Charter ‘push campaign’ insults voters’ intelligence
The Charter Review Committee suggests that their proposal is a remedy of all of the city ills that they routinely diagnose and imagine while ignoring the delicate and crucial operations of our city government. The Committee’s cavalier prognostication is an affront to the intelligence of all Saratoga Springs residents. In their two-year report, and with continued comic characterizations of silos and dragons as if to hook an indifferent and unintelligent public, this group ignores many critical city functions as “superfluous” while providing unverified, flimsy financial projections.
The misleading pamphlet – unapproved by the City Council – that was mailed to residents under the city’s seal, is arguably a dubious document that provides nothing more than an outline with little real data to support its wishful claims while repeatedly implying that our elected Commissioners are unworthy of their offices. Since another select group of people will be assigned to determine the details after the election, we are really being asked to vote for “a pig in a poke” in November. One may choose to gamble at the Race Course, but “buying” this “pig” – sight unseen and based on little more than the hubris of its protagonists – requires far more than wishful thinking and promises by those with little at risk.
Ask yourselves: How much do you know about our present successful form of government? Contrary to the critics, we are a most successful community, the envy of most cities its size and our accountable government is part of that success. We have a very engaged electorate that cares; our present form of government has been and is most responsive to them. A manager-council on the other hand, thrives on low level of engagement with the “professional” management of the city under the control of a majority vote of a Council rather than the direct vote of the people in the form of a mayoral and elected executive council.
Can the proponents for Charter Change assure the public that somehow this change will bring even greater prosperity or even that it will not become more expensive and less responsive? I prefer to elect my own officials, and I support them or vote them out if they fail to address the needs of the community; this is direct representation and simple democracy. This recent mailing does not educate the public; it is clearly a “push campaign” for “change” that will cost taxpayers more for less accountability. Jim Martinez Saratoga Springs