Posted at: 11/04/2013 4:35 PM
Updated at: 11/04/2013 6:13 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS - The candidates for mayor of this city are touting their City Hall experience.
"I have the experience, I have the knowledge, I have the will," said Shauna Sutton, who has the Republican and Conservative lines on Tuesday's ballot.
"I am so committed to this community and to the people of this city," said Joanne Yepsen, whose name appears on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines.
Both candidates for Spa City mayor are passionate.
The 54-year-old Yepsen, a county supervisor for 8 years, and 57-year-old Shauna Sutton, a Republican deputy mayor for 6 years, both say they have exactly the experience this city needs.
"I have a wealth of information and knowledge," said Sutton.
Yepsen counters that she's the only candidate with real experience.
"My opponent is very confused. First of all, she has no idea what it's like to be accountable to 27,000 people. She is appointed," said Yepsen. "She is a political appointment and she's been accountable to one person for 6 years."
The two also disagree on one of the biggest issues facing city residents: Proposition One and the possibility that the community will get a full-fledged casino if New Yorkers vote to change the constitution.
Though neither candidate comes right out and says if they're voting yes or no.
"Quite frankly, I'm not taking a position," said Sutton.
"I will not be enthusiastically voting for this amendment. Only because there are many issues that have been unresolved yet," Yepsen said.
Sutton says if it passes, Saratoga should be one of the sites selected.
"We have to probably site that here. We don't want to have competition elsewhere."
"So we don't want to become a casino town."
The two candidates clashed this weekend over a mailer sent out by county Democrats. It accuses Sutton of double dipping in her role as deputy mayor and as a trustee with the city-supported Greenridge Cemetery.
"She isn't being completely honest with the public and I think that that's an unfortunate situation," said Yepsen last week.
Sutton said the attack piece showed her opponent's "true colors" and said there's no place for negative politics in this campaign. "It's dead wrong. It shouldn't be going on. She should be ashamed of herself and that's what I would say to her."
A group called Fair Campaign Practices of the Capital Region ruled that the mailer was an unfair campaign practice. But Saratoga County Democrats are reportedly saying the ruling was unfair because they weren't allowed to be heard on the matter.
Party affiliation doesn't carry the weight it once did in this city. Republicans now outnumber Democrats by just 634 registered voters.