May 28, 2009

Cutting the fat, Spa City style

Some random, free-form thoughts on the current disussion in Saratoga about the need to axe the budget of the Department of Public Safety as the most logical means of dealing with the city's looming budget difficulties:


In case anyone hasn't noticed; Saratoga is an upper-middle class community. It's daily life is dominated by:

a) Outbound commuters that vacate the town in the AM for jobs further south down the Northway.

b) Retired, semi-retired and minimally employed (by their own choice) folks who waste the days away walking their dogs, sitting in coffee shops and volunteering for community service groups.

c) Capital Region tourists during 9 months of the year, with the occasional influx of small-sized convention attendees and a large scale influx of regional/east coast tourist for six weeks in the summer.

Simply put, the above constituencies tend to be rather well-behaved.

Housing prices are such that individuals prone to breaking the law / committing crimes are 'priced' out of the city.


1. The above realities and facts are not conducive to the scale and scope of the public safety force that this city currently has.

2. Granted, the city has unique needs during that 6-week summer onslaught, BUT its public safety force should not be sized as if it were a 52-week setting.

And finally--to those of you that are confused over the cause & effect relationships between crime rates and police force size & presence:

Might I suggest you go take a Research 101 course at a local institute of higher learning?

Finally: please note that this city is generally recognized as being "one of the most vibrant" and "successful" cities in all of New York State. So why, then, is it experiencing fiscal difficulties that rival those being flet by less-fortunate local governments acrosss the Empire State?

A very simple answer: incompetence.


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