New Public Safety Commissioner for the City of Saratoga,Christian Mathiesen, after he was sworn into office.
Photo by Marcy Velte.
continued “I will tell you I spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people who are concerned with what occurs at night in the City of Saratoga,” he said. “This is not something that should occur in the city. It’s becoming a dangerous atmosphere.”
Mathiesen said he does not feel 4 a.m. is a viable closing time for the city’s bars and would like to propose an earlier last call, even though a similar proposal did not pass the council last year.
“There are a number of counties and municipalities in the state that close earlier than 4 a.m. and I think that’s the first step,” he said. “I would start with 3 a.m. and I would also turn to the owners of the bars and clubs to see if we can tone things down and have them take more responsibility for what happens in their establishments. If they can’t do that, then we would move it back further to 2 a.m.”
Mathiesen said another important issue was the matter of ambulance service within the city. Saratoga Mercy Corp. is going out of business within the year and a replacement will need to be found as soon as possible. Given the situation, he said the mayor has been talking to for-profit companies and the plan is to talk with the fire chief about his recommendations, and they will eventually be asking for feedback from the public.
Madigan said she plans to make the City’s financial process more understandable for residents.
“I’m hoping to provide very accurate accounting for the citizens of Saratoga Springs. I would like to put more clear and concise information out so they can understand the budget and what we spend our money on,” she said.
Madigan said right now the budget is 250 pages and she is sure it will stay that long, but she would like to have a clear synopsis for the residents to understand where the money goes and provide more of that information online.
The mayor said he is optimistic about the new council and the economy is still the main concern for the city.
“You will always have some difference on any council. We had difference on the other council even though it was a Republican majority, so to me it’s not really an issue of party label, but just dealing with each issue individually,” he said. “With a fresh look from two of the departments, maybe new innovative things can be done to achieve our goals.”