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Hoboken Housing Authority May Hire Deputy Executive Director

The resolution was added to Thursday night's agenda around noon on Thursday.

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.

Journey January 13, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Check the score board David, the city has been winning.
Ojo Rojo January 13, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Yes, you are right that this is the proper way to do things. When a board of directors is dissatisfied w/ the performance of their employees, they find someone to train and replace them. Those employees also usually have no grounds to file a suit. Carmelo is SOL when it comes to any litigation. He serves at the pleasure of the board and his contract is up soon. His contract does not need to be renewed and he can be replaced when that happens if the board so chooses. Nobody needs to fire anyone unless someone does something incredibly stupid to give the board grounds to terminate someone. Now bring on the auditors! Let's see what the find.
pdq January 13, 2013 at 05:51 AM
I smell a new attorney and auditor coming to the HHA- lots of illegal graft and pay outs found along with the possibility of federal involvement right before the new gov election. typical Hoboken scenario. Funny how 2 people can look at something so differently, dontcha think?
puzzledone January 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM
If the reformer "puppet" or anyone else finds anything unsavory going on in the HHA, such as a grant report not properly filled out or a lack of receipts, I would question the size of that boatload of money. Al Arezzo's lawsuit seemed to mysteriously evaporate at some point.
Anonymous January 13, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Joe Branco should put a lid on it and use an anonymous name like everyone else. Now I understand the concerns of the parents who didn't want their charter school fundraiser at Room 84. They told Joe is was a capacity issue, it's actually a "he's a jerk" issue. Your quest for power has ended. Would be smart of you to shut up and fall back if you plan on ever holding another charity for our schools in your establishments ever again.
Jay Rattigan January 13, 2013 at 03:06 PM
David, you use the word puppet as if the mayor's people in cooperation with the FBI have never uncovered wrongdoing in the city. Short-term history has told us that departments run by the mayor's people are better for the taxpayers than those run by the "sweet deal crowd". I admittedly have very little working knowledge of the HHA but my understanding of the culture of corruption in Hoboken tells me a person hired by Reform is positive for residents. Also, the city is on a nice win streak involving personnel issues. And those were all against sweet deal crowd members. In fact, I think Arezzo was a charter member of the sweet deal crowd.
Deborah Hulbert January 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Wow, David! This is one of the first post I've seen from you without the lunatic screaming in all capital letters. You don't know the first thing about serious reformers in Hoboken. There are no puppets within the Reform group, only within the Old Guard and its hangers-on and enablers.
Fire Carmelo Garcia January 13, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Interesting had no idea he owned that establishment. Definitely will never visit it again. Why do I get the feeling this guy is going to have legal problems in the near future. Trying to disclose info from a closed session meeting...not a smart move.
demosthenes January 13, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Hi David Liebler, Perhaps you can explain the legal theory under which Garcia will win a"boatload" of money? I'm not familiar with any such "boatloads" being won since Zimmer became mayor but maybe I missed something. Beth Mason brought up appeals the other day regarding the Al Arriza and Bill Campbell cases two employees that were also going to win "boatloads of money." So far the only boatloads of money have gone to their lawyers. Accountability only scares those with something to be accountable for. David, you seem to think better oversight will lead to new information that could get Garcia fired. If that's what his friends think, then imagine what his enemies think. Personally I hope Liebler is wrong and Garcia's job security is not threatened by any past, present or future improprieties.
Ojo Rojo January 14, 2013 at 01:36 AM
I think Carmelo has to worry about more than improprieties. For starters, the board seems to be taking this interim step b/c he travels so much. If his traveling interferes with job performance as the board seems to be alleging and he is doing that on the HHA's money, that is a big issue. They also claim they aren't getting adequate communication from him. He works for the board. Him not giving them the information they want in a timely manner is completely unacceptable. Then you toss in the whole circus surrounding the last meeting and some of that other stuff and it makes you wonder just why the board should even want to keep the guy around. Seems like he is his own worst enemy and that little circus that showed up is not at all going to help him.
pdq January 14, 2013 at 11:42 AM
http://myhhanj.com/2009%202010%20audit%20report.pdf It seems management has a significant difficiency. Aside from giving administrative costs a $415.165. boost in one year, there are lots of unexplained tenant residency compliance issues, missing social security numbers, tenant verification issues, and why is there 1mm in management fees? Who was" managing" the HHA for more than one million dollars a year? ? Isnt that the job of the exec. director? Not sure how many pages the entire audit contained because only a few "hand picked" pgs were posted(pgs. 8,9, 42,43,44, 62 and 63) . I assume we will only see a sampling of the budgets as well.
Journey January 14, 2013 at 04:07 PM
I believe changing auditors is good practice. When I worked for a financial company they rotated the accountants into different departments. One reason is that it makes it hard to cook the books if you don't know who is going to be working on the books 2 years after you are in the department. Why would any honest person not want that type of transparency?
