|Screen capture: Dan Udell|
Mr. Fingar's maverick letter misrepresented an opinion as coming from CEDC when in fact neither the letter nor the GP [Global Partners] proposal was on the CEDC agenda nor discussed at its regular meeting. No vote of the entire board was ever taken. . . .
LCC wants to know why and how Mr. Fingar's letter was written and by whose authority it was sanctioned to be read at the LPB [Livingston Planning Board] meeting. The letter irresponsibly gave CEDC's considerable support to the GP project in ignorance of the environmental impacts and before any regulatory agencies had been given an opportunity to weigh in on the GP proposal. The proper thing for CEDC to do would have been to advocate for a full SEQR Project Review.
LCC is concerned that CEDC, whose purpose is to "facilitate positive economic growth for Columbia County," would allow one of its members to interfere in the orderly deliberation of Livington's Planning Board. While it is legitimate for Mr. Fingar to express a personal opinion, it is improper for him to single-handedly misrepresent CEDC's support of the GP project, particularly when it has not yet been certified. The impact of the reading of this disingenuous letter by Mr. Fingar on the LPB and the public cannot be underestimated. Is it evidence of back room dealing or of a conflict of interest? Was CEDC's support given to the GP proposal in order to influence the LPB or undermine its deliberations?Commenting on the situation, Mike Tucker, president and CEO of CEDC, is reported in the press release to have said, "From time to time, it has been CEDC's practice to provide letters of support focused on economic factors, consistent with CEDC's mission, without specific Board approval. I have now been now been directed by CEDC's Governance and Nominating Committee to review CEDC's processes relating to such letters of support and to report to the Board at its September meeting with any suggestions for process changes."
Commenting on Tucker's statement, the press release continues: "LCC calls on Mr. Tucker and the CEDC Board to investigate the ethical quandary raised by the unauthorized reading of Mr. Fingar's letter, to formally retract the letter in writing to the LPB and to repudiate his action to the CEDC membership."
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