East Windsor Housing Authority
Regular Meeting – September 15, 2008
CALL TO ORDER AND ATTENDANCE
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Boutin. Commissioners Lamb, LaMay, Legassie and Percoski were in attendance.
ADDED AGENDA ITEMS
There were no Added Agenda items.
MEETING MINUTES OF:
Regular Meeting – August 18, 2008
The minutes of the regular meeting of August 18, 20008 were reviewed by all Commissioners present. There was one correction to the minutes:
Under New Business – Community Hall Rental (Pauline Legassie)
Pauline Legassie opened for discussion charging $10.00 to $15.00 more to the security deposit for the rental of the hall, and keeping the extra money to hire someone to clean the kitchen.
Change to: Pauline Legassie opened up for discussion charging $10.00 to $15.00 more to the security deposit for the rental of the kitchen, and keeping the extra money to hire someone to clean the kitchen.
There was additional discussion regarding this subject, with the consensus of the board being that there would be no additional monies charged for the security deposit for the hall and that if she was so concerned with the condition of the kitchen, maybe her and some of her ladies could come in once a month or so to clean the kitchen.
Change to: There was additional discussion regarding this subject, with the consensus of the board being that there would be no additional monies charged for the security deposit.
A motion was made by Commissioner Percoski, seconded by Commissioner Lamb to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of August 18, 2008 as amended.
BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Check Register – August 20 – September 10, 2008
The check register for August 20 – September 10, 2008 was reviewed by all commissioners present and all questions answered. A motion was made by Commissioner Percoski, seconded by Commissioner Legassie to accept the check register of August 20 – September 10, 2008 as presented.
Bank Reconciliation July, 2008
The Bank Reconciliation of August, 2008 was reviewed by all commissioners present.
Stanley Walton, Apt. 10
Mr. Walton reported that late Friday night there was someone snooping around the complex and that this person or persons took the solar lights from in front of his apartment and also from in front of apt. 11 and spread them all over the place. He had three suggestions as to how to curb this type of behavior:
1) Hire someone to patrol the areas between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
2) Start a block watch program
3) Hire him at $100/week to patrol the area
Nancy Spencer, Apt. 79
Ms. Spencer reported that she has had gas stolen out of her gas tank on at least two occasions and sometime last week one of her lawn chairs was stolen.
David Mills, Apt. 21
Mr. Mills reported that his windshield had been broken. Mr. Mills said that he would also patrol the complex at night and for no fee.
The Executive Director responded to this by saying that due to the liability issue, it would not be a good idea for any of the residents to patrol the area at night. He also stated that according to State Statute we could hire our own security force but that at this point in time, it is cost prohibitive.
Shelley Williams, Apt. 77
Ms. Williams started out by thanking the board for their permission in allowing her to move to apt. 77. She said that she already feels much calmer and can now put her couch in her livingroom and use the bedroom as a bedroom.
She went on further to state that she understood that the Commission was working for the tenants at Park Hill to take care of them as a community. She then went on to say that she had a wooden arbor in front of her apartment and that before she constructed it she had gotten permission from Steve. The arbor is anchored to the ground, but she was confronted by a board member and a neighbor demanding that she move the arbor from the front yard to the back yard. The board member is Betty Lamb and the neighbor is Brenda Boland. Ms. Williams went on further to say that she felt that Ms. Lamb is not working for the tenants and should not be a board member.
Ms. Lamb responded to this by stating that she met Ms. Williams when she was having a conversation with Ms. Boland. She stated that Ms. Williams came up to them (supposedly to return a pair of scissors she had borrowed from Ms. Boland) as they were talking and asked her what she thought of the arbor. Ms. Lamb stated that she told Ms. Williams that she felt the arbor was an eye sore and did not conform to the rest of the building and that it might look better if it was closer to the window and not over the sidewalk.
Ms. Williams then said that she had been informed that there are birds getting into her gazebo (screened tent/porch) and she stated that this was untrue as there is no way that birds could get into it. Karen Nasuta, Apt. 73 responded to this statement by saying she was the one that had complained about the birds and that she had personally seen the birds going into this screened gazebo while she was outside tending to her tomato plants.
Alice Samson, #4
Ms. Samson started out by saying that she was very upset by the actions of one of the board members who called the State about the garbage. She further stated that this board member should think about what she had done and take care of her own business.
The Executive Director told Ms. Samson that this issue would be discussed at a later point in the meeting. He also stated that over the summer we had had a couple of problems with black and latino youths who had jumped the fence and used this complex as a cut through to the reservoir.
REPORTS OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
HOLDING TANK PUMP
We had to replace the pump in the holding tank last week to the tune of $4,000.00 – but with this replacement we should have no additional problems with water.
As of this writing, we have three vacancies open, one double and two singles. They will be filled as soon as renovations are complete.
Part-time Maintenance Position
We now have five applicants for the part-time maintenance person. Interviews will be conducted Thursday, September 18th.
Workers Compensation Claim
Gary has retained an attorney and is filing for workers compensation with the State of Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Commission. A hearing date is set for October 8, 2008 in Hartford. The Hartford Insurance Group Attorney will also be our legal representative at the hearing.
Request for “Reasonable Accommodations”
We have received a request from one of our tenants who is now wheelchair bound for a ramp modification to get out of the front door. His wheelchair will not fit through the back door. The ramp modification will be done sometime this week weather permitting.
