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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, April 3

Public (Safety) Relations

Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen doesn't like this blog

In particular, he didn't like this post from last month and he told the City Council (and anyone else watching last night's meeting) during their meeting that he was "surprised and disappointed" by it.

The post was about Mathiesen's campaign against the late-night chaos of Caroline Street, which he argues can be mitigated by rolling back last call to 3 a.m. from 4 a.m.

It was a failed effort and I said so. I don't think that's up for dispute. It barely made it out of the City Council and It didn't make it out of the committee at the county level (where any change to last call would ultimately have to be decided).

As I pointed out in the blog post, I thought Mathiesen's campaign to change last call was over until the March 19 City Council meeting when he brought it up again under an agenda item labeled: "Lawlessness after 4 a.m." 

He called me last week upset about the post. He accused me of being in the pockets of Caroline Street businesses ("I know The Saratogian gets a lot of advertising from Caroline Street") and of constantly criticizing his efforts.

First off, he is just plain wrong about that. I haven't received any direction from the publisher or advertising department. 

He also asked (not rhetorically, he waited for an answer) if I actually believed his efforts were hurting tourism in the city.

I responded that those weren't my words, that criticism came from the top three leaders of the city's tourism industry. My opinion doesn't matter.

Last night I made it to the big leagues. In an agenda item, "Late night arrests," seemingly solely dedicated to refuting my blog post, he let his criticism be known publicly. Pointing to my post (and me by name, though I had already left and was watching the webcast while filing my articles from the office) he said it was "sarcastic" and undermining his efforts.

I didn't find the post (which by now you should realize I've been linking to as frequently as possible) sarcastic and I'm certainly not ignoring his arguments. 

As I pointed out last week, my post summarized all of his efforts and quoted him extensively throughout. I'm just writing down what he's done and said.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all know that Lucian and appreciate your fairness,Mr.Mathesian is overwhelmed by it all he had no idea what he was getting into when elected but Finneran did,ya see Lucian it was all about her..she needed a job and a mancharian'em both and now Chris, has Commissioners' remorse,if the Press wasn't around there'd be no Caroline St,stay on him Lucian he's earned the right to be watched....just say'in!

April 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the commissioner can do on his own is direct the police to vigorously enforce existing laws that are ignored, like the one against over serving obviously intoxicated people. Everyone knows this goes on constantly. Read almost any issue of the Saratogian and you will see a report of someone arrested within the vicinity of our drinking district, but there is never a mention of enforcing existing laws on the bars that are being broken.

April 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucian - It is your responsibility to research and report the facts. You are a reporter and not a politician. Keep up the good work. There are several questionable decisions that should be addressed and you are the one who should do it. The city is at a major turning point and there are several opportunites to point out reality vs. each individual Commissioner's personal perspective rather than the Council's perspective. Too many members of the Council working from a personal perspective. keep up the great work.

April 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM 
Blogger Ben lives on said...

5409 utcsnbLucian your an excellent reporter and I'm seen a lot of bad ones.The Saratogian is lucky to have you.

Any time you piss off a politicians just means you're doing your job.

But you already knew that,my comment is directed at your audience

April 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Commisioner is just keeping a campaign promise, unlike many other politicians. Is this a bad thing? Just read the reports over the last year and see the problems. He may not be able to change the law, but at least he keeps trying. I wonder how many of the dwi's are people leaving this area of the city? I do believe in free press and also free speech. Let the sides argue and criticize, it makes good entertainment.

April 4, 2013 at 6:43 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on ,Mathesian is a dentist.He has NO qualifications to be in charge of the Police Dept and Fire Dept.He is way over his head.

April 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait until the final budget numbers which will reflect much lower numbers in ticket revenue vs. previous years and reflect the departmental costs overall. How long do we have to keep police on disablity and pay their HC and pension costs before they are determined to be eligible for SS Disability and relieve the city from the unnecessary burdenr and costs. There must be a time period when this occurs. A wonderful issues to address along with the bogus EMS report where only two people are charged on a daily basis to EMS. The Cheif has set up the commissioner to belive ethese fairy tails. I'm sure you can contact a few individuals in the city that will assist you in reflecting the true costs. Maybe you can find the State Law that the SSFD keeps referring to that addresses why they need to follow an ambulance with a Fire Truck with five FF's to every call. Other cities or towns do no do this. Is the law only applicable to Saratoga Springs. We may have had a mild winter but this is the biggest "snow job" i have ever seen attempted.

April 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy to see that DPW will get a sunstantial amount from the state over last year from CHIPS. The money is sorely needed to address several issues that need immediate attention. Madigan gave all the dollars to Public Safety which is at the highest percentage of the cities total budget in history and DPW was shortchanged. That is directly reflected by her handlers perspective on DPW. Why he continues to take the abuse is remarkable but he has to be given credit for moving forward. When was the last time the public was given an update on sales tax numbers for 2012?? The county has already calculated the cities portion to be given to the city by the County but the public is left in the dark. If that's trasparency I am Santa Claus.

April 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:22pm and that's being polite,Mathesian is bring the City to the point we can no longer afford the Public Saftey Budget,the Fire going to Bankrupt the City,no way can we afford this,property taxes will soon be through the roof NO ESCAPE!

April 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM 
Blogger Lucian said...

There was a comment that involved an accusation of someone being a drunk. I took that part out but have maintained the rest (as I think it makes a good point) of the comment. Please refrain from those kind of personal attacks in the future.

Reply to the commissioner being a dentist, as follows: Rick Wirth(less) ran a private investigation company and had parks and rec experience. His deputy counted toilet paper rolls for corrections department. Before him mcgourty ran a bus garage and was a part time cop 30 years ago. What was lew Benton's experience? To become a doctor and manage a successful office takes a little smarts. (Deleted portion)Sounds like you are a good republican!

April 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:22pm if you mean "Mathesian is bring the City to the point we can no longer afford the Public Saftey', you have no clue what you are talking about. He ran on a platform and won, The last time I checked he has been doing what he said he was going to do. You agreed with another poster that he's a dentist and what does he know? He has brought in quite a bit of money with the in house ambulance change and has tried to tighten the exchange between bars so they can police themselves better so as not to serve someone coming from another bar that had too much to drink. Accirding to a newspaper article, crime is rising in Saratoga Springs and the Police are doing their jobs with less positions that in the past.

12:22 - Using your thinking
Mathesian is a Dentist no qualifications for his position?

Scirocco - a former City animal control officer - not qualified for his position?

Johnson - a former lawyer - not qualified for his position?

Ivins - a computer tech - he was not not qualified for his position?

Wirth - P.I. that had oversight for a recreation Center - not qualified for his position?

Go through the Commissioner's that held office in the last 40 years and name 1 Commissioner that was qualified for the elected position, other than John Franck who as a CPA can use his work experience as a plus.

And Ben lives on - You are right, Lucian is a good reportr, one you could take a lesson or two from. That is directed at you.

April 7, 2013 at 1:34 AM 

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