Meeting Minutes

Meeting of the AHA - February 17, 2010

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 P.M. by Brian Connor, in the John F. Cusack Board Room, located at 4 Winslow Street, Arlington, MA.

Roll Call
Present: Brian R. Greeley, Brian Connor, Richard Murray and Teresa Walsh
Absent: Nicholas Mitropoulos
Also Present: John J. Griffin, Executive Director, John L. Greco, Attorney

Notice to Town Clerk Notice of this meeting was delivered electronically on February 11, 2010, and posted by the Arlington Town Clerk in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meeting Law.

Appointments
Local Tenants Organizations
General Public NONE

Officer James Smith
James Smith introduced himself. He explained what he will be doing at Menotomy manor. They want to reach out and make a pleasant environment for the people that live there. He will be at the substation that the AHA has built. He will also be at the elderly buildings.

No Smoking Building
Mr. Greeley discussed a non smoking policy.
Mr. Griffin said we are doing a survey to see how many people smoke throughout the Buildings. He gave them a package about Maine and a letter from HUD. We should come up with changes and submit them to HUD.
Mr. Connor asked if we can have a policy where the people can only smoke in their apartments instead of outside the Buildings.
Mr. Murray wanted to know if Mr. Connor and Mr. Griffin talked about anything reasonable about the cottages.
Mr. Connor wants to know if we should table this until next meeting.

Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Ms. Walsh it was unanimously voted to set up a committee for nonsmoking with Mr. Murray.
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES
Brian Connor - VOTED YES


Upon a motion made by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Murray it was unanimously voted to approve smoking classes at every Building.
Brian Connor - VOTED YES
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES

Town of Arlington Antenna on 4 Winslow
Mr. Griffin explained the wireless antennas to do the recording of water.
Upon a motion made by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Murray it was unanimously voted to approve the Town of Arlington Antenna at 4 Winslow Street.
Brian Connor - VOTED YES
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES


Executive Director Vehicle
Mr. Griffin talked to Richard Conlon and Richard Conlon said we would need a budget Revision in order to buy a vehicle. Mr. Griffin said we should wait until next Budget year.
Mr. Greeley said we should buy something with a dual purpose.

Change Order Prism
Upon a motion made by Mr. Murray and seconded by Ms. Walsh it was unanimously voted in favor to approve the Change Order for Prism.
Brian Connor - VOTED YES
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES


FIHO Fundraiser Tickets
Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Murray it was unanimously voted in favor to approve the Certificate for Payment.
Brian Connor - VOTED YES
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES

Legislative Day March 2
Mr. Griffin said that the Mass. Legislative Day is March 2, 2010 and that any Board Member can to.
Mr. Connor said for Mr. Griffin to e-mail the Board with the information.

Recess Upon a motion by Ms. Walsh and seconded by Mr. Greeley it was unanimously voted in favor to recess at 8:40. Brian Connor - VOTED YES
Richard Murray - VOTED YES
Brian Greeley - VOTED YES
Teresa Walsh - VOTED YES

The Board Meeting went back in session at 9:10PM.

