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New City Council convenes

Some of the more diehard politicos may not know what to do with their time.

Bucking the last council's practice of burning the midnight oil, Mayor Scott Johnson conducted the first meeting of the Saratoga Springs City Council on Wednesday, Jan. 2, quickly, efficiently, and devoid of the drama that has been prevalent in past city council meetings.

Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim's department is the last of the city's five departments to go through its agenda, preceding only the reports from the city's two county supervisors.

I don't think I know how to run my agenda at 7:30, joked Kim.

"Get used to it," Johnson replied.

Department agendas were uncharacteristically small, however, with nothing on the accounts department agenda and only five items on the finance agenda.

Johnson made two appointments to the city's land use boards, appointing Philip Klein to the Saratoga Springs Planning Board. Klein, a former city supervisor, replaces Lou Schneider, whose seven-year term ended on Monday, Dec. 31.

"Thank you Mr. Schneider, your work will not be forgotten," said Johnson, adding that he had offered to re-appoint him, but Schneider had declined. Schneider, 73, is the acting Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee Chairman.

Johnson also appointed Mary Anne Macica to the zoning board of appeals. She replaces Gabe Anderson.

Johnson said Macica has been involved in land use issues and local politics in the past.

The council also adopted Local Law 1 of 2008, which establishes a framework for storm water management, in accordance with state and federal regulations.

The law is the second part of a state-mandated package, the first part of which was passed by the previous council in December. This state-mandated program, known as the Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), is rooted in the Environmental Protection Agency's 1972 Federal Clean Water Act and is currently being administered throughout New York by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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