Pledges to serve the city of Saratoga Springs in the best way possible and warnings of difficult yet manageable times ahead were expressed by members of the City Council at the Inauguration Ceremony on New Year's Day. Council members' families, friends and residents packed the City Center for the noon ceremony. Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, were also in attendance.
The only new councilmember to be sworn in was Richard Wirth, commissioner of public safety. He was welcomed by Mayor Scott Johnson and the rest of the council as the new kid on the block and said he looked forward to upholding the responsibilities he was elected to fulfill.
"The city charter states the Commissioner of Public Safety shall be responsible for the protection of city residents and property from crime, fires, hazards, disorder, natural disaster. I accept these responsibilities and intend to fulfill these obligations by every means at my disposal. I'm confident that the brave and dedicated members of the fire, police and public safety departments will be there for you too," said Wirth.
Wirth also promised to find better ways to achieve a balanced budget and said he wanted to work cooperatively with the council to make this happen.
"We cannot continue to balance the city's budget on the backs of taxpayers. We must loik outside the box for new sources of revenue if we're to maintain our position as 'the jewel of Upstate New York.' I pledge to work closely with each and every member of the city council so we can guide the city back on the road to a cost effective and balanced budget," said Wirth. "The council must work as a team to make informed decisions there will be difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions to make but I will make them with the best interest of the city in mind and not of any particular group or special interest."