The Mayor’s Office and City Council have been busy this spring with a number of important tasks and initiatives worth highlighting.
First, over the past few days, we have chosen a new commissioner of public works, in a transparent and open manner. Second, the mayor’s office launched a new multi-year funding program for nonprofits that will distribute $200,000 each year. Third, on June 8, I will be hosting a public forum on homelessness with non-profit service providers, the Department of Public Safety and members of the public to educate, inform and discuss efforts to address this challenge Saratoga Springs faces.
Finally, during the weekend of June 3, the city’s renowned arts and cultural organizations will welcome the world and bring residents and visitors together to celebrate Saratoga Springs’ unique artistic and cultural heritage!
After the untimely passing of longtime public works commissioner Skip Scirocco, the Charter mandated that the city council choose a successor. Rather than simply meeting in executive session, behind closed doors, as previous Councils have done, faced with this task, I was determined to ensure that this decision was made through a transparent and responsible.
To that end, I have proposed, with the unanimous consent of City Council members, that we appoint a “citizen” selection committee to publicly vet and interview anyone interested in this position. The city council jointly appointed the former auditor, John Franck, as president. Kristen Dart, Barb Thomas, Timothy Holmes and Alexus Brown were each nominated by city council members respectively.
The DPW Selection Committee met last Friday, in a live webcast open to the public, and interviewed the three candidates who applied to be considered, Anthony Scirocco Jr., Billy McTygue and Jason Golub . On Saturday, they met again to evaluate these interviews and write a report detailing their recommendations. This report and its recommendations were distributed to the public, the press and the candidates.
At the May 3 city council meeting, I asked each member of city council to record in the minutes their findings after watching the interviews and reviewing the report. After public deliberation by each member, the city council voted, 4-0, to select Jason Golub as the next Public Works Commissioner. Mr. Golub, who is eminently qualified for the position, is a historic choice for this city council as he is the first-ever council member of African American descent.
I look forward to working with Jason and am proud of the work this City Council has done to make this difficult choice.
Additionally, at the May 3 city council meeting, I was pleased to announce a brand new multi-year funding program to meet the community’s growing needs for social services, environmental sustainability and the arts. , culture and history. This new initiative will distribute in fiscal year 2022, $200,000 to organizations addressing needs in these areas.
The application process will begin immediately, non-profit organizations based in Saratoga Springs or located in Saratoga County and providing services to city residents are eligible and encouraged to apply.
Homelessness is a critical issue that Saratoga Springs and a number of major nonprofits like RISE, Captain Community Human Services, Shelters of Saratoga, and the Salvation Army are tackling. As part of an ongoing educational effort by my office, I will be hosting a public forum with the leaders of these organizations on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. downtown to discuss current and future efforts to address this issue. significant problem.
We will also have representatives from the Ministry of Public Security and the Municipal Court to provide additional information. It will also be an ideal opportunity for Saratogians to provide information to these government agencies and officials about their own experiences and possible solutions to this challenge in our city and across America.
Finally, and most excitingly, during the weekend of June 3-5, the Mayor’s Office will co-sponsor “ALL TOGETHER NOW: Arts Celebration Weekend” with the Mayor’s Arts Commission, Saratoga Center for the Arts and a nonprofit arts and culture coalition, including Caffè Lena, Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery at Skidmore College, and Yaddo.
These organizations will host a wide range of arts and cultural activities throughout the city for residents and visitors of all ages. This event, which we hope to do every year, will triumphantly celebrate the full return of the city’s immersive arts experience and serve to showcase the world-class arts and culture offerings provided by Saratoga Springs’ diverse organizations.
For more information on any of the above, please visit the city’s website at https://www.saratoga-springs.org/