Minutes from a Regular Meeting May 26, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners was called to order at 6:30 p.m. on May 26, 2011 in the Community Room at Washington Manor, 340 Thomas Blvd, Orange, New Jersey.

The Executive Director advised that all requirements of the Sunshine Law were met.

A roll call was taken as follows:
Chairman Clifford Ross entered meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Kerry Coley
Commissioner Lillie Davis
Commissioner Coram Rimes
Commissioner Joseph Seneca
Commissioner Evelyn Hudson

Also Present
Walter D. McNeil, Jr. Executive Director
Amelia Rideau
Several Tenants
Several Employees

Commissioner Ernest Williams

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Vice Chairman Coley called for a motion to adopt the agenda. Commissioner Rimes moved to adopt the agenda. Commissioner Hudson seconded the motion.
Vice Chairman Coley called for discussion?
No discussion.
A roll call was taken.
All Commissioners voted in favor.

Vice Chairman Coley called for a motion for the adoption and or correction of the minutes from the regular board meeting on March 17, 2011 and April 21, 2011. Commissioner Seneca moved to adopt the minutes. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion.
Vice Chairman Coley called for discussion?
No discussion.
A roll call was taken.
All Commissioners voted in favor.

Executive Directors Report

Mr. McNeil said I have a Section 8 and Public Housing report. I forwarded these reports to you in the beginning of the week. We are at 98% lease up rate with Public Housing. With Section 8 we had 3 new admissions, 4 terminations, 107 outgoing portables 21, incoming; we have 25 people in our FSS Program. Mr. McNeil said that we were funded $66,000.00 for FSS grant to continue our efforts with providing families with guidance for self sufficiency. That’s run by our Section 8 Program and Susan Moore our FSS Coordinator. We did submit the Work and Education Grant, we did not hear about that. We did here about the Youth Program. Only one grant in New Jersey was funded and that was Newark. It was a very competitive season for that grant.

Marianna DeVincentis, Section8/Public Housing Program Director said, we did apply for the National Grant for the Youth Build several months ago. She said we really didn’t know how many people applied but it turned out that 391 people across the nation applied for that grant only 31 people across the nation was awarded. Mrs. DeVincentis said only in Newark, New Jersey. She said like Mr. McNeil said we now have a record that they know that we are interested and we’re trying to apply for other grants that will show that we are interested. The last grant that we applied for was on the last agenda for HAVC Training for young adults also females, we’ve partnered with the Union and other agencies that will help us with other areas of self sufficiency. Mrs. DeVincentis said hopefully we will get that grant and hear something in a month or two.

Public Session

Edward Wadood, resident of 340 Thomas Blvd said people continuously keep pushing the button on the elevator because it’s slow and they’re in such a hurry. Mr. Wadood said at the last meeting you said that you have the welfare of the seniors at heart but he can’t understand how you can put a person in a wheel chair on the 10th floor. He also said if anything was to happen what are they going to do. Mr. Wadood went on to say about the golf outing for the Orange Housing Authority and the fee is $275.00 and that there is no rain date. He also said that if a foursome buys individually it cost $200.00 less than if you add a person.

Mr. McNeil said, you are on the golf committee and you can raise any objectives to anything that is said or done. In terms of the rain dates that golf course does not allow you to do rain dates. Mr. McNeil said he called a number of golf courses personally and their not allowing rain dates because they are scheduling other outings. He said that where not scheduled for that until September 19, 2011. Mr. McNeil said that the tickets are high because it’s a scholarship tournament. We’ve already gotten a $5000.00 donation for the tournament in order to defray some of the cost we anticipate on getting other money to defray the cost. He said as for the tenant on the 10th floor, I had an opportunity to speak to the Manager about that situation. We can’t discriminate and we can’t tell someone that because they are in a wheelchair they can’t have housing. I know your thinking about their health and safety. We have two elevators in this building that have been working pretty well. Last week the elevator was down because we were waiting for a part. If you have people constantly hitting the elevators with their wheelchairs that’s what the issue is. They keep knocking the elevator doors off the tracks. People have to be a lot more careful.

Mr. Wadood said, what about the benches outside, where people have to wait for transportation. People have to stand up, older people get tired.

