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Hempstead Village plans to appoint trustee to town IDA board

Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson is expected to

Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson is expected to be appointed to the Hempstead Town IDA board. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The Hempstead Village board of trustees plans to vote Tuesday to appoint Trustee LaMont Johnson to the Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The move comes after Trustee Jeffery Daniels questioned the compliance of the village members on the town’s IDA last month.

State law allows Hempstead Village and Freeport to appoint their own members to the town’s IDA to vote on projects within their villages. The law states they “shall include at least one member of such village’s governing body and at least three at-large members drawn from a cross section of the village community.”

The current IDA board members from Hempstead Village are Assessor Stacey Hargraves and community members Karla Guerra, Franz Nicolas and Reginald Lucas.

Daniels said the IDA members must include a representative from the village’s board of trustees. The village board voted 4-1 — Mayor Don Ryan voted against the legislation — last month to seek outside counsel “for the sole purpose” of representing the village against the town’s IDA regarding deals made since June 6, 2017, when Guerra, Nicolas and Lucas were appointed upon Ryan’s victory in the mayoral election.

Daniels has criticized recent IDA deals involving FDR Services Corp., a commercial laundry service, and Garden City Madza, both of which are located in the village. Ryan supported both projects, and has since come under fire for letters he wrote to the IDA in favor of them.

Johnson is also a current school board member and retired village police officer. If approved, his IDA term would begin immediately.

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