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Saratoga Springs City Council comes together, says goodbye

Saratoga Springs City Council may have seen its fair share of bickering and disagreement, but with no major budget items on the agenda for the final meeting of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 15, its members took the time to put aside their differences and say their farewells to Commissioner of Public Safety Ron Kim. Kim will not return to the position he has held for the past four years. He is the only council member that will not return.

I do want to officially recognize Ron Kim and his contributions to our community over the past four years, said Mayor Scott Johnson.

Commissioner of Accounts John Franck recalled his first encounter with Kim"likening it to a wrestling match"which was at a meeting to endorse Democratic candidates for the city elections in 2005, the year both joined the council.

"Ron has been like a brother. We have fought like brothers but I will miss seeing him at the end of the table"it's the only thing I'm used to," said Commissioner of Accounts John Franck, who recalled his first encounter with Kim and compared it to a wrestling match. It was at a meeting to endorse Democratic candidates for the city elections in 2005, the year both joined the council.

Republican Richard Wirth will step into Kim's shoes come January.

Commissioner of Finance Ken Ivins pulled the scheduled discussion of a resolution to authorize the layoff of 27 city employees from the agenda, saying the language was not yet finalized and the verbiage not where he wanted it. It is being determined if such a resolution will be required by the city's labor contracts.

Perhaps the largest item presented at Tuesday's meeting was a presentation by the not-for-profit group, Friends of Recreation, that is in the midst of fundraising efforts to equip the city's indoor recreation center being constructed on Vanderbilt Avenue.

A member of the group, Brian Hollowood, said that the group has yet to hold any major fundraising events or call for donations but has already raised $60,000 toward the estimated amount of expenses, which is between $260,000 and $300,000. Hollowood said the group was formed by people who were concerned that there would not be sufficient funds to appropriately fill the rec center and encouraged new members to get involved.

The City Council will reconvene on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

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