The Battle To Save Saratoga:
Their intention was to re-write the Articles of Confederation but instead they wrote a new charter for the nation; The United States Constitution.
If the Revolutionary War was about liberty than last nights public meeting held in the Community Room at the Saratoga Springs library was about improving our dear city and preserving its integrity.
About one hundred people showed up for the meeting. It was an interesting mix of concerned citizens, business owners and established property owners.
The issues discussed were many and included: zoning laws, code enforcement, financial disclosures, building inspections, neon signs, property rights, parking lots, sprawl, haphazard building, public transit, the flow of traffic and roads within the city.
Former Planning Board member Amy Durland stated that she was troubled by the way the city of Saratoga Springs 'isn't complying with its own building rules.' Durland stressed the importance of 'paying attention to the process' and for builders to submit financial disclosure forms even if they are not required to do so by law. "It informs the public of the potential conflicts of interest." said Durland.
The most interesting and provocative suggestion of the evening was presented by Saratoga Springs resident Al Turkeimer. He proposed that the County Building on Woodlawn Avenue behind the Church Avenue Stewarts should be demolished and set in its place a small open space park. "That area deserves a green space." said Turkeimer.
Earlier in the meeting, Turkeimer complained of 'haphazard building' and the lack of code and zoning laws and enforcement. He complained about how one homeowner in town (on the west side) was allowed to building a four and half story building. "Clean up the mess." said Turkeimer.
Molly Gagne of Vichy Drive in Geyser Crest was concerned that all of our right of ways 'are turning into parking lots.' She also suggested that the city of Saratoga Springs should hire more and [younger] code enforcement officers and start training them sooner rather than later. " Look at the age of the code enforcements officers, they're not gonna be around in twenty years." squawked Gagne. (Sorry Kevin and Dan)
When Gagne wasn't throwing code enforcement officers Kevin Veitch and Dan Cogan under the bus, she was contributing many meaningful suggestions regarding issues that have gone unchecked for years.Gagne complained about the lack of a hard and fast rules regarding how people house their summer boats and trailers and cars that are no longer operational. She complained that many residents in the Crest are using their driveway as a defacto storage space. "It used to be that boats and trailers were small but now the boats are as big as Titanic and the trailers as big as the back of an eighteen wheeler. If your neighbors were considerate they put it in their back yard." said Gagne.
Another resident spoke of the need to 'soften the traffic flow in the city' She also promoted the idea of cycling and walking but had the 'feeling of not being safe.' She regaled the audience with a harrowing story of witnessing a driver of an 18 Wheeler who was also talking on his cell phone as he ran a red light on Broadway near Uncommon Grounds.
Joy King of Marion Avenue spoke of avoiding certain areas of the city while out walking because of inadequate lighting. She said some areas have no street lights.
John Else spoke of re-doing the roads within the city 'instead of rebuilding outside the city for someone else.'
Else complained of how there have been no improvements to Route 29 heading towards Schuylerville. According to Else, both Mario and Andrew Cuomo seem to be a fault for this. "Over thirty years we've been talking about this and nothing has been done about Route 29." said Else.
* I will update this story as necessary and will attend the next meeting. In the meantime if you have additional details for me, please contact me. - Citizen Nancy