The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency took steps at their meeting on Wednesday to ensure that the administration of a long list of economic development projects the agency is involved in continues uninterrupted given the recent resignation of Director Jody Zakrevsky. The board voted unanimously to approve current board member Joe Emanuele as a part-time, interim director until a permanent director can be found. Emanuele will step down from the board in order to take the position.
The board also voted in favor of a resolution which will keep Zakrevsky on as an independent consultant for six months to help with the transition, and to appoint Board Chairman Pat Baia as the contracting officer for the agency.
The role of contracting officer had been carried out by Zakrevsky, and grants the legal authority to sign contracts or agreements.
Asked why the board did not grant the role to the interim director, Baia said it was to maintain continuity.
“I may be more permanent than [Emanuele]. He might be on six months, he might be on seven, five, so it could transition back to the executive director, but as chairman, I could assume that [responsibility],” said Baia.
Board Member Michael Rossi said Emanuele, a former City of Amsterdam mayor, “brings a lot of expertise, a lot of knowledge of the area, and the people in this area, so I think that [Emanuele] can do this on a part time basis, keep the agency going with [Zakrevsky’s] help.”
Baia described Emanuele as “well rounded” and said he “works very well with our current mayor, has a great relationship with the council. I think he’ll add to the success of this agency.”
Emanuele thanked the board for their confidence and said, “Let’s get the search committee going, and we’ll try to fill [Zakrevsky’s] shoes the best we can. But in the interim, you can count on me.”
The meeting was Zakrevsky’s last before taking on his new role as CEO of Otsego Now, a partnership of three different economic development agencies in Otsego County, NY. At the end of the meeting, the board presented him with a cake and present, and thanked him for his years of service.
AIDA is a public benefit corporation that helps city economic development projects by providing loans, leasing property, applying for grants, and administering payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements. The board members are appointed by the Amsterdam Common Council.