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Vista financing plan to be restructured

Meeting not properly noticed under state sunshine law

Town officials today discussed the future of the Vista Technology Campus in a workshop at Town Hall that was not properly noticed under the state's open meetings law.

The noontime meeting was advertised in the legals section of the Feb. 9 edition of The Spotlight, as required by law governing the convening of a public body to discuss official business (all members of the Town Board were at the session). It was not, however, posted on the town's web site or outside the Town Clerk's office on the public notice bulletin board.

Those postings are required under the state's open meetings law, according to Robert Freeman of the state Committee on Open Government.

The law says that when a public body has the ability to place the notice on their web site, they must do so, Freeman said.

"They might not have fully complied with the law," he added.

The town regularly posts events on its web site, including dates of meetings of government entities.

Supervisor Sam Messina said the normal procedure for noticing a public meeting was followed.

"I am not sure why the notice was not put up online," he said. "I wish it had been there...it's our intent to get the word out there as far as we can."

Advertisement aside, the session was open to the public. It was a mostly informal session, and no votes were taken.

"We had a much-needed public briefing of members of the Town Board and our IDA [Industrial Development Agency] and Planning Board, and quite frankly I think all our staff. There was notification given in the paper," Councilman Kyle Kotary said. "As far as I'm concerned it was a public meeting and it certainly was done in public."

Much of the meeting involved the construction of Vista Boulevard, the 3/4-mile road that will lead into the heart of the Vista Technology Campus. Joe Nicolla of Columbia Development said the project must move ahead quickly to satisfy the schedules of potential tenants " as he has on several occasions before. One party has to have a 110,000-square-foot building ready by Nov. 15.

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