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Longtime Saratoga official Anthony "Skip" Scirocco dies at 74

 Official Saratoga Springs photo of Anthony "Skip" Scirocco
City of Saratoga Springs
Official Saratoga Springs photo of Anthony "Skip" Scirocco

A fixture of Saratoga Springs politics has died. Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, the city’s longtime Commissioner of Public Works and a former county supervisor, was fighting cancer. He was 74.

Scirocco held many roles in Saratoga Springs. He served on the county board of supervisors for nearly a decade, served as the Spa City’s animal control officer, and for the last 14 years was the city’s Commissioner of Public Works.

Scirocco revealed details of his prognosis to colleagues in city hall in December. In 2022, city council meetings included an open seat as Scirocco fought cancer.

Former Democratic Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Accounts John Franck, who served the longest with Scirocco on the city council, from 2008 through the end of last year, remembered the Republican as a thoughtful, level-headed official, who remained supportive even during tense meetings.

“It was something very subtle, but it was just a nod or a wink. And I laugh now, because we would talk after the meeting and he never had to say anything and I understood where he was going. Just a wonderful man,” said Franck.

Former two-term Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly said Scirocco acted in the best interests of the city.

“Skip and I didn’t agree on everything. We’re on different sides of the political field. But we could’ve cared less. We did always what was best for the City of Saratoga Springs, and politics was always put aside. And I think that that’s what made Skip and myself a unique partnership on the council,” said Kelly.

In recent years, Scirocco’s department oversaw major projects in the city, including the renovation of the Canfield Casino and overhaul of City Hall after a lightning strike.

Michele Madigan is the former Democratic Commissioner of Finance who served on the council with Scirocco for a decade.

“One thing Skip was good is he knew what he liked. And he liked quality, he liked class, he wanted to see City Hall brought back to the magnificence that it once was. And you could see that in the way he cared for Congress Park,” said Madigan.

While Scirocco is being remembered for his legacy in City Hall, Saratoga Springs County Supervisor Matthew Veitch, a Republican, said Scirocco made significant contributions during his time on the county board as well.

“He was really instrumental in getting 50 percent of the NYRA admissions tax to the City of Saratoga Springs from the County Board of Supervisors, which we still do today,” said Veitch.

Veitch, who shared an interest in music with Scirocco, along with late former city councilor and music shop owner Matt McCabe, said the trio used to joke about their musical plans…

“…that we would become a Saratoga Springs supergroup of elected officials or former elected officials and have a band, so it was definitely something we chatted about every once in a while,” said Veitch.

Former one-term Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton, who ran on the Republican platform with Scirocco in 2019, said he was as reassuring to her in the hospital as he was on the council.

“To hear him tell me how happy he was to have led the life he had led, and to be able to give back so much to the city, and how he did not expect for his life to end in this way or in this moment, but he was so at peace with everything because he just felt so fulfilled by the things he was able to do in his life,” said Dalton.

Democratic Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim, who had known Scirocco for more than two decades, said he takes a lesson from the longtime public servant.

“The loudest voice isn’t always the one that is necessarily going to get heard if you’ve got something to say, and Skip always had something to say and we’ll miss that,” said Kim.

Other officials paying tribute include Republican State Senator Daphne Jordan and Democratic County Supervisor Tara Gaston.

Scirocco leaves behind his wife Corrinne, children, and grandchildren.

Under the Saratoga Springs city charter, the council will appoint a replacement ahead of a special election.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.