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Dyster questions county on IDA pick

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Niagara County legislators from the city were unhappy Monday after learning that the Legislature's Republican majority chose a Town of Lockport woman for a vacant seat on the county Industrial Development Agency board.

Patricia Dufour, a real estate broker who serves as secretary of the Town of Lockport IDA, is expected to be confirmed at tonight's Legislature meeting.

She replaces the Rev. Kevin Dobbs of Niagara Falls, who resigned last week. He was the only African-American on the IDA board. Dufour is white.

"You'd think they'd have the decency to put a minority on the board," said Legislature Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls.

"She obviously has qualifications -- she's served on the Town of Lockport IDA -- but she will not get my support. I cannot in good conscience vote for her," said Legislator Renae Kimble, D-Niagara Falls, the Legislature's only African-American.

Legislator Richard E. Updegrove, R-Lockport, supports Dufour. "[Dufour] has exactly the background and qualifications we're looking for," he said.

Dyster was concerned about the minority issue and that the city was losing a seat on the IDA. "One of the the things I wanted was to make sure our representation was stronger, not weaker," Dyster said.

Dufour was business administrator in the construction division at Barden & Robeson Corp. in Middleport from 1973 to 2005. She owns Cornerstone Services Group.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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