For example, the Bernardos are also IDA loan recipients, in this case for their Skatetime 209 business in Accord. The funny thing is, they too are under an "action plan" by the IDA, as Skatetime's jobs claims -- the number of jobs the IDA was told Skatetime would provide to the local community -- have never really added up. Thus, the IDA has Skatetime on this list (along with Aaron and a few other developers). According to minutes for the IDA meeting this past August, there were a number of issues with Skatetime:
TLB Management (Skatetime 209)In other words, the IDA took no action against the Bernardos, though it did decide to go after Aaron. I wonder why this could be? Oh, maybe it had something to do with the fact that O'Halloran is good buddies with the Bernardos. It's O'Halloran, after all, who is holding the Friends of Terry Bernardo fundraiser at Hillside Manor on February 28 at 7 p.m. RSVP to O'Halloran at (845) 853-4967 if you're interested in attending. This is also the same David O'Halloran who is angling for a position on the newly constituted Ulster County Local Development Corporation, a position over which the Bernardos -- totally coincidentally, I'm sure -- wield an enormous amount of power. This conflict of interest, in fact, has begun to rankle some of the folks in the opposition:
o Jobs issue - specifically the interpretation of what a full-time equivalent employee is
• Subsequent to this application the Agency has defined a full-time equivalent employee so that situations such of these no longer occur
o This year they reported the equivalent of 12 full time employees
o The project created a destination venue and has generated tourism activity for the county
o Independent contractors should be defined as the federal government is looking at this to generate more tax revenue
o Currently the extent of the PILOT, sales tax relief, and mortgage relief is based on the type of project and the number of jobs - there is a Matrix in place
• In the past, when some of these projects were started, it was not as clear from a legally enforceable standpoint - our actual agreement did not make the number of jobs created a legally enforceable provision in the way it does now
• If there is a default now, we have a Project Benefit Agreement, that if they do not make their job levels we can claw-back these benefits
• The older projects did not sign the Project Benefit Agreement
o Currently under-performing with their job numbers
o ACTION PLAN: No further action at this time - they will remain on the list. CEO Matteson will follow up via telephone regarding the independent contractor issue.
As members of the Ulster County Legislature stand ready to appoint their representatives to the Golden Hill Local Development Corporation Board, Minority Leader David Donaldson has made his own suggestions as to eligibility.The Bernardo Junta, of course, sees nothing wrong with this. Hey, if everyone makes a little cash on the side, what's the big deal? Right?:
Anyone that is affiliated with any hospital has a potential conflict if placed on the LDC board, Donaldson wrote in a letter to all lawmakers sent by email.
As an example, he said that Ellenville Regional Hospital President Steven Kelley and County Industrial Development Agency President David O’Halloran should be disqualified as candidates, Donaldson said. Any member of the IDA should not be on the board as they may be involved in both the sale and possible financing which he said may create a conflict.
Donaldson, a Democrat said he also agrees with Health Committee Chairman Robert Aiello, a Republican, that anyone who is a licensed real estate agent should be excluded for consideration because they could use their position to help steer a sale of the property.
Republican Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, though, said the county has “highly qualified resumes from across the county” including experts in finance, healthcare and human services. “While Legislator Donaldson plays politics, we will be working to ensure qualified people sit on the LDC,” she said.Yep. Fair and balanced. It's all good, as long as elected officials don't -- gasp! -- engage in politics (which is rather an odd suggestion, given their chosen profession), and the Bernardos get to appoint their handpicked flunkies to these plum positions.
Bernardo said the legislature will review all resumes and make a collective decision. “I care about a fair, non-politicized process which allows everyone who is interested to be considered fairly.”