The Amherst Industrial Development Agency has hired a well-connected lobbying firm to advance its interests locally and in Albany.
The IDA board voted at its most recent meeting to retain the services of Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates. The agreement is for $500 per month, or $6,000 for the year, and the IDA can cancel the contract at any time with 30 days' notice, said David Mingoia, the agency's executive director.
The firm has served the Amherst IDA since 2011, Mingoia said, although the agency's board ended the contract in October to give members time to decide whether to continue it in 2017.
Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese works on behalf of many of the IDAs in the region through a coalition. Its partners include Anthony M. Masiello, the Democratic former Buffalo mayor and state senator; Victor Martucci, a longtime aide to local Republican elected officials; and Carl J. Calabrese, the Republican former Tonawanda town supervisor and deputy Erie County executive.
The IDA board approved the one-year contract with the lobbying firm, but it wasn't unanimous. The board voted 5-2 to approve the contract. Board members who supported hiring the firm said retaining its services gives the agency insight into what's happening in Albany and how that could affect the IDA.