Updated 10/04/2012 10:36 PM
Forum on Saratoga Springs charter change
A charter change could be coming in Saratoga Springs come November. But before voters head to the polls, they went to Skidmore Thursday evening to learn more about what it would mean for local government. Erin Vannella has more.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Residents met to discuss a potential change in forms of government in Saratoga Springs.
What's being proposed on this November's ballot is a change from the current commission form of government to a council-manager form of government.
Now, voters elect a city council with a mayor and four commissioners to two year terms, one each for finance, public safety, accounts and public works. The commissioners hire deputies to help run city business as needed.
In the proposed plan, a mayor and four city council members are elected to four year terms to handle legislative duties only. Administrative oversight would be left to a new city manager. Deputies would be replaced by four new management positions.
"There's a lot of duplicate efforts, there's a lot of infighting. The council is at odds with each other and it postpones things from getting done. We need to get things done. We need to be more efficient and more effective," said Patrick Kane of SaratogaCitizen.com.
"It takes power away from the elected officials that are directly responsible to the people. It takes power away from the people as a result," former Saratoga Springs mayor Ken Klotz said.
Mayor Scott Johnson has appointed a committee himself to take a look at ways to improve the current form of government.
The charter change issue is on November's ballot and if passed, would go into effect in January 2014.