The Saratoga Springs 2020 Charter Reform proposal is a pro-active measure that provides accountability, representation and transparency within city government. The hallmarks of the proposal are:
- Replacing the Commissioner form of government the City presently has with a a ward-based system which will provide direct representation to Saratoga Springs’ diverse neighborhoods. Six wards are being proposed that will provide the initial class of new city councilmembers. Click here to see the proposed ward map. Once the census is done, the new city council will revisit the wards to see if they need to be redrawn to enhance local representation.
- Strengthening the city-wide elected Mayor by making it a more robust and forward-thinking position. The Mayor will lead the City on policy initiatives and budgeting. The Mayor will be the City’s ambassador—in inter-governmental relations as well as being its chief spokesperson. The Mayor will also sit on the City Council, as the position does now.
- Hiring a professional city manager to oversee the day to day operations of the City. The City Manager is hired and fired by the Mayor and City Council. The City Manager answers directly to the Mayor and City Council while the department heads answer to the City Manager.
These changes will create a municipal government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials—Mayor and City Council–with the strong managerial experience of an appointed City Manager.
Let’s not fall prey to the fear mongering of those who are against Charter Reform are peddling.
The proposal is anything but a skeleton plan–it is a thoroughly vetted proposal that provides Saratoga Springs with a municipal government that reflects the dynamic city we live in. It’s time for neighborhoods to be represented, for taxpayers to invest in professional city management and for the Mayor to truly lead on important policy initiatives.