Charter change could have negative effects

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion On Nov. 7, residents of Saratoga Springs will vote on a proposed new charter, replacing the century-old mayor-commissioner system with an unelected city manager to run the city.Since 2001, a number of attempts to change the commission form of government have been rejected decisively by the voters. By now, most of the arguments pro and con have become familiar and even hackneyed.The commission form of government has its flaws, to be sure. It can be creaky and cumbersome.The members of the charter review committee are well-intentioned and thoughtful. But they are looking at the proposed new charter through rose-colored glasses. A city manager will not solve all the city’s problems, and it will bring new and unnecessary risks to city government as well.Several excellent ideas from the committee — a much-needed salary increase for the mayor, an annual external audit—could easily be implemented by the current council without requiring a city manager.Eleven members of the charter review committee have voted to propose a change in the charter. But now, the decision is in the hands of the city’s nearly 18,000 voters, as it should be.Think carefully about what we are as a city and what we want to become. Maybe instead of the promised utopia, a charter change will make us a lot more like other, less desirable, places to live.Kenneth KlotzSaratoga Springscenter_img More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more