February 24, 2010


Williams names IDA appointments

Legislators to vote Thursday on recommendations

Staff Reporter

The Cortland County Legislature will vote Thursday on appointing four new members and re-appointing three current members to the Industrial Development Agency board of directors.
The seven-member board has had four vacancies since Legislature Chairman Jack Williams asked three members to step down last week and one member, Vickie Marsted, resigned after the Feb. 16 meeting.
Williams is suggesting John Shirley of Homer, William Breidinger of Cortland, Edward Telling of Cortland and Floyd Moon of LaFayette as new members. Williams is also recommending three current members continue: Stephen Compagni of Homer, Michael McMahon of Homer, and John Reagan of Cortland.
Municipal Law states it is the Legislature chairman’s duty to recommend names for appointment.
Williams asked Paul Slowey, former chairman of the Business Development Corp. and the IDA, to resign last week. Williams also asked IDA-BDC board members Tom Gallagher and John Finamore to resign.
Williams said Tuesday he called for the resignations because he was getting calls from county residents who wanted a change on the board.
A primary focus of the board is to grant tax breaks to prospective businesses through payment in lieu of taxes agreements. Under a PILOT agreement a business is granted tax relief as an incentive to business growth in the county. The board selects businesses for the program based on the merits of each.
Williams said some people thought 16-year-member Slowey had been on the board too long. He said Finamore had accounting experience that was not needed since Reagan also has that expertise.
“It was not an attempt on my part to belittle the work done by the previous people. They did an excellent job and worked at it hard,” Williams said. “I just thought that maybe with a change they (the IDA) can do some things better.”
Williams said the four people he is nominating were recommended to him by county residents who wanted a change on the board. Williams said he asked for their resumes and made his recommendations based on their qualifications.
Williams said he does not know any of the nominees personally.
Telling, a Cornell University graduate, is president of Telling Group LTD., a brokerage firm. Breidinger is president of Global Grantwerks and executive director of the CNY Living History Museum. Moon is president of the J.M. Murray Center and Shirley is director of career services at SUNY Cortland.
Williams lauded Breidinger’s experience as a grant writer, Shirley’s involvement with internships, Moon’s business and finance background, and Telling’s experience as a marketer of profitable businesses.
“Put together with the other people, I think we have a creative group of people working together who can bounce ideas off each other and we may be positively surprised with the results,” Williams said.
Traditionally, once an IDA member is on the board, he or she is automatically appointed to the BDC board, a 13-member board, with seven members serving on the IDA board.
Garry VanGorder, executive director of the BDC and IDA, said in an e-mail statement this morning he knows some of the nominees personally and knows them to be “good, solid members of the Cortland County community.”
“The fact that they’re willing to step up and serve in an important role says a lot about that, and our staff is looking forward to working with them and the rest of our board in the days ahead,” VanGorder stated.
McMahon said Tuesday evening he did not know the nominees but from what he was told of their qualifications, it sounded to him like a “very diverse group.”
“Hopefully they’ll have something good to bring to the table and I’m looking forward to them being good contributing members of the IDA,” McMahon said.


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