On Nov. 7, I will be voting “yes” on charter change for the city of Saratoga Springs, and I hope you will too. For me, it’s all about the quality of our democracy.
Under our old system, elected commissioners must be both lawmakers and administrators, all on a part-time salary. This narrows the field of potential candidates to a small club. Few people with full-time jobs or young families can afford to run. No wonder three of the five city offices are uncontested in this year’s election.
If we adopt the new charter, these responsibilities will be separated. Administration will be done by a professional city manager who is chosen by a city board of seven dedicated lawmakers. These dedicated lawmakers will then be free to focus on the important decisions about our city’s future.
Many cities before us have made this change and proven that the new charter will increase the number of talented citizens, from many different walks-of-life, willing and able to stand for office. Our elections will be competitive and Saratogians will have the healthy democracy we deserve.
The potential of our city is incredible, and by improving the quality of our democracy, we directly unleash the source of that potential: our people.