Survey Results on News Channel 13

Saratoga Springs residents surveyed about ways to improve city

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Created: 10/20/2015 6:46 PM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Staff

Saratoga Springs is often held up as a model of a successful small city, but residents there are weighing in on what they would like improved.
A new political action committee sent out a survey asking 14,000 city residents to prioritize the issues they want addressed. More than 1,100 people replied.
Saratoga Springs is more than a bustling downtown. Beyond the thriving business district, the city has challenges like any small city.
A new political action committee, Saratoga PAC, wanted to know which of those challenges Saratogians find most pressing. So they sent out a survey to 14,000 city residents. Nearly 10 percent replied — which is high for any survey.

“It says they’re active, they’re involved and they’re interested in having their viewpoint known,” explained Bob Manz, the chairman of the Saratoga PAC.
More than 1,100 people responded to the survey, and this is what they said should be the top priorities:

A review of the city’s aging water and sewer infrastructure.
A plan to upkeep streets and sidewalks.
Make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Address the issue of homelessness and panhandlers on downtown streets.
Revitalize South Broadway.

There are long-boarded up business in this southern gateway to the city.

“Looking to make that a better appearance for people coming into the City of Saratoga,” explained Manz.

City leaders say the survey shows residents are aware that homelessness and pan-handling have increased dramatically in recent years.

“That’s gone up tremendously and police have really done a good job during the track season, but it’s been the number one complaint I’ve heard from the downtown business community and residents in general,” acknowledged John Franck, accounts commissioner for Saratoga Springs.

Not surprisingly, Saratoga PAC is endorsing candidates for the city council whose priorities line up with residents who were surveyed.

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Citizen Survey In The News

Saratoga PAC releases survey results

By Jennie Grey, The Saratogian
POSTED: 10/20/15, 6:03 PM EDT

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Saratoga’s new Political Action Committee (PAC) has created impressive numbers since its June founding. Some 217 donors raised $46,417 in the PAC’s first five weeks alone, and now, the group has published the results of its extensive voter survey. More than 1,100 Saratoga Springs residents responded to the quality-of-life questions asked. Click here to read the rest of this article from the Saratogian.

Executives endorse Saratoga Springs candidates in bid to combat anti-business climate

Robin Cooper, The Albany Business Review
October 20, 2015, 5:59 EDT

A team of executives overseeing some of the largest employers in Saratoga Springs, New York have endorsed two Republicans and three Democrats in the November city elections.
The Saratoga Political Action Committee announced Tuesday evening that it is backing two incumbents and three challengers in the general election as the group pushes to establish a city council that it believes will be open to making decisions that will expand the city’s economy. Click here to read the rest of this article from the Albany Business Review.

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Mathiesen Mess

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.”

Mathiesen DM2 v2-2

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

Mathiesen Mess – Deal Under NYS Investigation

While limited EMS services leave residents at risk, we all pay attorney’s fees over disputed land deal.

Chris Mathiesen campaigned in 2011 on how he would solve this EMS problem. In 2013, Mathiesen selectively tailored terms for public sale of a prime City owned parking lot to a preferred downstate developer with access to specified land east of Exit 14. (Times Union, “Saratoga Springs land swap draws fire.” 9/14/14)

The land swap is the focus of ongoing investigation by the NYS Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau, charged with rooting out public corruption, fraud, and crime. (Daily Gazette, “State looks into Saratoga parking lot deal; “Attorney General eyes possible misconduct,” 12/31/14)

A private lawsuit was brought forth by former elected officials over the unfair terms of the deal. (Saratogian, “Former Spa City officials sue over lot deal,” 12/8/14)

Now, city taxpayers are on the hook for $50,0000 to hire Albany based lawyers at undisclosed hourly rates. (Saratogian, “City hires law firm in Collamer lot fight,” 12/23/14)

Both Republicans and Democrats opposed the deal Mathiesen forced through. Four years later, residents in our east ridge still lack critical emergency services, and we all pay the price for litigation and NY State probes of our City government.

Time is Up!
On November 3rd, Vote Rick Wirth

Land Swap

Fill out this form below for future Saratoga PAC Updates!


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The Candidates

How did we decide which candidates to support?

Saratoga PAC – – an independent, non-party affiliated, voice to foster good governance across economic, quality of life and environmental stewardship issues – – commissioned a citizen quality of life survey mailed to over 14,000 residents in early September. The survey asked their opinions on 15 areas of importance.

More than 1,100 provided insights to the issues local residents want addressed. “Local residents told us and we agree that this starts with infrastructure – – water, sewer, roads and sidewalks – – but extends to beautifying the gateways into our city, attracting young professionals, helping the homeless, and allowing a world class destination golf resort to move forward,” said Bob Manz, Chair of Saratoga PAC.

During the past four weeks, interview committees were established to meet with local candidates in Saratoga Springs and Malta. The volunteers on the Saratoga PAC board also researched what the candidates have said and done from reviewing meeting minutes to comments in local media reports.

“We compared the issues of importance to City residents responding to the survey with what candidates have said and done,” added Manz. “The candidates that we are urging residents to support on November 3rd have a demonstrated commitment to bring us together on those issues City residents told us are their priorities.”

Here are the leaders who can take on the challenges identified and bring us together to keep Saratoga moving forward:

John Safford, Saratoga Springs Mayor
Michele Madigan, Commissioner of Finance
William McTygue, Commissioner of Public Works
Richard Wirth, Commissioner of Public Safety
John Franck, Commissioner of Accounts.
Cynthia Young, Supervisor Town of Malta

Michele Madigan

Richard Wirth

John Safford

William McTygue

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Voter Guide

VOTER GUIDE

Local citizens told us what’s important to the quality of life in Saratoga Springs. As fellow residents who love this City and are committed to its future, we compared these issues of importance to what candidates for office have said and done.

Here are the leaders who can take on the challenges identified by survey responses from 1,100 local residents and bring us together to keep Saratoga moving forward:

John Safford, Saratoga Springs Mayor
Michele Madigan, Commissioner of Finance
William McTygue, Commissioner of Public Works
Richard Wirth, Commissioner of Public Safety
John Franck, Commissioner of Accounts.

In June, dedicated volunteers established this independent, non-party affiliated, voice to foster good governance across economic, quality of life and environmental stewardship issues. Since then, hundreds of local residents have joined our movement to engage with fellow citizens on issues critical to a vibrant future.

Saratoga PAC commissioned a citizen quality of life survey mailed to over 14,000 residents. It asked their opinions on 15 areas of importance. More than 1,100 provided insights to the issues local residents want addressed. Those, together with direct interviews with candidates and analysis of their records, produced our bipartisan recommendations as noted above. Please consider these candidates and the top concerns of your fellow citizens below as you cast your votes November 3rd.

SURVEY RESULTS

Priority Issues – With a rating system of 1 to 5, local residents had the chance to share with us the issues they felt should be priorities to ensure our City’s future. The following are the top five issues over 1,100 residents said were EXTREMELY or VERY IMPORTANT for a vibrant future:

1. Fund a review of our city’s water and sewer infrastructure.
2. Support the revitalization of South Broadway.
3. Develop a plan to address upkeep of our city’s streets and sidewalks.
4. Allow world class destination resort to be established with preservation of green space at Saratoga National Golf Club.
5. Attract young people to Saratoga Springs by creating new jobs and providing an affordable cost of living.

Overall when you add all of the ratings together from all of the 1,100 respondents, the following chart shows the top five issues in terms of total points received from all respondents from among the 15 issue areas:
Chart - Total Points
1. Fund a review of our city’s water and sewer infrastructure.
2. Develop a plan to address upkeep of our city’s streets and sidewalks.
3. Make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
4. Work with public and charitable agencies to help the homeless and panhandlers in our city’s downtown to get the help they need.
5. Support the revitalization of South Broadway.

Fill out this form below for future Saratoga PAC Updates!


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