Keehn defended her position of relying on VLT money for the duration of a proposed 30-year bond for the public safety building. Boyd and Johnson called the revenue unreliable, as it is dependent on state approval and may be subject to a poverty test. Keehn said she did not believe the law regarding VLT money was more at risk of change than any other law.
Boyd challenged Keehn on the doubling of the city's bond limit at a time when, Boyd said, the city was otherwise occupied with Keehn's efforts to change the city's charter.
Keehn said the bond increase had absolutely nothing to do with charter reform and said the city didn't have time to go forward with permissive referendum, which would have allowed the public to petition the bond increase.
Johnson leapt at this.
"The issue here isn't raising the bond limit from 1 to 2 percent. The issue is a very basic one, and that of open government," he said. "Open government " what does that mean to you? Does it mean increasing your debt limit two-fold without referendum? Is that good government? Is that good leadership? This is open government in name only."
Johnson said that although he's a Republican, he is not an advocate of drawing water from the Hudson River, a plan supported by county Republicans. He did say, however, that the city should be fiscally responsible and not throw "good money after bad" by investing more than $13 million using Saratoga Lake as a water source.
Keehn said she has always supported the lake plan but has been open to all sides of the issue.
Boyd is in favor of the Saratoga Lake plan.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The mayor of Saratoga Springs receives an annual salary of $14,500. ""