David Kinyon will be the town’s first-ever coordinator of economic development beginning Jan. 1.

Town Supervisor Marc Smith announced Kinyon, a town resident, as the one and only candidate for the new job on Friday.

Kinyon “is a first-round draft pick, somebody that anybody with a brain should want to recruit to their community to advance economic development,” Smith said.

Kinyon was the executive director of Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years, until the group was folded into the countywide Niagara USA Chamber in 2001. Since then, he’s been the executive director of the Eighth District Dental Society, an association of dentists in the eight counties of Western New York.

“I look forward to leveraging the experience I’ve had (in both jobs), ” Kinyon said. “Even though the Dental Society is about health care, I’ve been able to extend my network among Western New York leaders. I think my skill set will bring good returns to the Town of Lockport.”

The town board earlier this week approved creation of the economic development coordinator’s post as a full-time, Civil Service town job. Kinyon will take over the duties of two existing employees, town grant writer Tom Sullivan and town Industrial Development Agency Director Lew Staley, and will answer to both the town board and the IDA board of directors.

Staley has been the IDA director for about 20 years. The IDA board’s view has been that he’s the town industrial park’s manager first and foremost, Smith said, but the town needs more. An economic coordinator will be expected to actively recruit businesses to the town, both industrial and commercial, in addition to managing the park.

“We want to be very aggressive, recruiting new businesses to the park and retail to the Transit North corridor — and that’s a major departure from past strategy,” he said. “Lew has served our town extremely well for a long time. So has Tom. We’re sorry to see them go ... but it’s time to try something new.”

Kinyon expressed his interest to Smith this past summer, when the coordinator’s post was still an item under discussion only.

“As soon as I became aware of the opportunity, I applied for it,” he said. “Mr. Smith is anxious to see some results and I share his lack of patience. I, too, look forward to seeing some solid development for the town.”

Kinyon’s commitment to take the job, if it was created, made it more attractive to both the town board and the IDA board, Smith said.

“We know David’s background. He’s very methodical and very aggressive. He has a network in place and will build new ties easily,” Smith said. “He will give town residents a return on their money.”

The town has submitted the coordinator’s title to the state for Civil Service approval. Once that’s returned, probably within a few weeks, Smith said, the town board will authorize Kinyon’s hire.

The 2009 town budget shows a salary line of $75,000 for the coordinator and a part-time secretary. The town will pay the salaries and be reimbursed by the IDA for the portion of Kinyon’s duties done on IDA’s behalf, Smith said. The town and IDA together budgeted approximately $87,000 this year for the posts of Sullivan, Staley and secretarial help.

Kinyon will have to quit the town planning board, of which he’s been a member for two years, but will remain chairman of the City of Lockport’s Flight of Five canal locks restoration committee.

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