Frustrated by Tax Breaks, Amherst IDA Vice Chairwoman Resigns

Aug. 5, 2018

In 2013, before she was a member of the IDA, Michele Marconi was the spokesperson for a group fighting plans for the Amherst Hyatt. 

The vice chairwoman of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency has resigned after the agency’s board approved nearly $1.2 million in tax breaks for what she labeled a “blatantly ineligible” hotel project.

Michele Marconi, who was a critic of the Amherst IDA’s practices before her January 2015 appointment to the board, said she is frustrated that she was not able to sway her colleagues to her point of view that the board approves too many lucrative tax breaks to projects that do not substantially benefit the public.

“It was a pattern of behavior that I was unable to change,” Marconi said in an interview Monday.

Marconi said she informed town officials of her resignation “five minutes” after the IDA board, by a 6-1 vote, last month approved $1.15 million in tax breaks for Uniland Development Co.’s plans to construct a $14.4 million hotel at the town-owned Northtown Center ice rink complex.

4 Responses to “Frustrated by Tax Breaks, Amherst IDA Vice Chairwoman Resigns”

  1. frank belliotti says:

    Industrial Development not on this project
    pouring money into a project that should and must be supported by the numbers
    This group is no better after Jim Allen than before
    Developers monies bend some members
    Others do what they are told- can’t think on their own
    Another independent voice lost to the detriment of Amherst taxpayers
    Thanks for your service

  2. jjtric says:

    Michele Marconi is a fighter. When she was placed on the AmherstIDA She hoped she could convince other members to see the light. She knew this wasn’t going to be easy. This board was filled with Weinstein’s old cronies.
    They would pass any project by bending the rules of the IDA to make a project fit like they did with Uniland’s hotel next to our hockey center. This group of scoundrels only wants to make the developers happy.
    I’m very proud of our citizen Michele Marconi, who stuck her neck out to try to save taxpayers money. We need more people to her enter this fight to make these Town Boards more honest.

    The people of Amherst are dissatisfied but they have to realize they have the power to make changes by going to the Town Board meetings, writing letters to the Buffalo News, the AMHERST BEE AND THE AMHERSTTIMES.COM and voice your complaints against these Boards who are raising our taxes by giving the O.K. to the developers.
    These people who are controlled by the old boy’s friends of ex Supervisor Weintstein, are corrupt – every one of them. Corruption is king in Amherst. This sucks big time. We must demand changes now from our Town Supervisor and his Board. They can make some needed changes, but the people at election time can make even more!

  3. Lois says:

    Thanks to Marconi for trying to bring integrity and honesty to a board that has been consistently lacking. They have lost someone who demonstrated the knowledge necessary to be a representative of the people and their money.

    How dare anyone on that board contend they are interested in the taxpayers. Actions speak louder than words.

    Heard Uniland was positively giddy after their success in convincing the ignorant and /or corrupted IDA that
    they were able to squeeze more money from Amherst taxpayers on top of the Weinstein-Sanders-Spoth lease deal.

    It is the prior town boards that picked these people. Looks like Marconi was the only one who took the responsibility seriously.

    We can only hope that the one filling Marconi’s seat will bring the same integrity, honesty and knowledge to the position. And,
    the others will not ignore law and righteousness for self-serving reasons.

  4. Diogenes says:

    Wanna bet our town supervisor especially and other town board members are secretly doing a little victory dance regarding Ms. Marconi’s departure from the Amherst AIDA. Don’t be fooled by their public faces on this resignation. Neither party really wants reformers on this board. The only difference between the Elephants and Mules is that the Mules are more covert about it.

    Let us just see who they replace Michele with. They had the chance to make a real difference on this board at the start of their administration, but did not. Just imagine what could be with with another reformer able to second their own motions.