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Saratoga County Saratoga Springs - County Supervisor {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Supervisor represents the Town on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors
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    Patricia Friesen (DEM, WF) Not employed job now is running for office

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    Tara Gaston (DEM, WF, WEP) Attorney & Advocate

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    Joseph Levy (GRN) Audio Electronics Manufacturer

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    John Safford (REP, CON, IND, RFM) Professional Managing Agent

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    Matthew Veitch (REP, CON, IND, RFM) Specialist-Verizon Communications

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What is your motivation for running for this office? What special skills, knowledge, expertise or training do you have?

What are the most critical issues facing Saratoga County today and in the near future? Please explain your answer.

Thirty years ago the 21st century commission recommended a change in the structure of county government but no action was taken. Would you be in favor of creating a commission to look at changing county government structure from the board of supervisors to a county legislature? Please explain your reasons.

Given the growth and development in Saratoga County, what specific growth management techniques would you propose to meet new needs while preserving the quality of life in our communities?

Education BA in Psychology MS in Guidance & Counseling
Experience and Qualifications Saratoga County Coordinator for the election of Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand; Regional Representative for two years with Congresswoman Gillibrand; Senior Fellow & Capital District Volunteer recruiter/organizer /mobilizer for the re-Election of President Obama; Former Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee Member and Chair of Democratic Women's and Political Action Committees
Key Endorsements None other than two political party endorsements at this time.
Party Endorsements Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee Working Family Party
For more information Please feel free to call or email if there are any questions
Campaign Phone (518) 223-3077
Campaign Mailing Address 21 Whistler Court, #401 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Campaign Email
I have been involved in politics and elections for a number of years and love the political process. I have always felt I would want to run for office at some point and when Peter Martin decided not to run for re-election, I felt it was my time. It is definitely time for more women to step up and have a voice on the current board. Women bring different sensibilities, perspectives and styles to the table which I feel is very important to the workings of any Board or Committee. Also, with the 2016 election, I became highly motivated to get off the sidelines as my former boss, Senator Gillibrand, has suggested. I want to advocate for Saratogians on the board and be their voice. Plus I want to push for a more open form of governing and add transparency to the procedures of governing on the board that make decisions that affect all Saratogians and county citizens .
Critical issues are jobs and economic development and making sure we continue to draw businesses to our region while also encouraging and supporting our small businesses. Infrastructure is vital and making sure the county continually stays on top of making sure our infrastructure is up to date. We must be pro active. If people and businesses are being recruited to move here, we need to be able to support a growing population and their needs. Public health is another issue that must always be addressed and again make sure the needs of the community are met . Services and access to to those services is critical. Green space and trails balanced with the increased development must always be a priority. The County and our city are beautiful and draw so many people to live and work plus it is destination, so we want to maintain the charm and the appeal and continue to offer a wonderful quality of life.
I have reviewed the report as well as the report to the LWV of Saratoga County Government Study Committee. After reviewing, I think a Commission to review the current form of government is in order. It does not appear that it has been done in recent history and I think it should be as it has been done with our city. There is always room for improvement and though the Board seems to address needs and appears to be running relatively efficiently, again a review is always needed at least every 5-10 years. An appointed Commission though must be equally represented by at least the three major parties and with men and women. The current Board structure is disproportionate with regard to party and gender, hence one of my reasons to run for the position as Supervisor. I am most concerned about what appears to be a lack of transparency and input from the public. All work happens in Committee from what I can see,and no opportunity for public input until recommendations come up for vote.
I have reviewed a number of growth management techniques and many are similar as they mostly promote "smart Growth". I really like the EPA...Environmental Protection Agency's definition and it's 10 basic principles. To review those principles please visit Smart growth offers so many benefits for communities including environmental benefits. In particular Saratoga Springs and generally the County are implementing many of the principles including the initiation of "Complete Streets" so walkers and bikers can safely navigate the streets in the city. We have maintained our green belt and continually work to keep our city in the country status that is one of the draws to our community. The County and City have worked together on connecting trails for bikers and walkers. The city has worked to preserve spaces such as the Pitney Farm that was recently saved from development. Also important is transit and options available such as public transportation and rental bikes.
Education California Western School of Law, JD, 2010 Auburn University Montgomery, BA, 2002
Experience and Qualifications This is my first time running for office, but my experience living in communities with various approaches to governance and development under my spouse's military orders provides a unique viewpoint on representation. Additionally, as an attorney I am practiced at mediation/resolution and quickly analyzing problems to reduce points of pain.
Key Endorsements Saratoga Labor Council, Greater Capital Region Building and Construction Trades Council, Saratoga Springs City Democratic Committee, New York State Young Democrats
Party Endorsements Democratic Party, Working Families, Women's Equality Party
For more information
Campaign Phone (518) 306-1120
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 649 Saratoga Springs NY 12866
Campaign Email
Candidate Statement in lieu of candidate forum
Candidate video
I am running to give back to the community that has given so much to my family, as well as to increase diversity and representation on the Board of Supervisors. In addition to the experience in varied communities listed above, my experience as an attorney and lay advocate has provided me with insight into working with diverse populations to solve problems.
1. Industry - Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County are growing - and quickly. While this is generally good, I would like to see us consider more closely what sort of industry we are attracting to make sure that they will become a true part of the community. I would also like to encourage the growth of small businesses through incubators, grants, and education programs in order to keep more of our exciting entrepreneurial spirit here.

