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Last call change still heated debate

Ending the party early in Saratoga Springs stole the show yet again at and before the Tuesday, May 4, City Council meeting. Residents and business owners are still at strong in their opinions about changing last call time in the city, a proposal being put forth by Commissioner of Accounts John Franck to help ease the budget gap and save a little money. A large group of people gathered before the meeting to make their opinions heard to the Council and they were mixedmany urged the Council to find another solution and some agreed an earlier night would cut down on what they feel is an increasingly violent area and time.

Youngest speaker Maclaine Matties said she thinks if the bars were forced to close earlier at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m., the St. Paddy's Day hit and run may not have been fatal.

You can get a new job but you can't get someone's life back," said the freshman at Saratoga Springs High School.

In that case, Ryan Rossley, 27, was hit by a car on Henry Street right before 4 a.m. after a fight in which police investigators determined alcohol played a role.

Another resident echoed this sentiment, saying there are many nights when she has had to call police to tame the rowdy partiers walking by her house, screaming curse words and horsing around.

Business owners like John Baker, owner of Gaffney's on Caroline Street, returned to the podium for the second week in a row to let the Council know an earlier last call would be detrimental to business, would cause layoffs at establishments and that what's lost in sales tax would be more than what the Council expects to save within the Public Safety Department. Baker and others said the Council should research other solutions to address their issues.

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