I commend Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez for recognizing that it has taken an unconscionably long time to complete our process of hiring a general counsel and auditor. It has indeed taken more than five months to conclude what should have been standard, straightforward procedures under normal circumstances, and it is to my not inconsequential and frequently vocalized frustration that we have been unable to do so.
However, I'd like to invite Commissioner Gonzalez to reevaluate the reasons these important and normally uneventful processes have become bogged down.
As Commissioner Gonzalez should know, the Board of Commissioners is the appointing authority for all contractual vendors and contract employees of the Hoboken Housing Authority. Yet over the past half-year, he has continued to tolerate and rationalize repeated interference and machinations by Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, who has decided to engage in a power struggle with the board, asserting, wrongly, that he, not the board, is the appointing authority. Commissioner Gonzalez has repeatedly, and wrongly, backed up this assertion, causing numerous unnecessary delays in the hiring processes.
Commissioner Gonzalez has told me repeatedly and unequivocally that he stands firmly opposed to changing auditors, and if he wants to publicly hash out the apparent circumstances of the last auditor change four years ago, or the details of whether he has been a help or a hindrance in bringing these RFQ processes to their fruition, that's a conversation I'm fully prepared to have. As I have told Commissioner Gonzalez numerous times, I am far more concerned with hiring the most competent and trustworthy firms offering the best value for our money than with taking shortcuts and going strictly with whomever is the absolute cheapest. Commissioner Gonzalez's continued protests against the advertising costs of properly promoting the general-counsel and auditor positions appear to reflect a lack of desire to expand the choices available to the board as appointing authority so that it can move forward with the best possible alternative.
Chairman, Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners