Abort IDA mission

The Town Board is not replacing the Industrial Development Agency after all, according to Supervisor Sean Walter. He acknowledged he no longer could count on a Town Board majority to support the idea.

While it initially seemed that three of the five Town Board members supported the idea, Councilman John Dunleavy later changed his mind, Mr. Walter said.

That realization was becoming clear last week, when a majority of the Town Board members said in interviews that they opposed taking over the IDA.

Mr. Walter made the proposal to have the Town Board take on the IDA’s responsibilities last month, saying it was difficult to find new members for the IDA and the Town Board was the agency that should take the heat when tax exemptions are granted as an inducement to attract or retain private businesses in town.

For a while this week, Councilman Jim Wooten — who opposed the plan from the start — sounded as if he might change his mind Monday.

Mr. Wooten and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio attended the IDA’s meeting Monday, and they watched as IDA member Andrea DeVito sparred with executive director Anna Maria Villa over whether or not the IDA should replace its bond counsel.

“I think I made a mistake,” Mr. Wooten said under his breath after watching the battle.

“Excuse me, Mr. Wooten?” Ms. DeVito asked.

“I didn’t realize this board was so dysfunctional,” Mr. Wooten said.

Afterward, asked if any of the IDA members had a comment about the fact that the Town Board was no longer going to be replacing them, Ms. DeVito said, “Well, I don’t know, Mr. Wooten said he made a mistake.”

Despite his comment, Mr. Wooten told a reporter that he still opposed the move.

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