OUR PLATFORM REFLECTS POSITIVE, CONCRETE ACTIONS TO CREATE A HEALTHIER SARATOGA
Murph, Maxine, Russell & Bryan
Build Economic Opportunities For Our Villages And Our Business Community To Thrive
We believe that the lynchpins for economic growth in the Town of Saratoga are our villages: Schuylerville and Victory. These villages are the backbone and strength of our Town and should be the focus of our Economic Development.
Create a Town Task Force to identify fund source opportunities for Grants from Federal & State Governments as well as private grant resources to support our start-up entrepreneurs and other Business owners
Create and invigorate special events within the Town and Villages with high impact marketing campaigns to drive visitors (Shoppers!) to our parades, fairs, and celebrations all through the year
Leverage and enrich partnerships with our Villages of Schuylerville & Victory as well as The Saratoga Battlefield National Park sites, and our resident Schuylerville School System to optimize Community events with an eye towards building commerce within the Saratoga Township
Strategically Pursue ESG High Impact Investing resources and new Federal BBB capabilities
Support the Village of Schuylerville & Saratoga Conceptual Trail Plan
Property Values & Quality of Life
A Word about Property Values...Many of our Citizens are enjoying a surge in our Property Values right now. This is always a good thing. However, in our Town, Some homeowners have found themselves facing big changes in their environment or neighborhood that negatively impact your property value. When your cul de sac street loses the cul de sac (or dead end), say goodbye to 20% of your property value. When land is illegally clear cut near you, it negatively impacts your property value. Many issues impact not only your property values but also your Quality of Life. We believe our Citizens have just as strong (if not stronger) Property Rights as does an out-of-town developer.
We are committed to protecting the Property Rights of our tax-paying, resident citizens from activity that threatens their property values and their quality of life.
When elected, with your help, we will create a balanced plan to preserve open space in its natural state. A 2017 Cooperative Research Centres Study "How Much Do We Value Green Spaces?" says people are willing to pay up to 16% more for a home with greater access to rural lands and green spaces.
When elected, we will pass resolutions requiring Town Board final authority over large developments and other high impact changes to our environment. The people elect our Town Board and that is the governing body that should have accountability for these critical decisions.
We will explore via a Study Commission how we can improve the utility and safety of users on NY 9P. There are many stress points for our Lake residents and visitors with 9P. Due to development and degradation of the natural hillside protections (Trees, Vegatation, appropriate water run-off mitigation systems) NY 9P is at risk during all rainstorms of swift and coursing water flowing across the highway on its journey to the Lake. In addition, NY 9P is a narrow road due to the very limited space between lakeside homes and the lake itself. This makes 9P hazardous to multi-use transportation (pedestrians, bicyclists) who compete for space with vehicular traffic. We will convene a special Study Group to work with New York State DOT, DEC, residents and all other stakeholders to propose solutions to ensure safety and utility of this vital highway. Finding solutions to our NY 9P situation will positively impact resident's Quality of Life.
Transparent & Inclusive Government; Personal, World-Class Communication
When you speak...WE WILL LISTEN...WE WILL ACT
We are fully committed to bring transparent government to our Saratoga Township.
The Town’s most important, strategic work is the nurturing and development of The Comprehensive Plan. This work is currently underway and is shrouded in secrecy. This is work that should include all interested citizens…not just the powerful. On Day 1, when elected, we will open this process to you, the public, to study and comment. We will pass a resolution to require a Town Referendum to approve any changes to our Comprehensive Plan.
When elected, we will reduce "executive session" activity and discuss all appropriate issues in Public Session for all subjects that conform to the New York State Open Meeting statute.
In compliance with the New York State "Open Meeting" Law, we will disclose in detail the subjects to be discussed in "executive session", including disclosure of tax-payer funds to fight law suits brought against the Town by our Citizens.
We will build a comprehensive 'State of the Art' Town Website designed for easy use by our Citizens. The website will be efficiently managed and share all issues and events before the Town on a real-time basis.
We will build IT Systems to facilitate two way communication channels between the town and the community it serves.
Create more accessible modes of dialogue
--All meetings will be available virtually and in-person. With plenty of public input time.
--Transcripts will be available within 24 hours (sometimes in raw unapproved format).
--All town staff will be reachable (electronically).
--Email newsletters will push information to the community.
