Vacant board gives GOP opportunity to reshape Suffolk County IDA
The new Republican majority in the Suffolk County Legislature will have the opportunity to begin reshaping the County Industrial Development Agency due to a soon-to-be vacant seat on the agency’s board of directors.
IDA board secretary Anthony Giordano has said he will step down, effective Saturday, due to increased work responsibilities that require him to spend more time away from Long Island. He is a players agent for Major League Baseball.
In recent years, some GOP lawmakers have called on the IDA board to exercise more judgment in granting tax breaks to companies.
Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) criticized the incentive programs offered to large companies, such as Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. for warehouses in Melville, a 126 unit apartment complex in Selden now owned by Fairfield Properties and a warehouse in Westhampton Beach which is to be used by Amazon.
“You are messing up Suffolk County by giving tax breaks to billionaires,” Trotta said at the IDA board meeting this month before Giordano’s resignation was announced. “It’s obscene that this continues.”
Trotta concluded: “The day of accounts arrives on January 2”, when the Republicans are in charge of the legislature.
In November 2013, lawmakers appointed Giordano, from Commack, to IDA’s seven-member board. The Democrats were in the majority at the time and Giordano had presented himself unsuccessfully to the State Assembly in 2004 on the line of the Democratic Party and Working Families.
“I feel like we have accomplished a lot” to strengthen the Suffolk economy, he said this month. âItâs the best unpaid job Iâve ever had. The past eight years have been amazing.â
The Volunteer Board of Directors is made up of leaders from businesses, unions and not-for-profit organizations, all appointed by the Legislative Assembly.
Giordano said his employer, North Star Sports Management Group LLC, was recently purchased and the new owner asked him to remain director of baseball operations.
âI’m going to travel a lot,â said Giordano. “To do the best thing [by the IDA], you have to be here all the time and I couldn’t be here that much. “
IDA President Natalie Wright, who is also Chief Economic Development Officer of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, praised Giordano’s service and led the round of applause given to him during the the board meeting.
The leaders of IDA are Vice President Kevin Harvey, retired Commercial Director of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25, and Treasurer Sondra Cochran, Executive Director of Wyandanch Community Development Corp.
In addition, there are three board members: Brian Beedenbender, vice president of sales for Teq educational products at Huntington Station and Democratic county lawmaker in 2008-09; Gregory T. Casamento, attorney in Manhattan; and Joshua Slaughter, political director of Local 66 of the Workers’ Union.