New Leadership

Dear Friend,

As volunteers and longtime contributors to the social and economic fabric of this city, the Saratoga PAC Board of Directors are proud to be part of the debate on issues critical to its success and those who represent the community.  Now, with Election Day upon us, it is time to move forward together to get the work done.


  • It is time for a civil council that works together and is focused on getting things done, not grand-standing or posturing.
  • We’ve heard about infrastructure and quality of life priorities of fellow Saratoga residents; it’s time to focus on moving forward together to deliver solutions.
  • There are balanced ways to keep Saratoga vibrant – attracting visitors and job opportunities alike – to keep it a great place to live for people of diverse income and backgrounds.
  • We need to reinvest in public infrastructure and safety, and support private investment that builds the competitive economic base to support the arts and social services we value to help those in need and preserve our quality of life.

Tomorrow, the polls in our great city will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We did a comparison of what 1,100+ local residents told us are the priorities our city’s leaders should address and what the candidates said about these issues. From this comparison, we’re urging local citizens to vote for the following bipartisan slate of leaders:

John Safford for Mayor

Bill McTygue for Public Works Commissioner

Rick Wirth for Public Safety Commissioner

Michele Madigan for Finance Commissioner

And John Franck for Commissioner of Accounts.

We will remain engaged in soliciting input from residents and forming positions on key issues after this election. We look forward to being part of the discussion to address the critical infrastructure, safety and economic development needs of our community with all the Council members. We thank you for your involvement and engagement and we hope to see you at the polls tomorrow!

Thank You

Saratoga PAC

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Professionals for Saratoga

John Safford – Ready to Lead on Day 1

Proven Leader, Not a Politician

John Safford is a US Army Veteran and 30 year small business owner managing payroll, employees, delivering IT solutions to municipalities and management services to homeowner associations.

John Safford will be transparent with the public and enforce open meeting rules to end dysfunctional Council meetings and bickering that disrupts our City business.

Problem Solver

John Safford will focus on our safety by working the Public Safety Commissioner, nonprofit and social service agencies to help the homeless, and deliver better lighting and foot patrols to improve security of residents and visitors.

John Safford will prioritize parking to ensure access for residents and visitors to downtown businesses.

Supports Smart Growth

John Safford will pursue a balanced economic agenda that respects experts’ planning recommendations and availability of open space and trails.

John Safford will improve city responsiveness to entrepreneurs to help job creation that retains and attracts young people.

John Safford respects affordable options for working people in our diverse economy to ensure a vibrant Saratoga.

Infrastructure Needs are Mounting and Service Needs Improvement

Bill McTygue will Deliver

Bill McTygue served as an assistance civil engineer and has a long and broad public work experience in Civil/
Highway Engineering.

Bill McTygue is an experienced public works leader with history of Department oversight and management.

Bill McTygue has a plan for improving our street, sidewalk and park maintenance.

Bill McTygue will work cooperatively with Council colleagues to develop plans for future water and wastewater needs and fair rates for residents.


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$4.6 million in new taxes proposed

City considers establishing new taxes and fees

Earlier this year, the City commissioned a study to identify new options the City could use to raise additional revenues. The plan suggests the city consider a new Rain Tax, a new Yard Waste Tax, increasing parking fines, higher ambulance transport charges, charging for on-street parking and more. This report estimates the city could raise up to $4.6 million annually by imposing these new taxes.

Rain Tax – The report calls this idea an “innovative option.” A rain tax is one where all property owners pay a user fee based on the storm water runoff coming from their property. The study suggests this new fee could raise up to $800,000 from local property owners.

Yard Waste Tax – The report recommends the city consider requiring residents to purchase yard waste stickers and to affix those stickers to yard waste bags before they will be picked up by the DPW. This report suggests this new fee could raise up to $100,000.

Top billing in this report went to charging for on-street parking downtown. The report suggests the city consider increasing parking ticket fees as well. Selling ad space in parking garages and on city vehicles was also evaluated. The report suggests the city consider other increases such as:
• Taxi fees
• Building department fees
• Rental fees
• Ambulance transport charges
• Engineering fees

The Saratoga PAC believes each of the candidates should tell the residents of Saratoga Springs what their viewpoints are on each of these proposed new fees and taxes.

Do they support a new rain tax? Will they vote for a yard waste tax? Do they plan to vote in favor of charging for on-street parking downtown? Is selling ad space on city vehicles a good idea?

When this report was presented to the City Council, no one said publicly how they would vote. No one said publicly how they would vote. No one stood up to say yes or no. It was referred to a committee.

Here are the Minutes of the City Council Meeting on 9/15/15 where this plan was reviewed

Revenue Study
Commissioner Madigan introduced Dan Stevens and Michael N’dolo of Camoin Associates. They are here to present a revenue study for the City of Saratoga Springs. The research is for the Council to consider and use to make decisions for the City and are recommendations only.

Michael N’dolo stated they were asked to identify revenue sources for the City other than raising taxes. This study is about what the Council could do; not what should the Council do. They are presenting facts to base their decisions on. There are a number of major revenue sources; some new to the City and other existing. The City could do things like – on street paid parking; paid parking in garages; stormwater usage fees; fee in-lieu of parking; a second ambulance; and ad sales.

Dan Stevens reviewed the minor revenue options. They include things such as yard waste fee; engineering inspection fees; rental of Canfield Casino for 2 events per day; advertising on non-emergency vehicles; parking ticket collections; rentals at Waterfront Park; and rate schedules for police officers at special events.

Commissioner Franck stated advertising on vehicles was discussed in years past.

Mayor Yepsen asked if it is known what the estimated cost is to implement some of these ideas.

Commissioner Madigan advised that was not a piece that was included in the analysis. If the Council is interested in any of these ideas, they can take it to the next step.

Commissioner Franck suggested giving this study to the Revenue Committee that Commissioner Madigan mentioned in the past and have them look into this.

Commissioner Mathiesen stated our tax payers are bearing the cost to maintain the parking garages.

It would certainly be of value to understand the candidates’ views on these revenue generating ideas seeing that all of the ideas seeing that all of the ideas would directly impact local residents.

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Times Up

Surrendering Saratoga’s Safety

The number of reported violent crimes in Saratoga Springs has tripled under Chris Mathiesen’s watch. In 2011, there were 20 reported violent crimes, that number grew to 61 in 2014.

Crime has increased at an alarming rate under Mathiesen’s watch. Reported aggravated assaults increased 166%, violent crimes increased 204%, and reported robberies skyrocketed 433% during the four years of his tenure.

While homeless and vagrants increase in downtown and prime tourist areas, Mathiesen has failed to work with social services and nonprofit organizations to get them the help they need and keep our streets safe. In an article entitled “Saratoga’s homeless remain bothersome,” in the Daily Gazette, on 5/14/15, Mathiesen said: “There’s not a lot the police can do.”

Times Up. Let’s put SAFETY back in Public Safety.
Vote Rick Wirth, November 3rd

Click here to see the crime statistics for all counties and communities across New York State, including Saratoga Springs, on the website.

Mathiesen DM2 v2-2

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Social Media Links

Saratoga PAC establishes social media sites

We’re excited to announce the creation of a Facebook and Twitter account. We will use both of these social media sites to continue to reach out to local citizens and to keep people informed of our advocacy efforts. We invite you to click the links below to follow us on Twitter and to Like us on Facebook.

Click here to Like Us on Facebook!

Click here to follow us on Twitter!

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