SARATOGA SPRINGS: Memos to council

"To let those who have their own personal agenda run those meetings is not fair to the people," said Director of Public Works Bill McTygue. "She has let the public comment part of these meetings get so out of hand that the normal course of business gets disrupted."

To combat this, Thomas McTygue drafted a memo to his fellow members of the city council proposing the public comment period be moved to the end of the meeting.

"Forcing paid consultants and other city employees to standby and wait to address the legitimate business of the council is both costly and counterproductive," the memo reads.

Keehn said making the public wait until the end of a meeting is unacceptable and has drafted a memo of her own.

"I understand what his point is," said Keehn after receiving McTygue's memo, "but if all of the council members behave themselves responsibly and professionally, we conduct the meetings as they're scheduled. I believe the members of the public need to be heard first, before wading through a three-hour meeting."

Keehn said having the comment period up front is beneficial because oftentimes residents want to comment on something that happened at the previous meeting.

Keehn said she also takes issue with McTygue's assertion that she allows her supporters more freedom at the microphone than other members of the public.

"I try to be fair to anybody who steps up to the mic," she said. "Everybody has the right to come up to the mic. I expect them to be respectful, but any member of the public has the right to question the actions or behavior of a public official. I've sat through public comment periods where people question what I've done, and I don't gavel them down. It's sort of the business model of city government " the customer is always right."

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