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Paladino cries foul over IDA vote

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Developer Carl Paladino is pushing back against refusal to give tax breaks to a housing project he's planning on West Delavan.

With relatively low attendance of ECIDA board members last Wednesday, the board didn't approve $217,000 in tax breaks on a $5 million project.

Frank Mesiah is a board member and long-time president of the local NAACP Chapter who said he was voting against the developer for his claimed racial attitudes and support of Joe Mascia, recorded for making racist comments about three-local Black public officials.

Paladino says he was supporting criticism of the three officials but not for racial reasons.

"Me defending Mr. Mascia's comments that he made which was done in particular to three individuals. It wasn't a general insult to the Black Community," Paladino explained.

"It wasn't certainly intended as that, it was intended as an insult to individuals."

Paladino says he's familiar with racial and ethnic slurs since he was attacked that way growing up for his Italian heritage. The developer says he isn't going to court because that would delay converting the old School 56 to 33 apartments while just getting a re-vote October 21 with more board members present is the way he wants to go.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.