June 21, 2024 |

Photo – Kathy Beck being sworn in as Saratoga council member – Bigfoot99 file photo

Citing a lack of support from her fellow council members, Saratoga Councilwoman Kathy Beck resigned as the liaison to the town’s recreation department during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the governing body.

The announcement came as Councilwoman Beck read her letter of resignation from the recreation department. Beck said she became involved with the rec department to help with the town’s outdoor swimming pool. Using the momentum from her appointment, Councilwoman Beck said she applied for, and received, a seat on the town council.

Beck was appointed to the Saratoga town council in November of 2022 by then-Mayor Creed James to serve the remainder of Ben Spaulding’s unexpired term.  Spaulding resigned mid-term. Councilwoman Beck’s time on the town council ends at the end of this year. The councilwoman has not chosen to run for any of the three open council seats.

Reading from her resignation letter, Councilwoman Beck explained how she believes the recreation department benefits the community.

Beck continued, saying that recreation opportunities foster social connections and bring community members together through sports and activities. The councilwoman said parks and recreation areas also can bring more tourism dollars into the town and improve the overall quality of life for Saratoga residents.

When Mayor Chuck Davis took office in 2023, he appointed each councilmember to act as a liaison to the various department boards within the town.

Continuing to read from her resignation letter, Beck said she specifically requested to be assigned to the recreation department due to her love of community events. Through her position on the board, the councilwoman said she helped make the town’s recreation department better.

Despite her love of the recreation department, Councilwoman Beck asked to immediately be removed as liaison to the board. Beck accused her fellow councilmembers of not supporting her effects to improve the reach of the town’s recreation department.

In April of 2023, Saratoga council members butted heads with Beck over spending on a pickleball tournament sponsored by the rec department. A local business owner accused Councilwoman Beck of reneging on a contract to supply food during the tournament. Beck was also told not to sell T-shirts during the event even though commemorative shirts had been purchased already by the town.

The following month, Councilwoman Beck once again faced criticism from her fellow council members over raises for pool staff. Beck championed an across-the-board pay raise for lifeguards. Mayor Davis said the town could not afford to pay the pool staff more money.

Soon after the discussion, Councilwoman Beck penned a letter to the editor of the local newspaper.

In the letter, Beck wrote that the town should show appreciation for the lifeguards by paying them a competitive wage. Her letter also states that she would like to increase the hours the pool is open and add more activities. The councilwoman said the town may not be able to staff the pool if it doesn’t offer to pay its employees more money.

Councilwoman Beck’s prophecy appears to be coming true. Earlier this week, Bigfoot99 reported that the town’s only adult lifeguard threatened to resign if more pool staff aren’t immediately hired. Mayor Davis said he received several applications for the open pool manager position and will hold interviews at an undisclosed time in the future.

Upon finishing the reading of her letter of resignation from the recreation department, Mayor Davis thanked Beck for her time and appointed Bub Barkhurst as the new rec department liaison.

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