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Letter: Mesiah foolish to block tax breaks for project

Mesiah foolish to block tax breaks for project

The recent rejection by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to give tax breaks to Ellicott Development is disingenuous. Even though the initial vote by the IDA was 9-2 in favor of the project, tax breaks were blocked due to racial remarks by one person.

IDA board member Frank B. Mesiah, president of the NAACP chapter in Buffalo, blocked the tax breaks for this project due to Carl Paladino’s defense of Joe Mascia, who was exposed for making incorrect racial slurs about three individuals – not a class of people – while unknowingly being taped by another in a private conversation.

Here we have a developer and others who are sticking out their necks financially to bring development back from the dead on a project that has stood closed for four years, and is an eyesore on West Delavan Avenue. Benefiting from this project would have been nonprofit groups, area residents and a host of others, including 30 percent targeting for women and minorities in both projects’ workforce and contractor base.

The black community has complained about the lack of revitalization and progress on the East Side of Buffalo. Now it can blame one of its own.

Anthony Hammill