4. Strategic Development Driving Environmental Sustainability & Economic Success
We believe the Town of Saratoga's Quality of Life is defined by our beautiful and peaceful natural vistas. Our Town's interior should sustain our history of a rural, countryside environment focused on sustaining open, natural space.
When elected, changes to our Comprehensive Plan, which affect zoning and land use, will only be ratified by you the Citizens, upon a Town Referendum vote. It is critical we develop a Comprehensive Plan that reflects The Community's vision and aspirations for the future of The Town and supports a future that sustains our quality of life, afforded us by the forests, fields, wetlands and waterways.
We believe The Comprehensive Plan should be our Strategic Plan for our future and should directly guide our Planning and Zoning regulations.
We support Respectful, Responsible, Visionary Development, not development at any cost which leads to loss of quality of life for our Citizens. This includes increased traffic, sprawl, more air pollution, polluted run-off of chemicals and poisons, increased noise, light pollution, and loss of the tranquility of a more rural environment.
Highesty Priority is to protect our shorelines on our east and west coasts: the mighty Hudson River to the East and the wounded Saratoga Lake to the West.
We will stop the abuse of Town zoning agricultural exemptions.
We support Sustainable Development practices.
The concept that any and all development is good is 20 years out of date. Numerous studies show that the cost to a Town for municipal services, schools, highways outstrip any “tax income” benefit
5. Our Environment
Climate Change, also known as Global Warming, is an existential threat to all of our citizens in the Town of Saratoga. We will champion all efforts to focus on Sustainable development and business practices in our Town .
We will ensure that the Town Comprehensive Plan requires Town building and zoning regulations to reflect the threats posed by climate change and drive practices that protect all residents and properties from increased climate driven threats to our welfare.
We resolve to ensure robust zoning regulations are in place to protect the integrity and the health of Saratoga Lake and the Hudson River as well as smaller streams and tributaries.
When elected, we will reverse the Town Board resolution that denied the Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District the authority to regulate and protect Saratoga Lake across all four shoreline municipalities, (Saratoga Springs, Saratoga, Stillwater, and Malta). All three of our neighboring municipalities voted for this authority…our town passed a resolution “adamantly” opposing such authority.
We are committed to protect our beautiful Open Spaces, Woodland Forests, and Wetlands from development and to ensuring our natural lands are healthy and sustain Nature and Wildlife.
We resolve to ban the use of pesticides and herbicides including glysophate, neonicotinoids and other noxious poisons on all municipal owned properties.
We resolve to revise municipal mowing practices on all rural Town roads to protect pollinator roadside habitat during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.
We resolve to create pollinator habitat on all municipal properties. We will create Town-wide citizen incentives to create incremental pollinator habitat zones on their respective properties.
We will join The National Wildlife Federation’s “Supervisor Pledge” to create pollinator protection zones, revise mowing practices, and build educational collateral to share critical information to sustain all wildlife.
We applaud the Village Of Schuylerville's adoption of the New York State Climate Smart Communities Pledge that we will work to implement in the Town of Saratoga. See climatesmart.ny.gov
We will endeavor to bring a "Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day" to sustainably manage this waste material and provide a convenient service to our Residents.
6. Create Enrichment Opportunities for Our Kids & Their Families.
Build The Town of Saratoga Student Internship Program
— Internship programs are often critical for acceptance to many schools of higher education . These Internships also will provide "real-world" governing, research, adminstrative and skill building experience. Our high school/college internship Program will create Value for both our students and our Town. Projects could include:
Assist in building a 'State of the Art' Town Website.
Create Digital Town Marketing campaigns that deliver high impact communication to build Demand for our Town/Villages special events to drive incremental consumer traffic and sales for our Town businesses
Publish an electronic Supervisor Town Newsletter to a new network of Town residents who choose to subscribe
Open Internship projects across the Town Departments including administrative and operating functions
Town Leadership will provide “Recommendation Letters” to Intern participants for College Admission, Employment opportunities , or academic qualifications.
