SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Mayor Ron Kim and Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino, both up for re-election, have turned their backs on one another and are supporting different candidates in the 2023 election.
Montagnino is reaching across party lines by standing with Republican mayoral candidate John Safford. In a press conference Monday, the two zeroed in on city council meetings, which they say, under Kim, have gotten out of control.
“It’s become the rule, and not the exception, that the public comment period of city council be overtaken by individuals with no respect for one another, no respect for the rules of civility and decorum,” said Montagnino.
“It’s not a public forum for people to get out their political ideas. It’s a business meeting to get the nuts and bolts of this city working again,” said Safford.
Earlier this year, Montagnino filed charges against BLM activist Chandler Hickenbottom for allegedly disrupting a police task force meeting. Kim disagreed with that move.
“We’ve expanded public comment period so people can be heard. We even have–if people don’t want to come to our city council meetings–we even have a public comment period on the internet where people can Zoom in and talk to us that way,” Kim explained, “so we’ve expanded the ability for people to talk to us.”
Kim took the win in the June primary against Democrat Chris Mathiesen, who also previously served as Commissioner of Public Safety. He’s now running on the One Saratoga line.
“I think the activists we were hearing from over the past 22 months also feel unheard, and i think we need to talk about better ways of communicating with them and making sure the entire community understands where they are coming from.”
Kim is supporting Independent Kristen Dart in the race for Commissioner of Public Safety.