At Tuesday’s Town of Montgomery Industrial Development Agency meeting, two new members were introduced: Don Berger and Randi Greene.
About two weeks ago, the Town Board and IDA Chairman Jeffrey Crist interviewed 11 potential candidates for the IDA and chose the top seven for the board. In addition to appointing Berger and Greene, Matt Stoddard, Bob Santo, Jeffrey Crist, Edwin Williams and John Dixon were reappointed. Stephen Rainaldi and John Macioce retired from the Board.
“We appreciate their service and thank them for their time on the board,” Crist said regarding Rainaldi and Macioce.
Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher is excited to see some fresh new faces on the IDA.
“The Town Board accepted Don Berger and Randi Greene because they interviewed very well,” he said. “It was important to have some new voices as the board looks to edit its UTEP (Uniform Tax Exemption Policy). It’s important for the Town Board in regards to what developments warrant PILOTS (Payments in lieu of taxes).”
As a founding member of Residents Protecting Montgomery, Berger has been a regular at town board meetings in recent months. He has voiced objections to Project Sailfish and Medline Montgomery before the Town Board, Planning Board and IDA. He decided to apply for the IDA so he could make a difference in his community.
“I was sitting around one day thinking, ‘I’m sitting on this side of the podium all the time, I think I could do a lot of good on that side,’” he said.
During his tenure with the IDA, he hopes to give good advice as well as a different perspective about rewarding payments in lieu of taxes to applicants.
The other newly-appointed member of the IDA, Randi Greene, is also eager to make an impact.
“I put an application in because I’ve always maintained a stance that if we’re unhappy with the decisions made by our appointed officials then we should change the appointed officials,” she said. “Because I’m in business, I felt that the IDA was the best way to start.”
Greene owns and operates Eat This Bakery and Gifts in the Village of Montgomery. She also started the Village Preservation Committee, a citizens group whose mission is to preserve the charm and safety of each village within the Town of Montgomery.
She aims to navigate and identify how the Town can market themselves properly to get a variety of businesses to come there. During her time on the IDA, she hopes the Board will invest money from the PILOT to benefit businesses.