Develop The Town of Saratoga Summer Recreation Program
Build program modeled after similar programs that exist across Saratoga County in many Towns
Leverage Town Park facilities and partner with the Schuylerville School System to build activity roster
Provide employment opportunities for students as Recreation Counselors/Instructors
7. Accountability & Fiscal Management
In order to ensure that our citizens from every corner of our Town have their voices heard in our Town Government, we propose re-structuring our Town Council from 4 "at large" Council seats to Councilors representing each of 4 Town Districts created to capture the dynamics of our individual neighborhoods and Villages. This change will drive neighborhood-level accountability for our elected Councilors across our geographically large Town. This proposed change of our repesentative confuguration will be studied by a special Town Commission with all meetings held open to the public. Any new approach will be brought to you, our Citizens, for approval via a Town Referandum for approval.
When elected, we resolve to reserve Town Council Final Authority for all major developments and environmental impact projects within the Town.
We are committed to leveraging our business experience to optimize our Town revenue streams with an objective to keep our taxes low.
We will review and optimize Town property assets to ensure effective usage and explore opportunities to generate incremental funding sources for our Town.
When elected, the Council will establish a reporting routine at Town Council Meetings to ensure the Planning and Zoning Boards are keeping Councilors fully briefed on their activity and ensure Town laws and zoning regulations are being enforced.
8. Building Our Town of Saratoga Community
We are running for our respective Saratoga elected offices to build a healthy, thriving Community. To make this happen, we must build a stronger sense of 'Community' throughout the Town of Saratoga.
You Have A Bond With Your Town and You Feel Connected. A Saratogian...
We do not have a Community at the Town level. We have a collection of individual communities mostly defined by close borders:
—the Schuylerville Village Community
—the Victory Village Community
—the Quaker Springs Community
--the Grangerville Community
--And micro-communities of individual streets and neighbors
—We have no Saratoga Post Office. In fact we have no Saratoga home addresses. Our home addresses range from Schuylerville, Victory to Stillwater and Saratoga Springs. Some of our residents are not aware they live in the Town of Saratoga!
—We have no Saratoga (named) Fire Department (we love our Quaker Springs FD!!)
—We have no Saratoga Central School System. The Stillwater and Saratoga Springs School Districts serve many of our children. Schuylerville is our “Home-Town District”…but it is not our Town name-sake District and does not encompass all of our Town’s kids.
We need to make the Community of our Saratoga Town Vibrant and Strong despite that we are "far-flung" with different needs in the west vs.the needs in the east. We recognize that the Town of Saratoga does have a "Center of Gravity"...it is our Village of Schuylerville. Let's take action to make the Capital of The Town of Saratoga Shine!
Healthy Communities exhibit these qualities:
Cohesiveness—We have a sense of community that unites us and makes us feel that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. We share emotional connections that make us proud to be Saratogians
Safe—Your race, sexual orientation, beliefs and political leanings are not judged. We look out for each other.
Communication—Great communities communicate a lot. Communication highways are built to keep us all connected. We are all committed to a pinnacle level of Transparency at all times.
Services—A place where services that aid daily quality of life are within reach
Happy Place—Strong social connections that create a sense of belonging. A Quality of Life environment where security, well-being and friendship all come together.
When elected, we will take the lead in creating and fostering a Saratoga Town-wide Community. We promise to be a strong source of Leadership, Vision, Communication, and Action.
Our Platform of Ideas, Promised Actions and Service has been created to serve this vision for a Healthy, Vibrant and Beautiful Town of Saratoga for everyone. WE ARE ALL SARATOGIANS!
And one more tidbit...
As a result of Town regulatory adminstrator's actions, out-of-town developers encroached on residents' property rights, property value, and quality of life concerns. Examples include:
--The illegal clear cut destruction of 40 acres of wild woodlands that was conserved in a proposed development “for the benefit of all citizens”. (This was the last large track of woods on the West Shore of Saratoga Lake).
--The approval of a multi-story new home on the Saratoga Lakeshore that obstructs the view and blocks the sun of their neighbors in violation of our Town zoning laws
--The clear-cutting of trees and clearing of vegetation on slopes overlooking neighbors resulting in contaminated wells, massive silt and soil run-off into neighbor properties in violation of Town law and zoning regulations
--The operations of business activities in areas that violate residential zoning regulations
--The proposed destruction of a 30 year neighborhood by eliminating their safe, quiet cul de sac road with a through road by an out of town developer that wants to save money as he proposes to build a housing development
These actions and more have resulted in a record number of lawsuits being brought against Town Government by our very own Citizens in 2020 and 2021. Our Tax-Payer Dollars are being spent to defend these poor decisions.