Highlights of Michele's Accomplishments as Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance, 2011-2021
BUDGET AND TAXES:
Budgets and Taxes: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 City Adopted Budgets fund essential services with a continued stability in property taxes. 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Budgets provided a property tax decrease. Accurate budgeting avoids unnecessary tax increases and expense reductions.
During my administration the DPW Water and Sewer Funds paid back the City Operating Budget and the taxpayers over $1.8 Million in loans that were provided to these Funds by prior administrations
throughout 1990 – 2010. For the first time ever the Water and Sewer Funds operate with healthy Fund Balances allowing DPW to work on infrastructure projects without the need for bonding.
Took advantage of record low interest rates due to our strong bond rating of AA+ in
2014 and again in 2018 to refinance several of the city’s bonds, leading savings of $3.6M for taxpayers. City Reserves and Fund Balances remain healthy and strong – Bond Rating AA+ since 2013
Groundbreaking occurred in 2014 on one of two parcels set aside from the cities in-
rem foreclosure process – this was the parcel on Division Street. Groundbreaking occurred on the 2nd parcel, a duplex on Cherry Street. The homes were set aside for affordable housing projects with Habitat for Humanity and Saratoga Builder. Net result is 3 new affordable homes in our city. We have also provided funding to go toward receiving state tax incentives for Affordable Housing projects on South Broadway and with the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority.
The groundbreaking of the 2.5MW Spa Solar Park took place in September of 2017 on
the City’s Weibel Avenue Landfill. This solar array, which includes 7992 state of the art solar panels, has generated 3.6M KW hours of electricity and a 108,000 gallon reduction of fuel. 1.3million trees worth of CO2 has been offset. This array generates 40% of the city’s energy needs (we have 19 separate city utility bills that our solar use covers).
IT/ SMART CITY COMMISSION:
I created a Commission that consists of various CIOs
throughout the city to assist with leading the city on technology projects of the future – Smart Parking,
Public WiFi (which we now have in Congress Park and City Hall), Creative Makerspaces, Electric Vehicles, and more. We are providing a series of Economic Development Lunch & Learns on topics such as innovation centers, Artificial Intelligence, Connected Street Lighting, and Blockchain. Please see SmartCity Roadmap 1.0 for more information which can be found on the city website.
• In 2015, in partnership with the SPA State Park & Rec, I oversaw the construction of a safe, fenced
in dog park area at the intersection of Crescent and South Broadway
• Automated Time and Attendance Program has been implemented for all departments at City Hall.
• Completed a complete overhaul of the city website, The Empire Center and TU announced it was
one of the top 3 best websites in the capital district region including transparency of budget
• Online Payment of Taxes and Utilities
• Conducted a city-wide Revenue Study
• Economic Development Initiatives with UPH, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, etc.