The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and local candidates are presenting their platforms. Yes, it is election time again in Saratoga County! As the local newspaper of record for the greater Saratoga Springs region, we cover the candidates, we provide them with a platform (in print and online), and we publish ‘Letters to the Editor’ from all sides. Occasionally we also host a debate, but we rarely make political endorsements.
However, after 30 years in the newspaper industry, I have never witnessed a city council in such disarray. From out-of-control meetings to aggressive profanity laced rants in city hall, the current council is an embarrassment to our city. It is an example of dysfunction:
• City council meetings have become so toxic, with epithets and unrestrained belligerence, that a parent would be reluctant to bring their child to a council meeting. Mayor Kim has refused to maintain decorum at council meetings.
• This administration is in chronic violation of the Open Meetings Law undermining Mayor Kim’s claims of transparency. Last June Kim acknowledged that his office was unable to respond in accordance with the state requirements for providing public records on request and since then the backlog of unfilled responses has only gotten worse.
• Emails sent by the mayor criticizing subordinates have included crude and inappropriate language creating a toxic environment that has resulted in the loss of talented city employees.
Because of this, we have decided to make endorsements on two local races in the city of Saratoga Springs. Our endorsements are as follows: Mayor
John Safford: Republican
A Vietnam War veteran, Safford spent his career as a small business entrepreneur. His calm demeanor and concise thought process will bring sanity and clarity to city leadership. Safford will restore mayoral leadership and desperately needed respect to the position.
Tim Coll: One Saratoga
With 30 years in law enforcement, Coll brings a wealth of relevant experience to public safety. A registered Democrat, he will appear on the Republican ballot line and the nonpartisan One Saratoga ballot line. Coll, a former FBI agent, also served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Albany. His depth of experience in all areas of law enforcement, and his fresh take, is exactly what is needed in Saratoga Springs.
Despite Montagnino’s (current Public Safety Commissioner) best intentions, the visceral dislike of him from the city council has nullified his efficacy. With at least 3 of the current 4 remaining commissioners maintaining their position, we need new blood leading Public Safety. Tim Coll is that person.
Public Works: Uncontested