A meeting of the Arlington Housing Authority was held which was open to the public, and was called to order by Chairman Richard B. Murray on Wednesday,
October 11, 2006, at 7:00 PM in the John F. Cusack Room, located at 4 Winslow Street, Arlington, MA. The Roll Call was taken and the following members of the Arlington Housing Authority were present:
Present: Richard Murray
Dr. Patricia Worden
Teresa J. Walsh
Brian R. Greeley
Absent: Nicholas Mitropoulos called to inform the Board that due to an airplane crash in New York City, his flight from Newark, NJ was delayed and he could not arrive for the meeting.
Joan Pippin, Section 8 Tenant Representative Also Present: Franklin W. Hurd, Jr. Executive Director
The Chairman announced that the filing of the Notice with the Town Clerk has been complied with and directed a copy of this Notice be spread upon the records, a copy of which is as follows:
Notice is hereby given in accordance with Section 23, Chapter 39 of the Massachusetts General Laws, that a meeting of the Arlington Housing Authority will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall, Arlington, MA.
CERTIFICATE AS TO SERVICE OF NOTICE OF MEETING
I, Franklin W. Hurd, Jr., the duly appointed Secretary of the Arlington Housing Authority, do hereby certify that on September 18, 2006 was emailed and filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of Arlington a copy of Notice of Meeting, of which the foregoing is a true and correct copy.
Several tenants of Winslow Towers discussed three recent robberies that occurred in their building. The tenants are concerned about security.
Mr. Hurd reported that the police were informed, investigators have been assigned, and the AHA was cooperating fully with them. Because the matter is still under investigation, he did not feel that it was appropriate to go into too many details at this time.
Mr. Hurd said that door lock guard devises have been installed in a few of the units but more are needed. An order large enough to secure the locks in all the remaining units has been ordered through Home Depot and the maintenance staff will install these devises as soon as they are received.
The tenants said that they used to feel safe living in the building, but have concerns about the robberies. They asked if they could have security at night, but that solution did not seem appropriate at the time due to the large number of floors to be covered. It is thought that these robberies were an "inside job" and that a police officer in the lobby would not be very effective.
Peter Szerlag, the President of the Winslow Towers Tenant Association, said that a posting should be displayed to let everyone know that they should keep their doors locked. Mr. Hurd said that posters were in the process of being printed. Thus far, warnings were available in Korean, Chinese, French, Russian, and English. They will be posted tomorrow.
Mr. Murray wanted to know when all the locks at Winslow Towers would be taken care of. Mr. Hurd said the installation should be completed by the end of next week in not only the units in Winslow Towers, but also all the units in Chestnut Manor and Cusack Terrace.
The maintenance staff had recently installed these devices in Drake Village and the Hauser Building, and the remaining buildings were already slated for installation. The parts have been ordered and the maintenance staff will consider their installation a major priority.
Mr. Greeley said that safety is the number one issue. There isn't any concrete evidence available about who did it.
Mr. Hurd will talk to the police tomorrow to see what they recommend. He also stated that he would see about installing temporary cameras. He noted that this is the first time that anything like this has happened in our buildings.
Peter said that he wanted to call the police tonight. Mr. Hurd said it was okay by him for Mr. Szerlag to do so.
Menotomy Manor Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrade
Mr. David Pollak, architect for ABACUS presented a Powerpoint presentation relating to the kitchen and bathroom upgrade project.
Soon he will be presenting the latest plans to an estimator to determine a new cost of the project. At that time, we will have a better idea of the final scope of work that will be authorized by DHCD.
The project will include (in addition to new kitchens and bathrooms): new and larger stoves with outside vented range hoods, new electrical service, and hard wired smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and new handicap accessible units.
Section 8 Program – Fair Market Rents
Upon a motion by Dr. Worden, and seconded by Ms. Walsh, it was unanimously:
VOTED: To approve the following Fair Market Rents (FMR) effective December 1, 2006:
Bedroom Size New FMR
4 $1885 *
5 $2270 **
* FMR is increased to 105% of published HUD FMR
** FMR is increased to 110% of published HUD FMR
Mr. Hurd informed the Board that DHCD had finally published its budget guidelines for 2007 and the AHA received them this week.
He will be working with Rich Conlon to prepare the budgets in time for the November meeting.
Chestnut Manor Update
Mr. Hurd updated the Board on the project. To date he has met with representatives from EOHHS, John Sanchez of Public Works, and provided application information to the Director of Assessing regarding needed PILOT votes, and he has further appointments scheduled with other parties concerning our application.
He noted that the application will be submitted through the coordinated efforts of: the AHA, DHCD, Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), and the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR).
Upon a motion by Dr. Worden and seconded by Mr. Greeley it was unanimously:
VOTED: To approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 13, 2006.
Dr. Worden asked about the condo purchase. Mr. Hurd said that he has advertised but there were no responses as yet. He wants to talk to some brokers and then DHCD to try to accomplish the goal of purchasing a one bedroom condominium unit as soon as possible in order to preserve the $150,000 CDBG grants awarded to the AHA by the Town.
Mr. Greeley suggested that the AHA could consider hiring a buyer agent to assist in the process. Mr. Hurd will talk to DHCD tomorrow on that suggestion.
Mr. Hurd discussed the request made by Mr. Lussiano to buy back 43 days of used sick time.
Mr. Hurd recommended that the Board deny this request because the Authority had already lost the productivity of its employee for 43 days, and that reinstating that much time could have a negative effect on future maintenance staffing needs.
Upon a motion by Dr. Worden, an seconded by Ms. Walsh, it was unanimously:
VOTED: To deny the sick leave buyback request made by Mr. Lussiano.
Dr. Worden was disappointed that Mr. Lussiano wouldn't accept the reduced buyback.
Mr. Greeley thought it would set a precedent.
Mr. Hurd received a call from Alex Linder, Miss Teen Massachusetts. She is back from vacation and she is still interested in performing some kind of meaningful beautification work in Menotomy Maner; however, this would be difficult due to the large amount of construction being planned.
Ms. Walsh suggested doing something around the holidays for the children and that she would be willing to volunteer helping with such a project. Mr. Hurd said he would contact Ms. Linder and have her call Ms. Walsh.
Mr. Murray wanted to know if the Board and the Executive Director were confident with the safety of the tenants tonight.
Mr. Hurd said that clearly the tenants are more aware of the situation. He doesn't know what else can be done. Ms. Walsh wanted to know if Peter should call the police to monitor the building between 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM as it is common knowledge that many tenants do not lock their doors or they leave their doors open.
Mr. Greeley said he received calls and said that these weren't break-ins.
The next Regular Board Meeting was scheduled for November 29th, 2006 at 7:00 PM.
Upon a motion by Dr. Worden, and seconded by Ms. Walsh, it was unanimously:
VOTED: To adjourn the meeting at 9:45 PM.