The Hoboken Housing Authority is considering hiring a deputy executive director, according to multiple board members.
On Thursday night, the board of commissioners was scheduled to vote on the position. The resolution was added around noon on Thursday.
The deputy executive director — which essentially would be the number two — would be in charge when Carmelo Garcia, the current Executive Director of the HHA, is out of town or otherwise unavailable. The deputy would be hired as a consultant, rather than a full time employee.
Garcia said he was "suprised" by the proposal to hire a deputy on a consulting basis and called it "unfair and unjust."
"I don't need one," Garcia said. "I was surprised."
Furthermore, Garcia said, the housing authority hasn't budgeted for the position.
"I have a CFO who is basically my deputy," Garcia said.
It's still unclear how much money will be spent or when — or if — someone will be hired.
The housing board was also supposed to vote on a contract for the auditor and its corporation counsel on Thursday night.
HHA Chairman Jake Stuiver said in a phone interview before the meeting that the Housing Authority does in fact need a deputy director.
"We have a lot of stuff going on right now," Stuiver said, specifically mentioning the Vision 20/20 plan and hurricane recovery. Stuiver said that Garcia's busy travel schedule has made it difficult at times to communicate with him.
Stuiver added that at least three of his colleagues support the resolution, potentially creating a 4-3 majority.
On Thursday, the board was also asked to vote on $115,000 in "not to exceed" amounts on several contracts, Stuiver said. Stuiver said that the lack of communication about such issues indicate that a deputy might be helpful.
HHA Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez disagreed.
"This is unheard of," Gonzalez said. "I consider this crossing the line."
Gonzalez added that the board of commissioners is there to set policy, not to micro manage the housing authority.
If anything, Gonzalez said, "we need more maintenance guys."
The exact job description of a deputy director wasn't completed yet as of Thursday night. The vote on Thursday was simply to advertise the position, Stuiver said.
"There’s no real consequence in at least advertising the position," Stuiver said.