Cuomo inviting development councillors to serve 1 more year

Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz on June 14,

Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz on June 14, 2012. He is also a co-chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. (Credit: Ed Betz)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants members of his 10 regional economic development councils, which help dole out millions of dollars in state business aid, to serve for yet another year, an official confirmed Thursday.

Council members, who are unpaid and come from business, education, unions and not-for-profit groups, are to receive a letter asking them to stick around for another year.

For some it's the second time Cuomo has extended their term of office, which originally was two years. He established the councils in 2011 to develop five-year plans for job creation and then to recommend building projects for funding from Albany in annual statewide competitions.


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Jason Conwall, a spokesman for Empire State Development, said some council members "have expressed an interest in staying on . . . We encourage [council] co-chairs and members to continue to serve as they provide veteran leadership, and their feedback and experience will only help to improve the process."

The local council's co-vice chairmen are Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group, and Stuart Rabinowitz, Hofstra University president. Both told Newsday they would serve another year, subject to Cuomo's invitation.

Rabinowitz said, "I really think this is the way to go on economic development, these local councils . . . I think this has been good for Long Island."

Since Cuomo started the business aid contest in 2011, the local council has secured $244.3 million; it was a top winner in 2011 and last year.

Of the other 19 members, 17 have been on the council from the beginning and already served one extra year.

In a Newsday survey this week, 14 of the 17 said they would serve in 2014, one was undecided and two did not respond.

"I'm committed to five years, if they need me," said Noreen Carro, owner of LMN Printing Co. in Valley Stream. "It's a lot of work, but it's also a great opportunity."

Defense contractor Anne D. Shybunko-Moore of GSE Dynamics Inc. in Hauppauge agreed, but also suggested term limits for council members similar to that of corporate and not-for-profit boards of directors.

"There should be . . . a rotating schedule with defined term length, so you don't lose everyone at once and then get a whole new batch of people," she said. "Every year some should complete their term and new people start."

 

LI Regional Economic Development Council

Chairman: Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy

Co-Vice Chairmen: Kevin Law, Long Island Association*; Stuart Rabinowitz, Hofstra University*

Members:

Joseph Cabral, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System*

Noreen Carro, LMN Printing Co., Valley Stream*

James D'Addario, D'Addario & Co., Farmingdale*

John R. Durso, Long Island Federation of Labor*

Pat Edwards, Citigroup*

Tracey A. Edwards, Verizon*

Mark Fasciano, Canrock Ventures, Brookville*

Marianne Garvin, Community Development Corp. of Long Island*

Doon Gibbs, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Elaine Gross, ERASE Racism*

Rupert Hopkins, XSB Inc., Setauket*

Harvey Kamil, NBTY Inc., Ronkonkoma*

Hubert Keen, Farmingdale State College

Belinda Pagdanganan, National Grid*

Desmond M. Ryan, Association for a Better Long Island*

Paulette Satur, Satur Farms, Cutchogue*

Anne D. Shybunko-Moore, GSE Dynamics, Hauppauge*

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Stony Brook University*

Bill Wahlig, Long Island Forum for Technology*

Note: *among the original members appointed in 2011 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to serve a two-year term.

SOURCES: Empire State Development, Newsday research

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