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Letter: Saratoga Springs’ commission-style government reason for city’s success

Editor, The Spotlight:

Saratoga Springs is a wonderful and successful community according to repeated praise in national and even international media.

Saratoga Springs received positive coverage just this year from Travel+Leisure Magazine, Livability.com, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, and ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC, The New York Times and additional publications.

The head of the prestigious national American Planning Association added more praise in presenting the city another award for having one of the 10 Best downtown streets in America. To quote: “Forward thinking and planning” and “thanks to the efforts of city leaders, business owners and residents.”

Other proof our city is doing well:

First, I see the recently proposed 2014 city budget will result in a minor tax decrease, yes decrease, while increasing staffing and services.

Second, under Saratoga’s own Commission form of government, we’ve been able to both tighten our belt and provide the desired and necessary services while rebuilding our reserves to protect the city from any future national economic downturns.

Therefore, I don’t understand why the proposal has been made to change us to the City Manager form of government. This is a radically different approach to governing that is less democratic and has resulted in significantly poorer results throughout upstate New York.

Just a question: Is there another city in upstate New York you’d prefer to live in? I can’t think of one. And I give a good portion of the credit for the city’s achievements to our Commission form of city government and its special mix of transparency, accountability, and responsibility that let’s us keep the politicians who are working successfully for us and throw the “bums” out quickly.

Let’s protect our city by voting no to the charter change proposal on the November ballot.

Richard Sellers

Saratoga Springs

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