[JK: This article was originally posted about a week ago. It has been updated with additional information]
I had heard that the recently resigned chair of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee, Pat Tuz, had been cited for violating city code and state and federal environmental regulations.
I wrote to Ms. Tuz inquiring about the allegation and received this response.
They have been out here. We are waiting to hear their report. I think we put some stone below the water line on the lake.
There’s no story there John and please nothing about my personal life.
Pat TuzMarch 31, 2023
My first response was to honor her request. If what she stated were true, then it seemed like a minor violation that did not deserve posting.
However, I made some inquiries and acquired documents that indicate a far different story from what Tuz told me.
Apparently, Ms. Tuz and her husband, Jon Weilbaker, built a driveway on property they own on Saratoga Lake. Their property has a steep slope, so their clearing of the land and the gravel they laid down for the driveway created an environmental threat of runoff into Saratoga Lake. Their actions involved violations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Saratoga Springs land use codes. In addition, they disturbed some wetlands.
The following documents from New York State and the city make for interesting reading describing multiple infractions and the required remediation.
On page one of the following New York State Department of Environment violation notice, Tuz’s husband tries unsuccessfully to convince the DEC investigator that the driveway was not meant for vehicles but was simply a path to the lake. The rest of the document cites numerous problems and what remediation will be required.
Here is the notice sent to Ms. Tuz and her husband John Weilbaker by the city on March 13 informing them of multiple violations of city codes including their failure to obtain the required permits for the work they had done. The city ordered them to immediately cease work on the property until they had obtained the proper approvals from the city Zoning/Planning Department.
It’s Always The Coverup
I do not think it is unfair to characterize Ms. Tuz’s email to me as grossly inaccurate and misleading. “We put some stone below the waterline” does not accurately describe why the state and city were unhappy with what she and her husband had done.
Interestingly, Ms. Tuz is on the board of the Saratoga Lake Association (SLA).
According to the SLA website:
“The Saratoga Lake Association is a not-for-profit organization. Its purposes are to promote and enhance the health, safety, sanitation, ecology, recreation and environmental quality of the Saratoga Lake area through education, charitable contributions and environmental action.”SLA