and died to protect our rights to publicly debate, to agree or disagree, to protest for or against, and to VOTE!!! Every voice should be heard and the process should move forward. As citizens of the Unitied States, we shall except nothing less.

January 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was the Mayor I would announce he is forming a mayoral Commission to consider charter change at Tuesday's Council Meeting and put this issue to bed. The city is running out of tissues.

January 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 5:35. If the Mayor appoints a Commission now he would be the laughing stock of the area if not the State. In delaying and going against a judge's decision to further his own agenda he would be adding to the decline of Saratoga. This Mayor and Council have spent a large sum of money on outside attorneys and who knows how many man hours of city hall employees time to derail this legal process. If he puts a commission in place now it will cost at least $41,000.00 (the budget for the 2000 commission)or more of taxpayers money. Would that be a responsible thing to do? I think you are right we are running out of tissues as the Mayor and Council have been sweating this out since the process started. They either don't want to give up their power or there are somethings they don't wish Saratogian's to know. This government is as non transparent as one could be. Back door votes and politics should not be tolerated by the citizens.

January 30, 2011 at 11:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one have educated myself on this issue and the purest form of democracy between the comm. form and the city manager form(which I've lived under) is by far The Commission Form. Hats'off thou to this group who are trying to sell the public this pig in a poke,you''l lose in a number of ways if you go to THE CITY_MANAGER STYLE,First and LASTLY it'll cost more,if you think this gov't is to expensive? Be prepared to DIG deeper, increase (nation wide) under city manager over 12%,Our tax increase (under the commission form) was 4.5%,doesn't sound to bad to me.

January 31, 2011 at 5:36 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that a 9% increase in taxes (based on Finance Comm. figures per thousand) if you factor in the new fire truck and the fine and new gas pumps the city has no money for. This will have to be paid somehow, and your 12% is off the mark. Visit the IMCA site for some good info. If we continue upping the tax rate at 4-5 and we park in place where we are now, how is the City going to stay perky and alive? There won't be anyone working for the City, more equipment will be breaking down and underground infrastructure which is held in most areas by band aids now will cost a fortune if something big happens. Yes this form of government has positioned us well for the future.

January 31, 2011 at 2:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 12% is probably're right.we should probably bring back the horse drawn pumpers,here's one for you....Why do RPI and UNION colleges pay there host cities a service fee every year and SKIDMORE COLLEGE pays nothing? WHY is THAT? WILL Somebody please wake up,it's a justifiable source of revenue for the City!!!

February 1, 2011 at 5:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mayor's second letter is really poorly written. Kane is not submitting a financial note to the mayor "on behalf on the City Council." We are sure the mayor intended to say that the requested info could be submitted to him (the mayor) and he would distribute copies to the other members of the Council.

And why Boycott the meeting in at the Library. Hiding behind some crazy assertion that the Councii's presence would somehow violate the Open Meeting Law is just whacky and we are happy to read that Bob Freeman set the record straight on this issue.

Why not debate this matter on the issues instead of playing silly games.

On a final and unrelated note, we see the City Attorney reporting to work on Monday at 3:20. We have to be here at 9:00 AM. No wonder these people love this form of government. It allows them to come and go as they please.

February 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of hard to debate with NO numbers,fact is; like it or not the public supports Mayor Johnson and the rest of the council..look! val keehan and her chaos is not coming back despite the work of her hetchmen.

February 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you place the $550,000 in the Capital Budget it will increase the taxes to 9%. Bonds are payed over a period of time not a immediate effect on the budget. The fire truck well after the 2011 Capiatal Budget vote. The DEC is something DPW and the City Engineer has known about for a period of time. This could have brought up earlier but the Council was not aware of the time frame therefore they could not react. So DPW get a street vacuum in the 2011 Capital Budget and a bonus of $230,000 because the information was not communicated to the Council. Great if you can get away with it. Either way there is no choice. I'm positive the deadline by DEC was sent on a timely basis. If not the document should be presented to the council as to date requested and date received.

February 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comments from last nights PUBLIC meeting at The PUBLIC Library
From 2/1 Saratogian
"Wilkes also said that Saratoga Citizen believes the potential savings for the city lie in long-term improvements to efficiency and streamlining of services. With a professional in charge who would oversee all of the departments in the city, Wilkes said there would be a reduction in the duplication of services and a professional at the helm with experience and education on how to manage a city."

He went on to state that it is difficult to put an exact dollar figure on improvements that have not been identified as of yet.
“Over time, we feel there will be significant savings.”

I am completly confident in these efforts and will be ready to vote ASAP or whenever the council gets around to it.

February 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the $40,000 number could be cut in half easily to form a Mayoral Commission and well worth the invesntment. I can easily think of at least 12 people who are readily prepared to make meaning ful input a to recommended chnage that would save substantial dollars. How many of the Saratoga Citizen group have been consistently active with government and know where the waste and inequities exist. The answer is very few. Several complain about process but process can be changed in 30 minutes. Several compain about the projected revenue at the new Recreation Center but the potential hasn't had the time even to been fully explored. Get the operation down 1`00%, market it to so many potential users and watch this cash cow come together. Too many are working so hard to place a barrier to success that they have lost the vision to make this or even an improved government successful. Put the ACES IN THEIR PLACES and IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!

February 4, 2011 at 7:08 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will cost a minimum of $600,000 to operate this form of government when put into place with primarily union department heads. The transition might be around $300,000That is at current costs and considering the new positions cretaed in Public Works, the total City Manager's Dept. which isn't relected anywhere and the backfilling of postions not to include additional administrative and budget postions in both Public Safety Department. Any one who understands the total process can come up with these numbers in 30 minutes. If this comes to a vote there will be one major debate pver costs and the smopke and mirrors will disappear. No contract brings us down a level or two of possible candidate. Who in their right mind would relocate a family which the city will pay for with the risk that five politicians could fire him/her in 6 months. just Insane. That's when the takeover will occur!!

February 5, 2011 at 12:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cotrPatrick - Any update as to Saratoga Citizen presenting their financial listing including contributors to their $100,000 legal bills and fund to the NYS Board of Elections. Seems like time is ticking past the 5 days and not a peep has been made public. Needs some follow up. Maybe the Saratogain should put it next to the 53 days since NYCOTB closed.

February 5, 2011 at 7:17 PM 

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