Letter to the Editor: Jake Stuiver Responds to Eduardo Gonzalez

Hoboken Housing Authority Chairman Jake Stuiver defends the process of hiring an auditor and an attorney for the authority.

Dear Editor:
I commend Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez for recognizing that it has taken an unconscionably long time to complete our process of hiring a general counsel and auditor. It has indeed taken more than five months to conclude what should have been standard, straightforward procedures under normal circumstances, and it is to my not inconsequential and frequently vocalized frustration that we have been unable to do so.

However, I'd like to invite Commissioner Gonzalez to reevaluate the reasons these important and normally uneventful processes have become bogged down.

As Commissioner Gonzalez should know, the Board of Commissioners is the appointing authority for all contractual vendors and contract employees of the Hoboken Housing Authority. Yet over the past half-year, he has continued to tolerate and rationalize repeated interference and machinations by Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, who has decided to engage in a power struggle with the board, asserting, wrongly, that he, not the board, is the appointing authority. Commissioner Gonzalez has repeatedly, and wrongly, backed up this assertion, causing numerous unnecessary delays in the hiring processes.
Commissioner Gonzalez has told me repeatedly and unequivocally that he stands firmly opposed to changing auditors, and if he wants to publicly hash out the apparent circumstances of the last auditor change four years ago, or the details of whether he has been a help or a hindrance in bringing these RFQ processes to their fruition, that's a conversation I'm fully prepared to have. As I have told Commissioner Gonzalez numerous times, I am far more concerned with hiring the most competent and trustworthy firms offering the best value for our money than with taking shortcuts and going strictly with whomever is the absolute cheapest. Commissioner Gonzalez's continued protests against the advertising costs of properly promoting the general-counsel and auditor positions appear to reflect a lack of desire to expand the choices available to the board as appointing authority so that it can move forward with the best possible alternative.



Jake Stuiver

Chairman, Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners

Ojo Rojo January 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Carmelo works for the board and isn't doing as told? I can see why an assistant is necessary.
demosthenes January 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
If Mr. Gonzalez were more forthcoming about his reasons for wanting to retain the professionals preferred by Mr. Garcia he might find a more receptive audience for his views. While I personally disagree with Mr. Joe Branco, he is honest enough to clearly acknowledge that he does not believe the HHA board should exercise its legal authority to make its own decisions or to conduct oversight. He believes that the board should operate as Mr. Garcia's assistant, his "right hand," following Mr. Garcia's instructions and facilitating an agenda established unilaterally by Mr. Garcia. If Mr. Gonzalez shares that view, as he appears to, he should be as honest as Mr. Branco and say that instead of inviting TV crews to meetings to film his foray into racial politics and writing long disingenuous letters containing transparently false claims intended to justify the failure to exercise proper oversight..
HudsonStreet January 18, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Does Beth Mason still have one of Carmelo Garcia's relatives on her payroll ?
Ojo Rojo January 19, 2013 at 01:00 AM
The board sets policy, the director implements it. He answers to the board and not the other way around.
FireThemAll January 23, 2013 at 07:35 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 residents 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 due 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.


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