Mr. McNeil said we did have chairs out there at one point. There was an incident where people were sitting out there and they had bedbugs on them. We fumigated the area. We wanted to control the area so we wouldn’t be spreading bedbugs. He also said that he wanted to put benches back out their but we don’t want to create a situation where people are not comfortable.

Mr. Wadood said, did you even consider putting benches outside. Everybody likes to sit in front of their house and wave to people

Mr. McNeil said, we are not. We’ve had a problem with that. The Resident Association and Management don’t want people sitting in front of the building. It takes away from the curb appeal of the building. Mr. McNeil said that he just did the deck and he said that a canopy is going to be put up so that people can sit on the side. He said that the City has been complaining about people sitting on the bridge. People have gotten tickets at the bus stop.

Mr. Wadood said when you have an announcement will it be possible to have it said in Spanish and in French so people can understand.

Mr. McNeil said yes, we try to do that. The last few announcements were made in French and Spanish.

Commissioner Seneca said, we have to have seats for the seniors if their waiting for a ride.

Ms. Thelma Jarrell’s resident of 340 Thomas Blvd., Apt 9-G said she wants to complain about her kitchen and she has put in work orders. She said that the tile is cracked because it is old and the cabinet needs to come out.

Mr. McNeil said I will speak to the Superintendent.
Linda Jones-Bell, Councilwoman, Apt 10-J said we were trying to figure out a way where we can have a bench, something that can be easily sprayed. She said that Shanda Hammond is doing a good job. She said there is a team of people as you know that started working with her to talk to the new tenants that come in. It’s not so much like a screening process but it helps. I asked Mrs. Hammond if we had a no loitering clause in our lease that is because if people are outside hanging out they should be ticketed. Two people got $250.00 tickets. We also need to discuss the computers and we really need cameras on every floor.

Mr. McNeil said, last week Lance and I met with a couple of camera people. We know it’s a concern. Just to put 16 cameras in spots around the 1st floor is about $10,000.00. We are going to increase the number of cameras on the first floor.

Ms. Linda Jones Bell said that cameras should be in the elevators too.


Vice Chairman Coley called for a motion to adopt Resolution No. 5112-11 Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Orange Approving Bills Resolution No. 1829. Commissioner Seneca moved to adopt. Commissioner Davis seconded.
Chairman Ross called for discussion?

Commissioner Rimes said can you explain the charges for Verizon.

Mr. McNeil said there are many phones that are our regular phone service, six cell phones and internet for April and May.

Chairman Ross said Access Granted emergency call for the gate. Every meeting we have service calls for that gate.

Lance Hammond, Maintenance Superintendent said $277.00 is for the gate, the rest is for the pull cord station inside the building.

Chairman Ross said page 9, acct. 4190.1 this was for the grant writer. Did we get the grant?

Mr. McNeil said it’s still yet to be determined.

Chairman Ross said when we will know.

Marianna DeVincentis said a couple of months.

Chairman Ross said page 6, GCW Instruction Corp. this is for painting the 10 trash rooms and floors. Could we have used summer workers for this?

Mr. McNeil said, no because where going to have our REAC Inspection on July 20, 2011. When we got the date we had to start preparing we don’t want to wait until the last minute.

Chairman Ross said do we have any jobs for students.

Mr. McNeil said, we will end up doing a very limited summer program. We haven’t made any announcements yet. We may have two or three people who will work. Definitely residents of our Section 8 Program.

A roll call was taken
All Commissioners voted in favor

Chairman Ross called for a motion to adopt Resolution No. 5113-11 Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Orange to authorize the Executive Director to submit the MASS and SEMAP Report Commissioner Rimes moved to adopt. Commissioner Seneca seconded.
Chairman Ross called for discussion?
No discussion
A roll call was taken
All Commissioners voted in favor

New Business

Mr. McNeil said I would like to announce that Amelia Rideau is here representing us tonight as our counsel. Mr. Booker is away and Mr. Scotland had other obligations so she’s here tonight. We are happy to have her working with us.

Chairman Ross called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Rimes moved to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Seneca seconded.
Chairman Ross called for a discussion?
No Discussion
A roll call was taken.
All Commissioners voted in favor.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Walter D. McNeil, Jr.
Executive Director