Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Saratoga County- Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Safety

The Commissioner of Public Safety supervises the Department of Public Safety - the Police Department, the Fire Department, Code Administration, Animal Control, and Parking Enforcement.  The Commissioner serves on the City Council which has legislative powers.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Donald Braim (REP, CON, IND, RFM) Retired

  • Candidate picture

    Peter Martin (DEM, WF, WEP) Saratoga County Supervisor, City of Saratoga Springs

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What unique qualifications do you have that make you a good candidate to meet the current needs of the community?

What do you want to achieve during your term?

Do you support the proposal on the ballot to change the form of government in Saratoga Springs? Please explain your reason(s) for taking the position you hold.

Tell us your thinking on the necessary balance between economic development and maintenance of environmentally sensitive surroundings. How would you achieve this balance?

Saratoga Springs has a rich history of a diverse population. How can we ensure that working people can continue to live here?

Education St. Peters High School Hudson Valley Community College, A.A.S. Criminal Justice Russell Sage College, B.S. Criminal Justice FBI National Academy Graduate
Experience and Qualifications Saratoga Springs Police Department, 22+ years retired as a Criminal Investigator. Saratoga Harness Track, 20 years retired as the Sr. Vice President of Racing Operations
Key Endorsements Saratoga Springs Police Benevolent Association Police Conference of New York Police Benevolent Association of New York, Representing University Police, Encon Police, Park Police and Forest Rangers Police Benevolent Association of New York State Troopers, Inc., representing Troopers to the rank of Major Saratoga Springs Fire Department, Local 343 New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, Inc.
Party Endorsements Republican Party Conservative Party Independence Party Reform Party
For more information www.DonBraim.com
Campaign Phone (518) 587-7145
Campaign Mailing Address 29 Walter Drive Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866
Campaign Email www.DonBraim.com
My experience will be my strongest asset for this job. I served as a member of the Saratoga Springs Police Department for 22 years, retiring as a Criminal Investigator. I then spent 20 years working in management at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway as Director of Security, retiring as Senior Vice President of Operations. In the Saratoga Springs Police Department, I led a Special Investigations Unit combating the scourge of illegal drugs, which is an important issue facing this city and others today. The key to our success then was a team approach based on strong coordination within our unit and interdepartmental cooperation with a range of other local, state, and federal agencies. At the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, I managed over 200 employees, while overseeing the safety of 2 million guests every year, along with 1,100 horses and over 700 horsepersons. My private sector experience will be used to manage the Public Safety Department.
The Commissioner of Public Safety job consists of a two-part role: that of leading the department and also legislating at the City Council table. One of my priorities for the department is to achieve equal emergency response times across the city for all taxpayers, including the East Ridge. My goal is to be an advocate for the taxpayer while improving the department overall, improving services, and building morale within the police and fire departments. As a Council Member, my goal is to put an end to the litany of Council related issues tied up in litigation. Using a logical teamwork approach, we can solve many of the outstanding issues facing the city and move on to productive, results oriented, work.
I am against changing the current form of government. The current form has worked well for us and is one of the many reasons that have made this city successful. It is the underlying reason this city has become a great place, leading people to move here, as well as dine, shop, and visit here. Very few cities are enjoying the suc-cess we now see. Any government will struggle with the wrong people working in it; that’s why it’s important to vote and elect individuals with the experience to get the job done correctly. The cost of the proposed charter change is largely unknown. It could be a very dan-gerous move that could jeopardize the success we now enjoy. Finally, our current form of government is the best opportunity to maintain our current tax rate.
We have seen great success building within the inner core, keeping vibrant busi-ness in the downtown area, and we need to continue that model. This city has de-veloped exponentially in the past few decades; however, we need to ensure that that any progress is controlled and encouraged, simultaneously. The comprehensive plan needs to continue to be taken into consideration on all development. It is imperative we promote and encourage clean industry businesses to locate in the Grande Industrial Park (as well as other appropriate locations). They bring in valuable tax revenue that will help us decrease the tax burden to our citizens.

