SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After a City Council meeting was interrupted by BLM activists on February 7, the Saratoga Commissioner of Public Safety Jim Montagnino asked the City Court to issue a summons against the leading activist. Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim said that he “regrets” Montagnino’s actions.

Montagnino explained that he stands by the summons for Chandler Hickenbottom, saying that Hickenbottom lead multiple interruptions that shutdown multiple meetings. This after BLM and city officials agreed to a separate public meeting to address specific concerns.

On February 23, Mayor Kim responded to the summons with a public statement. “This action is counterproductive to a continued dialogue with all members of our community, a waste of city resources, and could potentially lead to additional costs to the City and taxpayers,” he said of the summons. “When Commissioner Montagnino informed me that he was taking this action, I asked him not to do this, however under the unfortunate Commission Form of government, he alone has the final say in this action.”

For his part, Kim suggested an alternative approach to get the practical work of running the city done while still being available for a robust dialogue about community concerns. At the February 21 meeting, he proposed changes like:

• Starting meetings at 5 p.m.
• Reorganizing the agenda schedule
• Delaying official votes until after public hearings
• Doubling public response time from 2 to 4 minutes
• Installing a monthly, hourlong community forum for the mayor

If there is consensus, the mayor’s proposed changed would like to take effect as of the next City Council meeting in March. As for the summons, the mayor concluded: “I respectfully call upon the Commissioner of Public Safety to withdraw this summons and join me in continuing to find common ground with all members of our community.”