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Voters to decide on Spa City government change

— Kane said Saratoga Citizen has incurred $115,000 in legal fees over the past two years.

There are three ways to get a charter, according to Kane. One is to have it come from the City Council, the second is from a citizen-based group and the third is to have it originate from a mayoral commission.

“This is the path we took to take the political (aspect) out of the equation,” said Kane.

In order to get the charter on the ballot, the group needed to submit 1,100 signatures (representing 10 percent of voters under the last census). They collected 2,300.

Kane said the council-manager form of government is good for theSpa City because it would bring “far greater efficiency to the day-to-dayoperations of the city.” Electedofficials would hold office for four years, as opposed to the current two-yearterms under commission rule.

While he cast a vote against moving the amendments ahead, Johnson said his concerns were more procedural than pragmatic.

“I have not to date indicated my opinion on whether the form of government should change at all, I have personally stayed away from that. As an incumbent mayor it would be inappropriate,” said Johnson.

“One, there’s no legal precedent established to take this procedure and have the city adopt the measure as its own to put on the ballot. Number two, I think there is a legal remedy available to Saratoga Citizen to pursue without city assistance - that would in essence return them to court to change the dates in the document to eliminate its staleness and then allow it to be placed on the ballot,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said voters may be confused as to what exactly they’ll be voting on since what was adopted is technically a city initiative. While the document itself has been adopted by the city, the contents are from Saratoga Citizen.

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