Convention Center managers offered Director Melvin P. Florczak a one-year contract extension Tuesday, noting that a longer term would be imprudent if a new facility is built.
Florczak accepted the offer after meeting with Board Chairman Dan. D. Kohane. Florczak's five-year contract expires Monday. Florczak has managed the facility since 1982.
"The one-year extension makes sense," Florczak said. "We all have to wait and see what kind of direction we'll be going in with the new convention center." Under the terms of the extension, Florczak's salary will increase by 3 per cent to $75,000. Kohane and other board members met in executive session to discuss the contract. He said managers are glad that Florczak has agreed to the terms. "The board has been pleased with the role that Mel has played as a facility director. But we don't know what's going to happen in the future. It's not even clear whether the Convention Center Management Board will be running the new facility," Kohane said. Planners announced last week that they hope to build a $124.5 million convention center that is more than twice as large as the existing facility. It would be built in the central business district on a site that stretches from the Niagara Mohawk Building to Lafayette Square, and from the Main Street pedestrian mall to Broadway. Construction would take about 30 months after approval of a final funding package. Kohane said he wouldn't be surprised if a national search were conducted for a director to run the new facility. He said if such a scenario pans out, Florczak would most likely be encouraged to apply. In other board matters, Kohane acknowledged that there is continuing interest in reusing the existing convention center as a site for a future casino. City officials are hoping to work out a deal with the Seneca Nation of Indians. "The convention center seems to be the No. 1 choice among people in the gaming industry," Kohane told board members.