Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

March 17, 2014

Sloma returning as NCIDA chair


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Sloma characterized the business as "passive" in nature and said it deals solely with the collection of rent and operation of the Military Road building. He did not view the relationship as an issue for the board moving forward. He said he would publicly declare a conflict and abstain from any sort of action if a matter involving Medical Realty Partnership came before the board at some point. 

"There is no conflict," he said. "If there were a conflict, I would announce it and deal with it accordingly." 

Wolfgang did not attend Monday's meeting. Gabriele said he was vacationing and unable to attend. 

In other matters, the board:

• Discussed a pair of dissenting opinions expressed by an unidentified board member as part of a confidential self evaluation of the board and committee performance as required by the state authorities budget office. 

The survey covered the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013, and covered the IDA and its component entities, the Niagara County Development Corp. and the Niagara Area Development Corp.

The unidentified member checked "disagree" on an item asking if the board met to review and approve all documents and reports prior to public release and is confident that the information presented is accurate and complete. On another item, a board member disagreed when asked if individual members felt "empowered" to delay votes, defer agenda items or table actions if they felt additional information or discussion was required. 

The state requires the board to discuss any items in which there is disagreement. 

Gabriele described both criteria on the survey as somewhat "problematic." 

On the first matter, he noted that, under state open government rules, it is "almost impossible" and often impractical for board members to be called together to discuss documents prior to public release. He noted that any such meeting involving a majority of the board would require advance notification of the meeting to the press and the public, creating the potential for a "never-ending circle" of meetings. 

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