2. Infrastructure - We are an area with amazing history - but with that comes an older infrastructure. I would like to see the County make changes regarding planning for infrastructure, with a focus on thoughtful forward planning that will save municipalities money, while also using a proactive approach. I also want to look at newer infra like broadband.

3. Health - We need to make sure that while we are trying to save money, that we do not cause issues by decreasing programs or access to services, especially mental health and public health program
I think it is appropriate to regularly review the form and process of government to make certain that the residents feel as though they are being well-represented and that they have access to their elected officials. While I would support a commission to consider changing county government structure, before doing so I would find it appropriate to hold a series of town halls and/or surveys (ideally door-to-door) to see what concerns currently exist. This would be an upfront expense, but would also make the work of a commission easier because they would already know where there are concerns and can make recommendations in a more timely manner while also using the input of City and County residents, which I believe should be prioritized. I also think that such an evaluation should be done regularly, regardless of any intent to consider a change in structure. As public servants, we must make sure that our constituents have ongoing access to us and trust in us.
I believe it is appropriate to review the zoning policies in the City and County to see how we can better manage growth with a focus on increased city density, multi-use development, and access to affordable and working class housing, while also maintaining the greenbelt. I believe that the addition of pocket parks can help encourage the "city in the country" atmosphere while allowing for an increase in density in some areas. It may also be appropriate to consider impact fees on new industry coming to the area to support some of these developments, as well as supporting the broader application of the Complete Streets plan.
Education Cooper Union School of Art & Architecture
Experience and Qualifications Worked for two years as a remedial reading tutor at the Harriet Tubman Community Center in Hempstead, NY. Designed a study for New York City that resulted in the replacement of separate fire and police street-level call boxes with unified emergency call boxes. Raised $80K for Yaddo to repair the main mansion roof. Executive Director, Saratoga Arts Workshop, a predecessor to the current Saratoga Arts. Owner, Tempo Electric Custom Audio, a manufacturer of high-end home audio components.
Party Endorsements Upper Hudson Green Party
For more information &
Campaign Email
Citizen involvement is critical to democracy. Over the past 50 years, I've worked for federal, state, and local agencies, as well as owned two small businesses. I've also been a member of two labor unions and have lived in Saratoga County year-round since 1971, both in the City of Saratoga Springs and in the Town of Saratoga.
The Green Party's founding principles are based on social and economic justice for all. For decades, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors has acted like a country club where only the well-off and well-connected are welcome and the poor and disadvantaged are ostracized. Saratoga Springs has been left on its own to deal with the homeless who migrate to the city from all over the county. While Shelters of Saratoga has commissioned a study that offers several solutions, the city can't implement them on its own and it's time for the county to deal with this issue.
In 1993, in a suit brought against the Nassau County, NY, Board of Supervisors, US District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt ruled that the Board of Supervisors form of local government was unconstitutional based on the fact that it did not represent one person, one vote. Subsequently, that board, made up of supervisors from the three townships, was replaced by a 19-district legislature based on population, not town lines.

It's time for Saratoga County to abandon it's unconstitutional form of government and adopt the same policy.
We need to examine the patterns of growth and find creative ways to prevent sprawl. While zoning is largely the domain of cities, villages, and towns, the county can help co-ordinate development between the various local subdivisions with a master plan that promotes sensible growth, without sacrificing the quality of life.
Education Canisius College - Buffalo NY -MS US Army Infantry Officers - Ft. Benning GA. US Army Intelligence Operations - Ft. Devins MA. Control Data Institute - Certified Computer Programming. Burroughs Corporation - Certification in electronic communications technology. University of Buffalo, graduate of the first Emerging Entrepreneur Course. Certified Professional Managing Agent for Community Associations.
Experience and Qualifications Commander SRU#4 in the Dawnstar network. Director of placement for Control Data Institute. Burroughs Corporation - Sales and installation of audit automation systems. Wang Laboratories and Agency Records Control - sold and installed turn-key Insurance policy automation Systems. Reco Inc./PCMaps - Owner - Sales and instalation of Law Enforcement automation for Sheriff's , Police and Code enforcement departments throughout N.Y. State. Professional Managing Agent for over 30 HOA Associations.
Party Endorsements Republican, Independance, Conservative and Reform
Campaign Phone (518) 331-9369
Campaign Mailing Address Safford-for Supervisor PO Box 773, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
I have always been someone who leads from the front. This is no different. My generation still has a lot to offer this country in general and to our beautiful City in particular. It is only recently that I personally have directed my efforts toward political goals but running for office at this time in my life not only brings a wealth of experience but a commitment that is not born of political ambition but from a sincere desire to restore something that that was lost to my generation and to me in the 1970's. I am saying this: we who have lived through the trauma of the later years of Vietnam and have somehow retained the knowledge and belief in the values and principles of this unique country are in a position to say from experience that we can get through this current crisis of division and come out stronger and better.
Whether or not Global Warming is caused by CO2, the fact is that there are a number of possible and possibly increasing dangers that local governments must be prepared for. I applaud but will continue to encourage all forms of public safety initiatives at the county level.

