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Saratoga Springs Democrat Ron Kim Announces Run For Mayor

Ron Kim speaks in Saratoga Springs
Lucas Willard
Ron Kim speaks in Saratoga Springs

Another candidate for mayor of Saratoga Springs has officially entered the race. And as he’s a veteran of city politics.

Former city Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim gathered supporters Wednesday in High Rock Park to announce his four main campaign goals as he kicks off a run for mayor.

First on the Democrat’s list, follow through with the construction of a new fire/EMS station on the city’s East Side.

“It’s been long in coming and we need to move that forward.”

Second, reimagine the city’s police force.

“So there’s accountability and transparency, while also creating some bonds among our all first responders and the rest of our citizens.”

Third, as the city learns lessons from the pandemic, prepare businesses for the next upheaval.

“So that our businesses can continue to survive and thrive. Because our business community is how our quality of life in Saratoga Springs is maintained.”

And fourth, as Kim remains optimistic for a major infrastructure plan in Washington, to create “green” policies.

“Eventually, getting to a carbon neutral city by 2030.”

Kim, a lawyer by trade, served as Public Safety Commissioner from 2006 to 2010. In 2009, he lost his first bid for mayor against Republican Scott Johnson. He also ran briefly for the 21st House district in the 2018 election.

Recently, Kim has appeared frequently to advocate in favor of police reform. He took issue with the city council’s recent passage of a police reform plan under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203. By choosing to delay or not adopt four of the Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force’s 50 recommendations, Kim said the city council’s actions create a legal issue.

“I didn’t see in that executive order the right to actually pick and choose. So I think it was a big mistake,” said Kim.

Activists and some members of the Task Force were angry after the city’s police reform plan chose to delay, upon further study, the creation of a civilian police review board, saying such a body would have the power to investigate claims of police misconduct, such as those made in the case of Darryl Mount Jr..

Mount, a biracial man, died from injuries several months after a police foot chase in August 2013. The city has provided relatively few details in the case, citing a lawsuit against the city being pursued by Mount’s family.

WAMC on Wednesday asked Kim if elected mayor if he would push for a settlement in the Mount lawsuit.

“As far settlements, I couldn’t comment on this point because I don’t know of the details, but I’ll also say that this gets expensive. Lawyers are expensive. These kinds of litigations cost all of us, and so that’s why we need that kind of transparency and accountability.”

Kim joins a mayoral field already featuring businesswoman Heidi Owen West. Endorsed by the city’s Republican committee last month, Owen West says she will remain an unaffiliated voter. Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly is not seeking a third two-year term.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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