Scirocco Seeks Seventh Term As Saratoga Springs Public Works Commissioner
Democrats in Saratoga Springs are attempting to take back the only Republican seat on the five-member city council on Election Day.
Anthony “Skip” Scirocco has been Commissioner of Public Works for six two-year terms, and he’s seeking a seventh. On the campaign trail, the Republican called his tenure as commissioner his “life’s work.”
“I enjoy working with the people in the city. I enjoy the job. I like doing what makes the city a great place. And, you know, the voters have put me in office for 12 years now so I believe I got the experience.”
Scirocco says he’s running on his record and accomplishments. In Saratoga Springs, department heads also serve as the city’s legislative body, including the mayor.
Prior to serving on the city council as head of the Public Works department, Scirocco was a county supervisor for the city for eight years.
Democrat Dillon Moran is trying to unseat the longtime incumbent. Moran said he knows it is a challenge but is confident he will pull off an upset.
“Absolutely I feel that I can overcome that. Absolutely I understand that it’s a challenge and I understand what challenge I stepped up to face. And I know that I can do a better job than anybody who’s ever held this position in my life,” said Moran.
Moran says he would bring expertise to the position.
“I’m a chemical engineer by degree. I’ve been working in the field of water for over 25 years. And as such, if you look at what the Department of Public Works is all about, it’s ensuring the health of the public through the provision of clean and safe drinking water,” said Moran.
An issue raised by Moran during the campaign is the city council’s elimination of a water connection fee for developers. He argues the elimination of the fee in 2014 passed costs on to city residents.
The connection fee, created in 1992, was intended to support improvements to the city’s water system. The fee was scrapped by the city council following a controversy involving the fees being waived for several development projects.
The New York State Comptroller’s office conducted a five-year investigation into the matter, concluding “without report” in September.
Scirocco has called the former fee “bad policy, plain and simple” and supports a water capital improvement fee implemented in its place to fund infrastructure, that he says helps keep water rates low.
“If you were to do a comparison with us and say Schenectady, and Wilton, and other areas that have water treatment plants or that sell water to residents, we are still the lowest,” said Scirocco.
Scirocco for the last two years has served as the lone Republican on the council. Democratic Commissioner of Accounts John Franck is running uncontested, while a battle is on for the other three seats on the council.
Democratic Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan is running as an independent against primary winner Patty Morrison. First-term Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly faces Republican challenger Tim Holmes. Democratic Public Safety Commissioner hopeful Kendall Hicks is running against Republican Robin Dalton, who has the support of several top Democrats.