Not only a homeless (and veterans homeless) problem must be addressed but the growing Aging at Home population must be considered when Local, State and Federal programs are sought. However, these must be supplemented with Volunteer efforts. Saratoga Springs is one of the most generous cities in the country yet only about 20 % of the population are volunteers. This is where my generation can be most effective if motivated and lead.
As a Professional Managing Agent (similar to what is being proposed in Saratoga and used at the County) I am not aware of any desire to change the current form at the county. Frankly I have not thought much about it but am always interested in vetting existing management structures to make sure they are serving the best needs of the organization.
Zoning ordinances, well thought out and managed can be a wonderful tool for managing development. There are three criteria that must be carefully balanced for development to produce great outcomes. People, production and process, in my opinion, mean 1. How are our grandchildren going to define "Quality of Life" 2. How will the word "work" effect that definition and 3. what will the physical structures needed to support that work be envisioned and implemented?
Education B.A. Education-SUNY Plattsburgh, A.S. Applied Information Technology-Pace University
Experience and Qualifications Elected County Supervisor since 2008. Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors in 2015; Chairman of Racing & Gaming Committee; Chairman of City Open Space Committee; Vice-Chair of NYSAC Public Safety Committee; President, Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation; Chair, Saratoga Casino Hotel Foundation. Served as Chairman or member of every County Board Committee. Past Treasurer of Saratoga History Museum, and Saratoga's All-American Celebration.
Key Endorsements IAFF Local 343 Saratoga Springs Firefighters
Party Endorsements Republican, Independence, Conservative, Reform
For more information
Campaign Phone (518) 587-2198
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 230, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Campaign Email
I am motivated to run this office because I continue to have a passion for the City of Saratoga Springs and its citizens. The desire to serve my community has been instilled in me by my family, and many of us serve the City in various roles. In my 10 years as Supervisor, I have worked to have our City be a cooperative partner with the other communities in our County; as a Supervisor I have shown that I can work with others for positive outcomes for Saratoga Springs. In terms of qualifications, I have served on every County Board committee, and have chaired several of the committees. I was elected Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 2015, which is a job with broad oversight of every aspect of County government. I am currently Chairman of the City’s Open Space Committee, and prior to my time as a Supervisor I served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, so I believe I have the skills and knowledge from various levels of government to be an effective Supervisor.
The most critical issue facing Saratoga County today is the State’s Unfunded mandates, which put an undue burden on taxpayers to fund State Mandated services. In Saratoga County, 99.3% of all property tax is used to fund State mandated services such as Medicaid, Public Health, Mental Health, or Social Services. With the tax-cap limiting the amount of revenue the County can collect though property tax, there may be a time when non-mandated items such as the Animal Shelter, County bridges and roads, or Veteran’s services would need have their budgets cut, or taxes raised at a significant level to fund them. The State needs to start fully funding services Counties are required to provide, or at least increase funding for those services. Looking forward, and somewhat related, is the overall growth of the County. As more residents move to our County, it places an increased demand on services, and the County must work to also grow its services reasonably, while keeping taxes low.
At the current time, I would not be in favor of creating a commission or changing the structure of County government to a Legislature form. I believe that the Board of Supervisors model still is effective for our residents, and to have each municipality represented at the County level is a more direct way for residents to connect with their County government. Saratoga County is still small enough where each municipality has unique needs, and those needs can best be expressed through each town and City being represented at the Board of Supervisors. Additionally, as a current Supervisor, I have not heard many, if any constituent concerns that the form of government needs to be changed at the County level, or that there is a broad dissatisfaction with the functioning of County Government. Having County Legislators and an elected County Executive may be a better form of government for Saratoga County in the future, but I think that right now it is not a high priority for the County
Saratoga County is one of the fastest-growing Counties in New York State, and in many respects that is a great thing. Low taxes, and great quality of life are things that distinguish us from other Counties in the State, and the Nation. With this growth comes challenges. Saratoga County has been doing several things to help with our quality of life such a continuing to fund our Open Space and Land preservation program, and starting a Trails reserve fund for trail development. I was at the forefront of starting a trails program on County forestland parcels, which are precious acreage the County owns that will be forever-forested parcels within the County. The County can do more, and I believe we should revise and update the 2006 Green infrastructure plan, which would help assist municipalities where new green developments can be made. Continuing to fund our open space and trail projects within the County budget should continue. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.