The Executive Director was notified at the meeting that the modification had been done and that the tenant was extremely happy with it.
PILOT Payment Reduction Request
You were all at the last Board of Selectman meeting when we requested a reduction in the percentage of income that we pay the town in the form of PILOT.
We (the Executive Director and the Chairman of the Board) were told previously, in the First Selectman’s office, that this wasn’t gong top happen but we thought we would give it a try anyhow. After the last Selectman meeting, I think we could all see the handwriting on the wall.
I would suggest to the commission that we retract the request for PILOT reduction and pursue the contracted trash pickup retroactive to when the agreement was signed and take whatever legal action is necessary to collect.
I have also received a letter from the office of the First Selectman regarding the Pilot Program. In the letter, Ms. Menard included a listing of towns comparable to East Windsor and what these individual towns are paying for their PILOT program. The Chairman brought up the fact at this point that some of the Towns listed were larger than East Windsor and that a lot of the surrounding towns did not have to pay for some of the services that we have to pay and that many of the surrounding towns were paying substantially less to the PILOT program than what we are and that there was nothing listed that showed the base rents of these units.
North Central Health Department
On August 25th we had a surprise inspection from North Central Health (NCH). It seems that NCH received a complaint from one of our tenants regarding “garbage” being stored in one of the shopping carts on the first level. According to the Health Inspector, the complainant, whom he would not name, stated that there was “fly’s and other insects crawling around the garbage”, the “garbage was giving off a strong odor which was not tolerable”, the “garbage was left for days and was attracting rats, wild animals and other vermin”, and finally “there was a serious problem of cross contamination if the cart was used to transport food.”
I informed the inspector that I was aware of the “trash” in the cart and that one of the tenants empties the cart at least once a day. I also informed him that I did not see any evidence of insect infestation, rodent infestation, wild animals or smell from the trash and in fact the trash was tightly sealed in plastic bags.
I took the inspector to the location of the cart. There was at this time 2 trash bags in the cart. These bags were again sealed tightly. After thoroughly checking the area, the inspector could find nothing to substantiate the complaint except for the possible cross contamination issue.
The inspector then spoke with the tenant who empties the cart. She told him that she empties the cart every day per my instruction and that the cart in question was not used to transport any type of food products. The tenant stated that she did it out of courtesy for the tenants that have a difficult time getting to the dumpster.
Until the report from NCH detailing the inspector’s findings was read, I had no idea who the complainant was and it turned out to be Pauline Legassie, Apt. 15.
Ms. Legassie admitted that she was the one that had made the complaint to NCH. She stated that for two years she has complained about the “garbage” in the shopping cart, that she has talked to Steve about the problem and got nowhere. She also stated that she has talked to Alice personally and was told by Alice that if she didn’t like the trash in the cart she could empty it herself. Ms. Legassie went on further to state that during the recent heat wave, she had visitors who complained of the stench coming from the cart. She also stated that Ms, Samson had told her that the resident in apt 5 had a problem with mice and that she herself had mouse droppings in her apartment. At this point, Ms. Samson became very irate and called Ms. Legassie a liar.
Ms. Legassie then stated that when the maintenance men were power washing the building, the cart was full and they had to empty it. At this point she called the chairman to complain and Ms. Legassie said that the Chairman couldn’t be bothered to talk to her about the problem. At this point, the Chairman Karen Boutin interjected and said that it wasn’t the case of she couldn’t be bothered to speak with Ms. Legassie it was more than likely that the day Ms. Legassie called her she was extremely busy in her office and that likelihood is that she probably just forgot to get back to her.
Ms. Legassie also said that even though she had brought up the issue of the “garbage” at a previous board member, she had gotten no response from the board members regarding this issue. She went on further to say that she thought it was wonderful that Alice was willing to help out her neighbors but that the cart needed to be emptied more that it was,
The Executive Director interjected and said that it was trash not “garbage” in the shopping cart, that he could not detect any odor, vermin or insect infestation or anything of that nature. He also stated that Alice emptied the cart every day.
The Executive Director also stated that since NCH had found no violation, there wasn’t a problem.
Ms. Samson is no longer collecting the trash to help her neighbors out but that trash is still being put in the cart. Ms. Samson also stated that she was sick and tired of certain people sticking their noses into everyone else’s business where it didn’t belong.
Commissioner LaMay then made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Lamb that any further discussion of this issue be moved to a closed session.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
There were no Reports of Committees
There was no Unfinished Business
There was no New Business
POLICY AND PROCEDURES
There were no Policy and Procedures
The Chairman, Karen Boutin, moved that the rest of the meeting be held in Executive Session to discuss pending litigation, to include the First Selectman, Denise Menard, the Executive Director and the Administrative Assistant.
A motion was made by Commissioner Percoski, seconded by Commissioner LaMay to go into a closed session at 7:30 p.m.
A motion was made by Commissioner Percoski, seconded by Commissioner LaMay to come out of the closed session at 8:21 p.m. with no action taken.
A motion was made by Commissioner Percoski, seconded by Commissioner Lamb to adjourn the regular meeting of the East Windsor Housing Authority at 8:29 p.m.
Steven D. Knibloe
Darlene H. Kelly