David A. Liebler January 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM
First of all I am surprised that this is even happening. For as long as I have known Carmelo, I have only seen him as someone who truly cares and has been out for the best interest of the HHA and the residents who live there. Here are my questions..... Did you he do something wrong? Was he written up if in fact he did something wrong? Did he not perform his responsibilities? To me I see this as a political witch hunt. Out for someone who is not a reformer but a BNR, old hobokenite. Wasn't it Carmelo that help Mayor Zimmer with the entire police situation? Usually when people hire a #2, there is a serious issue.....I am not seeing the issue!
SUM January 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM
I am NOT surprised by the administration wanting to hire a Deputy Director for the Hoboken Housing Authority. Since the hire of Mr. Garcia, the Hoboken Housing Authority has been strictly POLITICAL and has lost the true meaning of what Public Housing has to offer. It became more of an ego trip for the Director rather than helping individuals in need. To date, he has lost (due to his large EGO) most of the true hard working, dedicated employees that made the Authority a helping place. The employees that remain will feel freed from the Prison Mr. Garcia has built. Kudos to Jake Stuiver for accomplishing the future removal of Gsrcia! Good luck to the new Director in the near future!
XJS January 15, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Carmelo is only out for Carmelo. From this outsiders perspective, it seems to me that if he happens to help the HHA residents doing something he wants to do, that is merely a secondary consideration. Talking to him for five minutes at a political event I attended, I determined he was of the same ilk as a used car salesman. I wouldn't trust him as far as I can throw him. Given his reticence to open the HHA books and share information (such as employee lists or hiring new auditors) I think it's fair to believe he is likely to be found dishonest.
puzzledone January 15, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Yes, David. We understand that you see everything as an us vs. them attack on the BNR community. Some thoughts on why they are asking for a deputy, from the article: "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. 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. If indeed, Carmelo is spending $115,000 on contracts, it seems worth having someone you can ask the questions to and have a reasonable response. I'm sure you are fully supportive when Councilwoman Mason requests budget answers on trivial items in meetings to questions that she does not preview in email, I would think that allocation of a multi-million dollar budget is a reasonable request to be able to get answers on, and if a deputy is needed for that, so be it. After all, Councilman Russo has previously admitted to using the HHA as a favor mill.
FAP January 16, 2013 at 02:07 AM
David are you saying that a many multi million dollar enterprise that supplies services to 1,350 apartments with probably over 2,500 residents should not have a solid second in command? . Is that reasonable? Does any other similar organization agree? God forbid if tomorrow Carmelo is hit by a meteor and can't perform as Director what is the plan? Is it in the best interests of the HHA to not have someone who can step in and give leadership if something unforeseen and unfortunate happens? . Needing a Deputy has little or nothing to do with Carmelo and everything to do with the health of the HHA as an organization.
David A. Liebler January 16, 2013 at 03:45 AM
So If I see this correct, poor Jake Stuiver could not get a question answered in the time manner that he wanted so therefor we should hire another person, another salary so Jake can get answers in a quicker time line? Give me a break and cut the PR crap. We all know what this is about. Reformers want Carmelo out, period. I would have more respect if the comment read, "we want him gone" Enough with the BS. It is known throughout Hoboken that Reformers and Zimmer hate OLD Hoboken and Carmelo just happens to be one of them. So regardless of the job he is doing, let's create a fake issue around Jake not getting an his answers quick enough, go out and hire another person, train them and kick Carmelo out when his term is up. My issue is simple. Reformers are full of so much shit it stinks in Hoboken. Show me just cause for hiring another person, instead of this witch hunt BS! And yes I do see it as a Zimmer is a US vs. Them with regard to BNR and OLD Hoboken as it has been said by multiple people over the years how Zimmer can not stand anyone who has worked for past administrations, committees etc. She wants her own people in there at all cost. This is a mayor who can not play well with others from the past, nor does she understand the meaning of negotiating. Hence the eminant domain debacle that has already cost tax payers tons of legal expenses. Hows that one going for her? Grade F as in FRAUD
InfotainMe January 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM
So David, looks like you are in full-time anti-Zimmer campaign mode. Now all you need is a candidate. Good luck. Try not to be so foul-mouthed. It suggests over-compensating for the lack of any substance. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on a comprehensive audit of the HHA? Here's some analysis of the audit of the BOE - while Mr Garcia was a member. Do you think these antics are limited in Hoboken to the BOE and don't extend to the HHA? Do you really think it cost over $300k to redo the floors in the elevators?
