Letter to the Editor: Jake Stuiver

Hoboken Housing Authority Chairman Jake Stuiver asks for healthy debate and cooperation from a fellow board member.

Dear Editor:

As Chairman of the Hoboken Housing Authority, I am pleased to say that our past several board meetings have been filled with healthy debate and occasionally contentious discussion over a wide variety of important issues. I think I speak for the entire Reform majority when I say debate and even friction are positive attributes of a governing body that’s doing its job properly and digging into the hard work of hashing out the issues and making informed decisions.  I do not wince at serious, meaty engagement with my fellow commissioners -- I welcome it.

Unfortunately, at our last meeting, Housing Authority Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez took an important discussion about an auditing proposal and digressed into what appeared to be a preplanned "made for television" statement that falsely and inappropriately introduced false, counterproductive allegations of ethnic bias.

The Hoboken Housing Authority is at a critical juncture right now, with a number of pivotal issues coming before the board with high stakes and consequential outcomes that will be felt for generations. The work ahead is serious business requiring a sober and intellectually honest approach.

Commissioner Gonzalez said the Housing Authority board leadership has become an extension of the policies of the Zimmer administration and Reform majority on the City Council. On that point, I agree with him 100 percent. However, I do not share his view that it is an opening for criticism. I wear it as a badge of honor. Reform leadership in Hoboken government has yielded countless improvements in operational efficiency, routing of corruption, nationally recognized innovation and improvements in people’s lives.

The Housing Authority is the third-largest budget in Hoboken, and the only one that has yet to undergo the audits and professionalization that have produced so many positive changes at City Hall and the Board of Education. I encourage Commissioner Gonzalez to recognize that change has arrived at the Housing Authority, and while his cooperation will be welcomed, his obstruction will not be tolerated.


Jake Stuiver
Chairman, Hoboken Housing Authority

John Smith January 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM
It's my understanding that Mr Gonzalez voted against the pay-to-play proposal because it was introduced 10 minutes before the meeting during which he was asked to vote. I believe that he wanted enough time to make sure the proposal went far enough to meet the true intentions. He is NOT against pay-to play rules nor is he hiding anything.
FAP January 17, 2013 at 03:21 PM
John Smith the pay to play rules passed by the HHA's reform majority are boiler plate and the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. If Mr.Gonzalez had an issue with the pay to play rules has he offered a single amendment to change them? . To the other issues hounding Mr.Gonzalez, let's start with the position of Deputy Director. The HHA has the third highest budget in Hoboken, after the City and Board of Ed, and serves thousands of residents living in 1,350 apartments. Does it make sense to not have a fully trained and qualified second in command to assist in operations and if god forbid something should happen while the Director is traveling to be able to be on the scene to take charge? . Auditors. It's best practices to change auditors every three to four years. Auditors can catch different issues and by changing vendors periodically you get the best from all, while not allowing any auditor to become complacent. It's similar for legal representation. . Mr.Gonzalez seems more interested with obstruction than consensus. From the outside the vocal fights Mr.Gonzalez and Director Garcia are waging over normal changes in professional vendors and adding common sense management leads many people to believe that something is going on they don't want discovered and they fear that a new auditor, new lawyer, or a fresh pair of eyes in management would expose it. As Mr.Gonzalez was head of the finance committee this is especially troubling.
pdq January 17, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Interesting that Edwardo does not see to it that the audits are put online. If he was so good in his position then why the 155k overage with the only explanation of : we need to lend the contractors no interest loans. Is the HHA now a lending institution? Due to lack of insurance company payouts for totally devistated homes, I am sure lots of residents would love no interest loans, but it seems edwardo and the exec director believe companies deserve these freebie, no interest loans ,more than the residents.
CuriousGal January 17, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Mr. Stuiver is obviously an accomplished and articulate writer who has a gift for strong rhetoric. Unfortunately, he is a little shallow on facts. Referencing the Board of Education as a place where "positive changes have occurred" challenges even the most generous definition of "positive" (i.e. District in Need of Improvement status; below average graduation rate; 90% of students attending a school that failed to meet federal and state minimum adequate yearly progress criteria; audit findings indicating excessive legal fees; audit findings indicating $700,000+ in food service debt; students leaving the district in droves; etc....) -- and as for City Hall...increased violent crime in the streets, infrastructure collapse, no follow through with promised parks, and failing to install the 3 other pumping stations speak for itself, as does the consequences of these failed promises. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" ;-)
HudsonStreet January 18, 2013 at 03:53 AM
It is sad that Beth Mason has to surround herself with people like CuriousGal.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »