The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Ordinance 822 should not pass

 


At the Dec. 17 Saratoga Town Council meeting, Mayor John Zeiger introduced a new ordinance for first reading.

Ordinance No. 822 covers the dismissal of employees and removal of board members.

One sentence is particularly disturbing to the Saratoga Sun. “All board members serve at the pleasure of the mayor and may be removed by the mayor for incompetence or neglect of duty.”

Since when do boards appointed by the governing body serve “at the pleasure of the mayor”? Boards, along with the governing body and the mayor, are supposed to be public servants working for the betterment of the community.

The Planning Commission is going through growing pains. They have a diverse group of people who do not always agree, and they argue. Sometimes it does get a little out of hand. But that is because they are passionate about their position on the planning board. The best part is, they are having the “discussions” in public. They are not hiding their opinions behind closed doors and we applaud the planning commission for being so transparent.

It is the job of the planning commission members to remind their peers when they are too close to the subject or will gain from their vote.

It is also the job of the planning commission to do what is best for the community as a whole. The Dec. 10 planning commission meeting was a perfect example of that. They worked through a document together until they were all satisfied with the final result.

That is how government is supposed to work.

If the mayor wants a bunch of “yes men” on the planning commission, or any other board, then we have bigger problems than a bickering planning commission.

We have a leader who appears to be unable or unwilling to work with a range of personalities and whose response is to come up with an ordinance to kick people off of various boards.

It is hard enough to find people to volunteer to be on boards, but to face the humiliation of being kicked off of a volunteer board for arbitrary reasons will certainly discourage anyone but yes men or friends of the mayor from volunteering for board service.

Several people argued against the ordinance, but the councilpersons present passed the ordinance.

We encourage anyone who has served on a board for the town of Saratoga to talk to his or her councilperson and tell them they do not support this ordinance.

 

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