InfotainMe January 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM
http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-feature-old-guard-oinkers-at-boe.html
pdq January 16, 2013 at 01:31 PM
David, Here is a teeny sample of the exec. director's management skills without assistance http://myhhanj.com/2009%202010%20audit%20report.pdf . Now, aside from the fact that he has only posted 6 or7 pages (of one year) of ,an entire audit in the 3 or 4 years he's been exec. director, just imagine what the other pages he left out as well as the other "hidden" audits cite and this is without working on the 20/20 vision. What is the 20/20 vision anyhow? and how will it work? Does anyone really know what it is and how it will effect the HHA? WHat happens when HHA property now has middle income families on site? Does the HHA control those properties? Who is responsible for maintenance on stores and middle income rentals? Who is liable for verifications? If the exec. dir. cant keep track of verifying and maintaining records for a sample of 50, how will he maintain 1400 records and oversee the 20/20 vision? and all of the new middle income units that will be added? According to the audit, he has proven he can't even handle 50. Obviously he needs help. You can keep pushing the Zimmer hates the "bnr" and "old Hoboken" all you like. That rumor has been circulated since she sat on the dais as councilwoman. It didnt work for the last 4 years you used it, who knows - maybe it'll work this time?
puzzledone January 16, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Yes, she has replaced old Hoboken folks (lost license) Al Arezzo, (stole $1 MM) John Correa, those two guys in the IT desk stealing the emails, Angel Alicea who was recieving those emails. It's a war on old Hoboken. Has nothing to do with any inappropriate behavior by any of those guys, they were all doing standup jobs and just looking to negotiate. If she had just negotiated with this crowd...
Ojo Rojo January 16, 2013 at 03:57 PM
I am not a fan of hiring someone either but we wouldn't need to hire anyone to do anything if: A. Carmelo stayed home instead of traveling so much B. The board got detailed and accurate information in a timely manner upon making a request either as a body or individually C. Someone provided enough information to the board about all those contracts that are being passed out to assure the board they and the ones in the past were not a bit inflated and D. The board got to select a completely independent auditor they could insure represented their interests and would go in and with a fine tooth comb analyze everything. No negotiation is required for any of the above to happen. All that is required is for the guy running the HHA to realize he works for the board and for him to do what it takes for him to make his employers happy.
sam January 22, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Mr Cermelo is hiding  he is planning how to cover all the holes that he has made
sam January 22, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Mr Cermelo is hiding  he is planning how to cover all the holes that he has made
sam January 22, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Mr Carmelo is hiding he is planning how to cover all the holes that he has made. "What a honest person?" Corrupt politicians
bubbles January 22, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Now now, just because our buddy Carmelo was cited on ethic charges by the state, don't mean he aint trustworthy. What''s the big deal about votin to hire a relative. Whoopa! Contracts-a-plenty, on tap! Bring it! We need that cash for our upcomin election. Memo usin the HHA money to loan our peeps interest free money- priceless.
FireThemAll January 23, 2013 at 07:04 PM
There will never be change in the HHA until they fire them all and start fresh. There is to much corruption and mishandling of the HHA budget. Look it has been over 90 days since the super storm sandy hit and the people living in the HHA "Projects" don't have any heat still, and look at the below zero wind chill weather we are having.The committee is made up of pure scam artist. Yea lets build a baseball field and state change, bs there not doing anything down there but putting up some fresh paint jobs and calling it rebuilding. The HHA is even trying to enforce a force work program, stating to residents if they don't work for free for HHA they will be evicted. This needs to be investigated, these people pay rent on close to nothing incomes, most are disabled seniors, or single mothers with infants and the HHA want to force this upon them, can anyone say slave labor. So what do they want the poor resident to paint,clean up and rebuild the HHA "projects" so the budget money proposed for the jobs get pocketed. That is so corrupt, and the HHA board continues to get away with their corrupt actions do to an uneducated HHA resident population who have no clue how to fight for their rights or even speak english to be able to. Fire them all get a thorough investigation done, prosecute those who have wronged the community and start fresh.
pedro January 29, 2013 at 03:17 PM
I dont know whas goin on with the elevators they are always broken I wonder if ancase of emergency we will die before reaching emergency room. where is the money I pay rent
Showalter February 03, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Who is the real HHA Chairmen (jake) Lets see he is the same man who supported director Garcia from day one he was appointed in till Mr. Mello was appointed . He was also the same person to nominate Jean Rodriguez as chair women . All that changed when when former board member Maryann didn't vote for him for chair so what did jake do next he went out of his way to have an senior women removed from the board and still at this point jake was still voting with the director . Here come Dave mello an now all of a sudden jake has a change of hart . A part of being a man is think for your self and it is clear jake can't do. That hey he can't even support his family his wife dose that or he can't hold a job. Maybe he is mad cause director Garcia won't give him a job cleaning buildings but why he has never held a job more the. Two years. Last for anyone who reads this ask all of the board members living in the housing authority then ask the director the same ? And then ask the board members why do we need a dep director and make sure all members of the board tell u way they voted for a deputy or not I bet at least 3 members can't answer both questions then you will see who is really there for the resident and who is there for politics Director Garcia supporter and current employee and former resident family still resides in HHA

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