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.