The Truth Behind the Amherst IDA Dealing With the Mother House Tax Breaks Request

Mar. 12, 2019


by James Tricoli/Editor of the Amhersttimes.com

The Amherst IDA lied and falsified several steps to give Tzetzo Brothers tax breaks of $1.4 million to develop the Mother House project on Mill.  They refer to it as the Fredonia project.

To begin with, the people who live within 600 feet of the proposed project weren’t informed about what date the Town Board or the AIDA would discuss the Mother House project.

The AIDA said they had the public hearing on January 25, 2019. The AIDA Board had only 3 of their members present at this meeting, which isn’t a quorum. This means the meeting on January 25th wasn’t valid.

I talked to the Executive Director Director of the Amherst IDA, David S. Mingoia, and asked to have a proper public meeting. His answer was a resounding ‘NO.’

The weather conditions on January 25th were horrible.  It was -1 degree, and there was blowing freezing wind and snow. The Amherst Police said there should be no driving unless it was essential, so to attend this meeting was to go against the police warning.

Two people did come as well as 3 AIDA members. Our Supervisor Brian Kulpa arrived late and missed the meeting but said there were 3 AIDA Board members present at this meeting.

Mr. Mingoia sent me an email there wouldn’t be any AIDA meetings in the month of February.

Executive Director Dave Mingoia said that all the conditions were met including the public expression. This is a barefaced lie. The seven-member AIDA Board voted 7 to 0 to award the developer $1.4 million in tax breaks even though it didn’t qualify under the rules of the AIDA.

Our Amherst IDA needs to hear from the public to stop spending their tax money illegally.

The State Comptroller must investigate our Amherst IDA for other things they have done to bring more business to Amherst with little or no hiring of local people after the project is complete.

There have been several companies who didn’t fulfill their agreement with the AIDA and yet the AIDA did nothing to them. It’s clear the Board members don’t know much about the laws or rules of how the AIDA operates.

The self-loving Executive Director of the AIDA must be removed and be replaced with an honest, ethical woman or man. This move is the last hope to salvage our corrupt AIDA.

Power is a powerful drug which most people handle badly. David S. Mingoia, Director of our AIDA, has made him into a tiny little Trump. He must resign or accept the reputation of being a crooked human being who sold his soul to the developers of Amherst, forgetting the needs of the people of Amherst.

2 Responses to “The Truth Behind the Amherst IDA Dealing With the Mother House Tax Breaks Request”

  1. Money Talks says:

    According to the AIDA’s own written BYLAWS

    ARTICLE IV
    MEETINGS

    Section 5. Quorum. At all meetings of the Agency, a majority of the members of the Agency shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business; provided that a smaller number may meet and adjourn to some other time or until a quorum is obtained.

    Link: http://www.amherstida.com/documents//AIDA_Bylaws_July_2017.pdf

    So if they met and discussed this request on January 25, 2019 without a quorum, they could not vote on it.

    But they ALSO could not hold a public hearing on January 25, 2019 without a quorum, so a public hearing held on that date is not official. They needed to hold an OFFICIAL public hearing before their vote on March 8, 2019!

    What they probably did was rational their actions by using what they heard from the public on January 25, 2019 “as input” before the vote on March 8, 2019. Still this LOOKS and FEELS the same old slimy politics used to prevent public comment. These guys love their POWER!

    -$$

  2. Phil says:

    IDA. Deceptive name with poor execution.

    Industrial Development Agency sounds great but what are they doing?
    The basic function of an IDA is to attract or create jobs.
    What IDA’s have morphed into is simply more Corporate Welfare.

    We’re subsidizing Developers and Corporate Ventures with public tax dollars – why give Tax Dollars to a business when there are other similar competing private businesses in the same area? And it’s made worse by extending these tax breaks for 5, 10, or even more years.

    If you owned a shoe store how would you like it if a government supported shoe store opened next door? The Mother House project should stand on it’s own with no incentives. If it’s a worthy project let private development go after it, if not then nothing happens. What’s wrong with that?

    The Amherst IDA appears to be beholding to no one and operates without following its own ByLaws.
    We have unelected, pro-development appointees in control of spending public tax dollars – not good.
    The Amherst IDA should be broken up and its mission returned to direct Amherst Government control where elected citizens can oversee its mission.