Meeting Minutes

Meeting of the AHA - July 19, 2007

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 Thursday, July 19, 2007, at 7:10 PM at the Hauser Building, located at 37 Drake Rd., Arlington, MA. The Roll Call was taken and the following members of the Arlington Housing Authority were present:

Present: Richard Murray
Brian J. Connor
Teresa J. Walsh
Nicholas Mitropoulos
Brian R. Greeley

Absent: Franklin W. Hurd, Jr. Executive Director

Also Present: Andra Bourque, Section 8 Tenant Representative

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 Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall, Arlington, MA.

I, Franklin W. Hurd, Jr., the duly appointed Secretary of the Arlington Housing Authority, do hereby certify that on July 2, 2007 was e-mailed 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.



From: Carole E. Collins, Director, Bureau of Housing Management
Re: Commercial Marketing Agreements

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley, and seconded by Mr. Connor, it was unanimously:

VOTED: To receive the communication.

Section 8 Annual Plan Hearing 7:00 PM, for public input and approval

The Board conducted its Public Hearing to review the proposed Streamline Section 8 Annual Plan to go into effect on October 1, 2007.

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley, and seconded by Mr. Connor, it was unanimously:

VOTED: To adopt the Section 8 Annual Plan effective October 1, 2007.

Elevators at Cusack Terrace
The Project Manuals have been completed and the final dates are in the process of being decided.

Chestnut Manor, Proposed Chapter 689 Project
1. DMR's central office approved project funds
2. Area Office has submitted the plan
3. DHCD is set to go

Kitchen & Baths

The AHA has received all prequalification applications from contractors and subcontractors. The screening committee is in the process of reviewing all submissions to determine the only qualified bidders who will be eligible to bid on the project.

Kitchen at Drake Village
Minuteman has received a grant from the Department of Elder Affairs, and purchased $10K in equipment to be installed in the community kitchen at Drake Village.

The AHA has been awarded $10K from DHCD for the purpose of installing the new equipment, as well as new counters, cabinets, sinks, etc. needed for this upgrade.

Bob Cronin and Al Cassaza are consulting with the Board of Health for required BOH specifications. All submissions must need to come from Minuteman Senior Services and not the AHA.

Any remaining costs will need to be absorbed by the AHA.

Graciella Correra said that the tenants aren't going to be able to use the stoves. She said that the tenants need to use the stoves for parties.


Mr. Cronin said he doesn't know if the tenants can use the stoves. They will have to talk to Mr. Hurd and Minuteman to discuss this.

Mr. Murray said that he will talk to Mr. Hurd on Monday about this. Mr. Murray also asked if the tenants were happy with Minuteman and they said yes.

Public Participation
Frank MacDonald said that it was voted at the last meeting that the tenants would be involved with the hiring of a new Executive Director. He wanted to know why there aren't any tenants on the committee. He feels as though the Board could learn a lot from the tenants.

Mr. Greco said that there are issues. He stated that DHCD has tenant participation regulations. DHCD said that tenants should be involved but it is the discretion of the housing authority. He also stated that if the names of the candidates were made public people would not apply for the job.

Mr. Greeley said that he would want some of the tenants on the committee. Mr. Greeley said that the same thing happened in Malden and they had a problem with it. People wouldn't apply for the position because their information would be made public and some people might lose their current job.

Edna Smith said they understand what the Board has to do and the tenants will be involved.

Marion King said that tenants should be involved in the beginning. The tenants should keep things confidential. She said it is an insult that not one tenant is participating and that is affront.

Mr. Connor said there is a process that they can discuss later in the meeting. The tenants will have an input on the final decision.

JoAnn Miele said that there are more people that have made executive decisions. She feels that the Board doesn't trust them.

Mr. Mitropolous wants Mr. Greco to explain the process again.

Joseph Cipriano explained that the Board could be sued or be held liable for any information that was leaked.

Graciella Correra said that at the last meeting the Board was going to work with the tenants.

Joe Daly stated that the meeting got off on the wrong foot and that the meeting should continue on a calmer note. He also stated that he was glad that the Board was there.

Frank MacDonald said that he is the President and he can speak his mind and he feels as though the tenants are being treated as second hand citizens.

Marilyn McCarthy said there is an ongoing problem. Some of the tenants' nieces and nephews are running around the second floor and a piece of equipment was broken. The pool stick was broken and Edna Smith went out and replaced them. The damage is being done by the visiting children. Can a memo be sent out to remind tenants not to leave children unattended?


Susan McMorrow wanted to know what was going on with the elevators. She wanted to know how long it was going to take to repair them. She said that it does not take a year for the contractors to bid on the project. She also stated that people are put on speaker phone when they call the office and she would appreciate it if this wouldn't happen.

Mr. Greeley said that there is a lack of trust.

Sandy Gammon reported to the tenants that the ad was placed in the Central Register and it appeared starting on July 18, 2007. The Bids are due early August. The Contractor will do one car at a time and this should start sometime in the fall or after the Christmas holidays.

Susan McMorrow wanted to know why they weren't informed of this. She said that it is important to the disabled tenants.

Mr. Greeley said that there are not hidden agendas or secret meetings.

Richard Conlon explained the grant process to the tenants and why it takes a long time to have the project get started.

Ida Fisher said that Ms. Walsh is to thank for the telephones in the elevators. There are tenants who don't know how to use them. She also said that the elevators need to be aligned and that something should be done.

Mr. Greeley wanted to know if the AHA could get the elevtaor company to come out and fix the problem.

Bob Cronin said that if there is something wrong with the elevators the maintenance department will call Associated Elevator and they show up within one hour to fix the problem if it is an emergency.