Our environmental surroundings can be promoted and fostered with the greenbelt trail system. We already have many pieces of this work accomplished with existing trails and pushing this project forward will benefit a great many of our citizens. I look forward to weighing in on safety measures and how they can be applied to the trail system.
For several decades affordable housing has been talked about and we have strug-gled with the issue. Finally, as a community, we are close to breaking ground on two important affordable housing projects, off West Avenue and the South Broadway project. This will help to alleviate some of the immediate need, but it is not the final answer. We need to ensure that other options become available so all Saratogian’s can afford to work and live here. It’s also important we place these housing options near public transportation, like the CDTA bus-lines (as are both the new projects). Other concerns on my mind are our elderly being priced out of their homes based on taxes that are too high. We need to make sure all of our children can afford to stay in Saratoga, if they choose to do so. Again, the affordable housing issue will take a teamwork approach at the City Council table so that we can control, and avoid increasing, the property tax rate, while still supplying the level of services.
Education BA Boston College; JD Boston College Law School; Series 7 Securities Broker; Series 24 Securities Principal; Series 65 Investment Advisor; Successful completion of New York State and Washington Bar examinations.
Experience and Qualifications Saratoga County Supervisor; Saratoga County Clerk; Lawyer, General Counsel and Sr. Vice President, The Ayco Company; President, The Mercer Allied Company; Chairman, The Arthritis Foundation, Northeast United States Region; Vice Chairman, Caffè Lena, Inc.
Key Endorsements Saratoga County Labor Federation
Party Endorsements Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Women’s Equality Party
For more information www.martinforpublicsafety.com
Campaign Phone (518) 587-7845
Campaign Mailing Address Friends of Peter Martin, P.O. Box 303, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Campaign Email peter@martinforpublicsafety.com
Candidate Statement in lieu of candidate forum
Candidate video http://youtu.be/pZy7iYRWNpk
I have experience as a leader in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. For four years, I have served our citizens as County Supervisor, and participated in many county committees focusing on the needs of our city. I have gained meaningful insight into the workings and people in state, county and city governments. I started in government service as Saratoga County Clerk where I improved on efficiency and safety. Prior to that, I was a senior officer of a national financial services company, supervising a staff of professionals across the country. There, I formed a compliance department to insure adherence to the complex area of federal and state laws. My successful career allowed me to give back to the community, including working as a senior officer of several charities, like the Arthritis Foundation, Caffè Lena and Lakes to Locks Passage. The experience of leading these organizations has given me the ability to work with a variety of people, reach consensus and achieve goals
Foster sustainable growth while improving safety, health and well being of all residents. Implement 21st century plans including an updated city code with complete street solutions like enhancements for alternative transportation in lieu of increased automobile traffic. We need to provide enhanced public safety for a growing city without increasing our tax burden. To do this, implement intelligent shared service programs with the county and neighboring municipalities. We need sufficient police officers to re-establish community engagement efforts like foot patrols and consistent presence in our schools. We need sufficient firefighters to provide quick response times in all areas of the city. Increasing the EMS responses by our City Firefighters (rather than third party providers) will increase City revenues. These additional revenues, in combination with the reduced expenses for shared services, can increase our police, fire and code enforcement forces without increasing taxes.
I believe that, in the long term, the proposed charter would be more efficient than our current charter. I recognize that, regardless of whether the proposal passes or fails, we will be governed under the existing charter for at least the next two years, and I am ready, willing and able to serve in the Commission form of government for that time. Further, every form of government relies on the character, experience, vision and dedication of its elected officials for its success. If charter reform is passed, the city council will need to work cooperatively for the transition, and I will dedicate myself to making the transition as smooth as possible. If it does not pass, we need all departments in the City to engage civilly and work as a team, and I will use my experience in government, and the private and not-for profit sectors to bring enhanced cooperation to the council table.
Economic development and environmental sensitivity are not mutually exclusive. Rather, a long-term vision of development for the city requires planning to keep the unique character of our “City in the Country”. As stated in the Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted by our city less than two years ago, “Sustainable development enhances economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting the human and natural resources, upon which the future of our economy and our community depend.” We need to foster public-private partnerships that will increase the diversity of our economic base and reduce the impact of cyclical industry fluctuations on our city. We should accentuate our city’s focus on health and wellness to attract new and innovative businesses to the city. We should expand our efforts to bring clean energy and information technology to all businesses and residences in Saratoga Springs.
We need a variety of approaches. We should take advantage of Federal and State programs promoting site specific workforce housing, as currently proposed for projects on South Broadway and near West Avenue. While revising our city code to conform to the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan, we should examine the capacity for increased density in areas of the city to allow additions (e.g. residences over garages) if used exclusively for workforce housing. Working with banks and contractors, we should re-examine inclusionary zoning with different formulas that will meet our community needs. We should not fear looking to other municipalities for plans that have been successful, even as we take great pride in our own city.

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