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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, June 27

Mayoral Commission on Charter Change

"Not yet..." Mayor Scott Johnson told me a week or two ago when I asked him if he was going to be making his statement about whether to form a mayoral commission for charter change.

When I asked him about it shortly after Saratoga Citizen's proposal was voted on by the City Council, he was non-committal but said that he would be making a statement about it in the near future (at that point).

If he creates a charter change commission and it comes up with suggestions for change before the November ballot (I think two months before), it will bump the proposed Saratoga Citizen change off.

I previously had thought that would mean voters would weigh-in on the Saratoga Citizen brand of charter change next year, but SC Organizer Pat Kane told me recently that is not the case. He says it means SC charter change goes away (at least until they circulate another petition).

Anyway, I can't imagine that the big announcement will be that he will not be forming a charter change commission, but I've been wrong about these things before. Maybe he just likes to keep us all in suspense.

I'd ask him again today, but I've left him three messages in three days to talk about the SSHA and I haven't heard back.

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Blogger Kyle York said...

Few men would be so arrogant, few politicians would be so foolish... but when they made Scott Johnson they broke the mold.

June 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Rogers NEVER met Scott Johnson.

June 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM 
Anonymous Georgieboy1967 said...

Flip a coin with Mayor Johnson. Heads you lose and tails you lose.

June 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has a boatload od issues to deal with. The charter is just one.
He would be wise to drop his plan

June 27, 2012 at 7:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bed Bugs
Housing authority director salary
9/11 statue
Charter change
Water Front Park
Wreck Center
Building Inspector(s)
Casino Reservations
Bar Hours
115,000,000.00 Million Dollar City debt (Employee benefit)
South Broadway
Borders building vacant
Lillian’s Lot still not sold
City employee contracts
National Grid Contracts
Time Warner Contracts
2% Tax Cap
Water and Sewer infrastructure issues
Outside legal counsel 500,000.00

Why not add on Charter Commission after we spent nearly 75,000.00 fight and losing.

A Mayoral commission will cost another 40,000.00

Who is paying the bills???

June 27, 2012 at 8:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor clearly has lost any sense of direction here.

In the past he was willing to file suits on everyone and anyone.
He has sued Saratoga Springs Civil Service, Saratoga Springs City Employees, Neighborhood groups regarding the Rec Center, and lost in court fitting 2300 Saratoga Springs Citizens regarding Charter Change.
He lost in Supreme Court against Saratoga Citizen and appealed because “it sets a dangerous pressedent” for the rest of the State of NY. What about Saratoga Springs.

June 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City commission government is a form of municipal government which once was common in the United States, but many cities which were formerly governed by commission have since switched to the council-manager form of government.

Proponents of the council-manager form typically consider the city commission form to be the predecessor of, not the alternative to, the council-manager form of government.

In a city commission government, voters elect a small commission, typically, from five to seven members, on a plurality-at-large basis. These commissioners constitute the legislative body of the city and, as a group, are responsible for taxation, appropriations, ordinances, and other general functions. Individual commissioners are assigned responsibility for a specific aspect of municipal affairs, such as public works, finance, or public safety. One commissioner is designated to function as chairman or mayor, but this largely is a procedural, honorific, or ceremonial designation and typically, does not involve additional powers beyond that exercised by the other commissioners. Chairing meetings is the principal role. Such a "mayor" is in many ways similar to the "weak mayor" form of mayor-council government, but without any direct election by the voters, and this role as chair often is passed as a designation among the entire commission members annually, from one to another by nominations from the commission alone.
As such, this form of government blends legislative and executive branch functions in the same body.


This form of government originated in Galveston, Texas as a response to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, mainly for the reason that extra support was needed in certain areas. After its constitutionality was tested and confirmed, this form of government quickly became popular across the state of Texas and spread to other parts of the United States. For this reason, the city commission form of municipal government is sometimes known as the Galveston Plan or the Texas Idea.
Des Moines, Iowa became the first city outside Texas to adopt this form and along with other reforms, its variation become known as the Des Moines Plan.
Portland, Oregon remains the only large city in the United States that still has a city commission form of government. Asherton in Dimmit County is one of the few Texas communities to still use the commission government.
Mechanicsville, Sherrell, & Saratoga Springs, New York also has a commission form of government
The council-manager form of government developed, at least in part, as a response to some perceived limitations of the commission form.
In the council-manager form, the elected council exercises the legislative power of the city and appoints a manager, who possesses the executive power. Thus the executive powers, divided among the commissioners in a commission form, are instead concentrated in the manager, who then delegates responsibility to department heads and other staff members. The council-manager form became the preferred alternative for progressive reform, and after World War I, very few cities adopted the commission form and many cities using the commission plan switched to the council-manager form. Galveston itself changed forms in 1960.
The Council Manger plan is the most widely used form of governemnt in US today.

June 27, 2012 at 8:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's going to take a super city manager to juggle all the issues that Mayor Johnson has and currently juggles.

Based on the deep pockets that Saratogians believe they have, once they get into positions of authority, Saratoga's city manager will be highly compensated.

June 28, 2012 at 7:24 AM 

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