Join us March 29: Public Forum on the proposed charter!

Public Forum to Reveal Highlights, Gather Input on Proposed Spa City Charter

On Wednesday, March 29, the Charter Review Commission will hold a public forum on its proposed new Charter for Saratoga Springs city government, and will welcome public comments on any or all elements of the proposed charter.

The Public Forum will be held in the Community Room of the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Wednesday, March 29, from 7:00-8:30 PM. A presentation will be followed by questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

If the proposed Charter is approved by voters in November, the first election will be in 2019, and the elected officials will take office on January 1, 2020, when the new Charter goes into effect.  

“The March 29 Public Forum is a place for an open exchange of ideas and recommendations as we finalize our Charter,” said Barb Thomas, Commission member. “Citizens have the most important voice in how their government can make Saratoga even better.”

The Charter outlines the structure and rules governing city government. The Commission previously voted to recommend a City Manager-Council form of government to replace the current “Commission” form, that has been in place for over 100 years. The charter referendum will be on the Saratoga Springs ballot in the November general election.

More information: www.saratogacharter.com

Press contacts:

Patrick Kane 518-857-6129

Beth Wurtmann 518-321-4607

Minita Sanghvi  336-210-3258

Saratogian: Charter Review Commission releases draft charter

Charter Review Commission releases draft charter

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> After 10 months of hearing testimonies from current and former city officials, gathering data and hearing from the public, the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission released a draft city charter on Sunday.

The Commission will hold a public forum on Wednesday, March 29 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library Community Room from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The Commission will be making a short presentation on the proposed charter and then open the meeting to feedback from the public on the proposed charter. “We want to hear what the public has to say,” said Commission Chair Bob Turner in the announcement.

The road to this proposed draft has not been without its hiccups. Most recently, the Commission voted to move the charter election to November after hearing criticism over the initial plan for a special election in May.

“We have listened to the general public and elected officials, and they have told us they believe public participation and interest in the charter referendum will be highest in November during the city election,” Turner had said.

Citizens who cannot attend the meeting on March 29 can send their suggestions to the Charter Review Commission via email at saratogaspringscharter@gmail.com.

To view the draft charter, click here.

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission Releases Draft Charter

For Immediate Release, March 26
After 10 months of interviews, hearings, surveys, data gathering, research, and a town meeting, the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission has released a draft of their proposed charter for Saratoga Springs.  The Commission will hold a public forum on Wednesday, March 29 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library Community Room from 7-8:30.  The Commission will be making a short presentation on the proposed charter and then open the meeting to feedback from the public on the proposed charter.  Commission Chair Bob Turner said, “We want to hear what the public has to say.”  Citizens who cannot attend the meeting can send their suggestions to the Charter Review Commission via email at saratogaspringscharter@gmail.com.

 

 

Agenda for March 23, 2017

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission
to meet in the Saratoga Music Hall

7:00 PM    Public Comment

7:15 PM    Discussion of public outreach, public forum on March 29th

8:15 PM    Discussion of remaining charter provisions

  • Supervisors—election: (Method needs to be decided)
  • Budget Provisions
  • Staggered Terms methods of elections for City Council- head to head or top 3
  • Term Limits – lifetime or 12 consecutive, review for clarity and agreement
    Tax Districts? Recitation of Charity, health and schools?
  • Schedule (For transition) Have we addressed adequately the mechanism for the transition, including funding?

9:00 PM     Adjourn

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission Surveys

The Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission created two surveys. One was a candidate emergence survey that examined whether the form of government affects who runs for office. The second was a survey of City Hall employees. Below are copies of the surveys, presentations of the findings, and press releases or op-eds:

Candidate Survey

Survey of Saratoga Springs Potential Candidates
Results of Saratoga Springs Potential Candidate Survey
Press Release

City Hall Survey

Survey of City Hall Employees
Results of City Hall Employee Survey
The View from City Hall
Cooperation and Collaboration in City Hall

Continue reading “Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission Surveys”

Agenda for March 20

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission

to meet in the Saratoga Music Hall

7:00                Public Comment

7:15               Approval of Minutes, March 2 and 6

7:20                Discussion of charter language in Article IV, Finance Provisions

8:10                Discussion of public outreach, public forum on March 29th

9:00                Adjourn

Agenda for March 6

Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission meeting

Monday, March 6

Location: Music Hall

6:00pm          Public Comment

6:15-6:20       Introductory remarks, Bob Turner, Chair and approval of minutes

6:20-9:00       Review, discussion and formulation of language for proposed charter

9:00pm          Adjourn

Charter Commission sets referendum for November General Election

The Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission voted 14-0 on Tuesday night to hold the Charter Referendum on the general election on November 7, 2017 instead of holding a special election on May 30th.

“We have listened to the general public and elected officials, and they have told us they believe public participation and interest in the Charter Referendum will be highest in November during the city election,” said Bob Turner, Chair of the Charter Review Commission. “The Charter Review Commission has worked very hard to review the Charter the right way.  Whether or not our recommendations are approved, our goal is to make the process as open, transparent, inclusive, rigorous and thorough as possible.”

“We plan on using the additional five months to reach out to as many voters, neighborhoods, and groups as possible,” said Beth Wurtmann, Outreach Committee Chair. “We will do our best to ensure that citizens have all the information they need to make an informed decision when they go to the polls on November 7th.”

“We want voter participation to be as robust as possible and for our community to make its decision based on the merits,” said Laura Chodos, Commission member.  “People are interested in what we are doing. This election could have a record turnout that would make us all very proud.”

Commission Vice Chair Pat Kane said, “Our members heard clearly the views of elected officials, the general public and others, that the Special Election option would create undue controversy that would obscure the merits of our proposal.”

The Charter Review Commission is an independent commission consisting of 15 volunteers. Under the current City Charter, the Charter must be reviewed at least every 10 years.  The last review was in 2006. Under NY Municipal law, a proposed charter must be approved by voters in a referendum.