I’m Very Proud That the Public Blog Recognizes Michele Marconi For Her Brave Fight Against the Amherst IDA

Aug. 9, 2018

Kudos to Michele Marconi, vice chairwoman of the Amherst Iduntrial Development Agency, who tendered her resignation last month in response to the Amherst IDA’s approval of $1.2 million in tax breaks for a proposed $14.4 million hotel project by Uniland Development adjacent to the town-owned Northtown Center ice rink complex. State law says that hotel and retail projects do not qualify for IDA tax incentives, but the board voted 6-1 to grant Uniland its tax breaks anyway, under a loophole that allows incentives for projects that might bolster tourism. (Which, of course, the town-owned ice rink might conceivably do, while the hotel will merely benefit from those out-of-town hockey players and their families.) In an interview with the Buffalo News, Marconi called the project “blatantly ineligible” and said the board approves far too many incentive packages for similarly unsuitable projects. “It was a pattern of behavior that I was unable to change,” Marconi told the News. There is something to be said for fighting from within the system, but there is also an argument, when the system is intractable, for publicly walking away in protest. Marconi says she resigned five minutes after the vote on the Uniland project was taken.

This article was in the Public. Click here to read it.

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