Mr. Greeley wanted to know if it was the parts and Mr. Cronin said no that the elevators are just old.

Mr. Cronin said that there will be a walk thru with the Contractors so they can see the site. The bids will be submitted to DHCD after the opening.

Ms. Walsh wanted to know if there could be an educational program to teach the tenants on how to use the elevator phones. She also said if the tenants have any problems they can call the Board.

One tenant said that they are admonished when they call the office.

Frank MacDonald would like to have a van coordinator. If the van is owned by the Tenant Association shouldn't they be considered for the coordinator position. Mr. Murray will take this under advisement and get back to him.

Ida Smith brought up the Bulletin Board that was put up by Frank MacDonald that has the expenses listed on it.

Joe Daly said that one of the problems is they can improve on communications. If they can improve on that then things would be better among the tenants. He said they are lucky to have a place like the AHA to live.

Jean Torsey wanted to know if there is any money to put in linoleum floors in the bathrooms.


Vera Simole said that the insect traps behind the stoves have not been checked or changed.

Mr. Cassaza said that the exterminator will change the traps if they need to be changed.

A tenant in the cottages wanted to know what the time line is for the rehab of an apartment. When the apartment is vacant then the cabinets are changed. Mr. Cronin said they have done about a dozen apartments. They paint apartments every ten years.

One of the tenants said that this is an unfair policy that when a person moves out and the new one moves in it is painted. If you live there for ten years you can't select the color of paint. Some of the paint does not go with the d├ęcor.

Joseph Cipriano said that there is vandalism on cars at Drake. He wrote Mr. Hurd about this. This happened at Hurd Field parking lot. The AHA doesn't have any authority over that parking lot. He is going to send the letter to the Commissioners at the housing authority. He would like to have cameras installed.

Marilyn McCarthy said that another incident took place about a car being blown up. A letter was sent to Mr. Hurd and signed by 65 tenants discussing the vandalism on the cars and they never heard from the AHA.

Mr. Greeley said the Board never received the letter from the tenants. Mr. Murray said that he will talk to Mr. Hurd about the letter.

The tenants were glad that the Board meeting was held at Drake.

The bushes and trees need to be trimmed.

Mr. Mitropolous asked Frank MacDonald if he will put together concerns for Drake and if he has attended any meetings.

Parking costs $365.00. The AHA should have the parking lot paved and put in lights.

JoAnn Miele lives in the cottages. There have been 2 different strange men in the hallways. They would like to have some kind of security.

Mr. Greeley said he would look into this problem tomorrow.

Marion King wanted to thank the Board for the Thompson Playground Program.

Mr. Murray said that Mr. Mitropolous and Mr. Greeley are responsible for getting this done.

Ms. Walsh is looking to have the meetings at every building every three months.

When it comes to parking the tenants don't let relatives know that they cannot park in the lot. The towing company will tow the cars that are parked illegally. It cost the individual $110.00 to get their car back. Stickers are assigned to the tenants. The tenants would like to have the time changed on the parking. They want no parking from 4:00 PM on.

Mr. Murray said there was some discussion on the parking. The Board should look into the time span.


Budget Revision: Richard Conlon

Richard Conlon discussed the Budget Revision for the Chapter 400-1, Chapter 689 and Section 8 Programs.

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Mitropolous it was unanimously:

VOTED: To approve the Budget Revision for the Chapter 400-1 Program.

Upon a motion by Mr. Connor and seconded by Ms. Walsh it was unanimously:

VOTED: To approve the Budget Revision for the Chapter 689 Program.

Upon a motion by Greeley and seconded by Mr. Mitropolous it was unanimously:

VOTED: To approve the Budget Revision for the Section 8 Program.

Pet Waiver Request: for Anita Kumari

Mr. Murray said there was limitations on the weight of the dog.

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Mitropolous it was unanimously:

VOTED: To approve the request for the Pet Waiver.

New Business
Mr. Greeley would like to have Dan Brossnan at North Union and Joe Connolly from the Arlington Recreation Department put on the Agenda for the August meeting.

Mr. Greeley would also like to talk about hiring an Assistant to the Executive Director at the August meeting.

Mr. Greeley would like the AHA to consider sponsoring a Senior Prom to be held at the Arlington Town Hall discussed at the August meeting.

Executive Session
Mr. Greco said there was no need to have an Executive Session. He discussed the process of elimination for hiring an Executive Director. He explained the point system. Mr. Greco recommended that the Board interview the applicants with the Tenants. He explained how this works with the tenants. Mr. Greco suggested the Search Committee choose 3 applicants to be interviewed.

Mr. Murray thanked the Search Committee. Someone from each tenant association should be there for the interviewing of the applicants. He also wanted to know if the Search Committee came up with a time frame. The interviews will be August 15th. The offer of hire is September 1st and the start date is October 1st. Mr. Murray wants the Search Committee to make a decision.


Mr. Connor said they would pick the top 3 candidates.

Upon a motion by Mr. Connor and seconded by Mr. Mitropolous it was unanimously:

VOTED: To schedule the interviews for mid August.

Mr. Connor said the committee should think of the process and the questions that are to be asked to the applicants.

The Board and the Tenant Association should send the questions to Sandy.

Names can be released on who the applicants are. Mr. Connor will contact the top 3 in the next few days. The questions should be mailed to the office.

Names of the Office Staff and the Maintenance Staff are to be sent to the Board and then the Board will pick one person from each department.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Connor it was unanimously:

VOTED: To adjourn the meeting.

The next Board Meeting is August 14th at 7:00 PM at Winslow Towers.

The Search Committee will meet on Friday, July 27, 2007 at 9:00 AM.