WNYT.com

Saratoga Springs voters reject change to form of government

Posted at: 11/07/2012 4:28 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 5:42 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The no votes have it.

 
The "no" ballots outnumbered the "yes" tally by about 15-hundred votes.
 
A yes vote would have changed the form of government here from its nearly-century old commissioner form to an appointed city-manager form.
 
A group called Saratoga Citizen won a court fight to get the proposal on the ballot, saying a new government would save taxpayers money.
 
But many, including the mayor, weren't convinced that change is good.
 
Just a couple days before the election, Mayor Scott Johnson announced he was forming a charter review commission to study the issue.
 
Proponents of the change didn't appreciate the mayor's timing.
 
But Johnson said Wednesday afternoon that the timing of his proposal wasn't intended to defeat the charter change at the polls.
 
"I purposely did not do it earlier because it would have been in essence, bouncing this proposal from the ballot, then people would scream 'foul!' said the mayor.  "I wanted the voters to decide, but I wanted them to have the most information possible."
 
The mayor says he expects his charter review commission will recommend tweaks to the current form of government and not wholesale changes. He says the commission will be up and running by the beginning of the year.