Saratoga Mayor Scott Johnson joins UPH Board

“When future historians write about Saratoga Springs’ 21st century leaders, Scott Johnson will be acknowledged as one of the most visionary and accomplished leaders this city has ever seen”, said UPH’s President Teddy Foster.  “We are fortunate to have someone of his proven ability and intelligence on the UPH board”.

Johnson’s success as Saratoga Springs’ Mayor could be attributed to his humble beginnings and hard work.  He grew up on the west side of Saratoga Springs in the heart of the neighborhood known as Dublin, and in high school his family moved to Jefferson Terrace . He worked all through high school at local businesses and went to college, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Syracuse University in 1977, and a Juris Doctorate degree in 1981 from the University of San Diego School of Law.  Johnson had a very successful career working for law firms in New York City and Albany, and in 1997 was one of the litigators hired to represent New York State in a lawsuit filed against the major tobacco companies.  Johnson was a key part of the legal team that in 2000 secured a global settlement in the case against Big Tobacco, in which the tobacco companies paid New York State billions of dollars, which the state shared with the counties, including Saratoga.

Johnson retired from legal practice and successfully ran for mayor in 2007, taking office in 2008.  He immediately took action and led the city’s effort to build the long-delayed recreation center, now known as the South Side Recreation Center.  He also spearheaded construction of a new downtown parking garage, as well the Spring Run Trail and The Waterfront Park.  He also led environmental initiatives and negotiated contracts with the city unions that resulted in significant savings.  These plans were accomplished “despite a national recession of historic measure”, and Saratoga Springs has thrived under his leadership. “I’m looking forward to continuing to serve our City by contributing to, and building upon, the success and vast potential of one of our true community assets: The Universal Preservation Hall”, said Mayor Johnson.

The Universal Preservation Hall hosts a resident modern dance company and dance lessons, as well as performing arts programming, weddings, concerts, dances and other events in its two spacious event rooms. There is also a wonderful chapel space available for ceremonies. A proposed partnership with Proctors, a Schenectady performing arts and cultural venue, will increase the building’s reach into the Saratoga Springs community with additional programming. Universal Preservation Hall is located at 25 Washington Street in historic downtown Saratoga Springs.  For further information, please contact UPH Manager Mary Beth McGarrahan at or (518) 584-2627.