Harlow Grievance Appeal
In attendance representing Valerie Harlow was Ayelet Weiss and Todd Kaplan from Cambridge Somerville Legal Services.
Mr. Greco said that there is some discussion of Mr. Lodato's Cori. He stated that there can be an open session or an executive session to discuss Mr. Lodato's Cori.
Ms. Ayelet said they wanted an open session.
It was stated that there was an informal eviction. In March until June Ms. Harlow admitted that Mr. Lodato did live with her.
There was a Grievance Hearing on July 1, 2009 but was rescheduled until July 22, 2009. On July 21, 2009 Ms. Harlow had a request to have Mr. Lodato added to her lease. She gave a letter from her doctor.
One August 5, 2009 the Grievance Panel decided to evict Ms. Harlow. If Mr. Lodato left the Grievance Panel would stop the eviction.
Ms. Harlow filed on July 21, 2009 to add Mr. Lodato to her lease.
Mr..Kaplan does not agree with Mr. Greco. He had letters from tenants and a video from a tenant who could not make the meeting.
Mr. Griffin said the package that we gave the Board had the decision by Mr. Buckley. Ms. Walsh should not be involved in the voting because she was in the Grievance Hearing.
Mr. Greco said should could stay and hear the meeting.
Mr. Greco went over the background of Mr. Lodato. Exhibit 3 is the application to add a member from Ms. Harlow. It is about 12 pages.
On July 21, 2009 Ms. Harlow asked to have Mr. Lodato added to her lease. He listed his address as Woburn. On the application under conviction he said yes to traffic.
Under Exhibit I it states that on September 14, 2009 the Arlington Housing Authority staff sent the notice of denial to be added to the lease.
There was another hearing scheduled on October 7, 2009.
On October 6, 2009 there was a private conference held.
On October 16, 2009 there was a private discussion to deny his application, exhibit II
On October 28, 2009 there was a grievance hearing regarding denial to add Mr. Lodato the application.
On December 1, 2009 there was a discussion to uphold the decision.
On December 15, 2009 Cambridge Somerville Legal Services sent a letter to DHCD to review the decision by the Arlington Housing Authority.
On December 22, 2009 DHCD said there was no decision.

The following Exhibits are:
Exhibit 1 – Notice of Denial of Application to Add member to Household
Exhibit 2 - Request to add Joseph Lodato to Household
Exhibit 3 – Application by Tenant to Add member to household residing in
State-Aided Public Housing
Exhibit 4 – Cori
Exhibit 5 – Census for 2007, 2008 & 2009
Exhibit 6 – Letter from Mr. Lodato's brother
Exhibit 7 – Legal memorandum from Ayelet Weiss
Exhibit 8 – Petition in support of Mr. Lodato
Exhibit 9 – Letter of support from Jean Raymond

The Arlington Housing Authority is satisfied with the decision.
Ayelet Weiss said Ms. Harlow is to have Mr. Lodato added to the lease. She said that Ms. Harlow is disabled and needs help from Mr. Lodato to help her. She asks the Board to return the decision to have Mr. Lodato added to the lease.
Mr. Lodato is a considerate person and a wonderful tenant and a big help to Ms. Harlow.
Ms. Harlow depends on Mr. Lodato. He does the shopping and cleaning for her.
Mr. Murray wanted to know why all of this wasn't presented at the hearing.
Ayelet said it was and that they have new information.
Mr. Greeley asked if their role is to see if the Grievance panel decision's was correct.
Mr. Kaplan said they should look at it as if the right decision was made.
Ms. Weiss presented a CD with a tenant's recommendation. Jean Raymond gave a statement about Mr. Lodato. She also has letters from four other tenants. Ms. Raymond said that Mr. Lodato would not be a problem tenant.
The first issue is that there are three charges on his Cori:

1 – Larceny charge arose out of a business dispute on a contract.
2 – Assault and battery is a 10 year old charge – Mr. Lodato was held 8 months for pretrial
3 – To distribute controlled substance is a 15 year old charge.

Ms. Weiss said these are unlikely to be repeated if he is a tenant. Mr. Lodato lives with his brother in Woburn and he sometimes lives in Dorchester
Mr. Lodato addressed Mr. Griffin about holding the door for someone instead of pushing that individual.
Ms. Harlow said he does shopping, cleaning and he is a help to her. She doesn't think it is fair to not have him added to her lease. She said she would go nuts if he didn't live with her.
Mr. Lodato said he washes the hallways and helps other tenants. He also said he has made bad decisions in his life. He helps out at church and goes to church regularly. He said he has changed. He said he also helps his cousin.
Ms. Harlow's sister lives in Somerville. Mr. Lodato has helped her sister with her house. She has taken care of Ms. Harlow. She is afraid to leave Ms. Harlow alone.
Ms. Weiss would like the Board to hold the record open for two weeks.
Mr. Greeley and Mr. Murray want to read all the information that was given to them and they also want to take it under advisement.

Adjourn
The meeting was adjourned 10:40 PM.
Upon a motion by Mr. Greeley and seconded by Mr. Murray it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting.
The next meeting will be March 17, 2010 and held at Winslow Towers at 7PM.