Friday, September 15, 2006
Charter reform fundraiser in Saratoga Springs
Move Saratoga Forward is having a fundraiser on September 21st at The Inn at Saratoga from 5:30-7:30. Cash bar. Join Us! Please show your support! All donations welcome. What is Move Saratoga Forward? Move Saratoga Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit political action committee. Its mission is to support the charter reform proposal that Mayor Keehn's commission prepares and to help educate city voters so that they will understand – and support – this charter when it appears on the ballot in November 2006. We are Democrats and Republicans working together out of a love for our great city. Our goal is to enhance and modernize the city's government – and the government's ability to address the challenges the city faces. City services – and the quality of those services – will remain unchanged. If anything, they will be improved because of greater government accountability. What will change is the city's ability to address issues such as parking, truck traffic, affordable housing, open space, a recreation center, and cutting red tape.
For more information --- and facts not attacks --- about the charter reform --- go to movesaratogaforward.com.
Most cities in New York changed away from the commissioner form of government 50 or 60 years ago. Today only Saratoga Springs and Mechanicville retain this outdated structure. There are several hidden costs of the commission form of government, including how much the city has spent to defend law suits brought about by such matters as last year's public safety debacle involving Deputy Commissioner Erin Dreyer. The examples of other cities, such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that have made similar transitions, is that this charter will save Saratoga Springs residents money. In 1995 the City’s total operating budget was $16 million. Ten years later – in 2004 – it was over $29 million, up 80%. Today it is over $32 million. Why? There is currently no system of checks and balances to rein in spending. The proposed charter will change this.