Trumbull Housing Authority
September 28, 2015
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Linda Nassrah and Suzanne Donofrio
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
Absent: Commissioner Susan Fatse
The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of July 27, 2015 as written. Seconded by Ms. Nassrah and approved unanimously.
Paul – Mr. Littlefield began to speak on behalf of the Tenant’s Association and was told by Mrs. Kopchik that he had to speak on behalf of himself at the meeting not the Association. He spoke regarding the drafty windows that drive up winter heating costs. He urged the Board to authorize management to immediately seek ways to remediate the problem before cold weather sets in. He offered to work with management in seeking suitable remediation. Mrs. Kopchik stated the Board would take it under advisement for Mr. Littlefield.
Pat – Mr. Littlefield who has been trying to represent the tenants. He has tried for several weeks to get Mr. Littlefield off the board. Mrs. Kopchik stated he is not recognized as a representative of the Tenant’s Association. However, Pat stated according to the Women’s League of Voters he is. Mrs. Kopchik noted the residents have indicated that they do not believe the Tenants’ Council to which Mr. Littlefield claims to represent is affiliated, represents their interests. It doesn’t exist and the Board does not recognize it so when Mr. Littlefield speaks, he is speaking on his own behalf. There was never a previous board of directors. This subject will be addressed later.
Thelma – speaking as a tenant and not as a commissioner, questioned the flyer that was distributed by Mr. Littlefield. She noted the windows were put in in 2010. They were eventually put in units from 1-100 and they were put in under the former director, Mr. Wise. She wondered why it was being brought up at this time and why residents didn’t complain over the past five years if there was a problem. People should have complained when the windows were put in. She stated they were put in improperly and should have been taken care of under the other director.
Bob – He noted that Harry put in his windows at 57 and 59 as an experiment. He didn’t wait long before he put in additional windows. There is no insulation and they do not do the job they were designed to do. He noted the project coming up is the way to make it better as they will be energy efficient.
Sandra – She has not had a discussion about the windows with Mr. Littlefield. He does not represent her needs in any way. She is not a member of the Tenant’ Association. No one can speak for her without consulting her and she felt he has abused this. She also spoke about the windows and noted this topic has not been presented to the Board or at Harriet’s tea. Personally she is distressed to learn about a gentleman who left and wished that he had been treated more courteously by different people who live in the village. She encouraged all to be a little more warm-hearted towards others. She would like to be shown respect. She has not seen residents be Christian in their actions or humanitarian. Everyone live in the village as a group and should enhance one another, encourage one another and have empathy towards one another. This has not been seen and we have lost a good person.
Joan – questioned whether under the new project, if the electric was going to be the same. She is concerned about her oxygen machine and will be unable to come to the community building in the event the power is out. Mrs. Harriet assured everyone their medical needs would be covered in the event of a power outage.
Judy – she was in the first group that had the windows put in and had mentioned to Harry several times about the windows and was told that if she didn’t like it, she could move. This is a pre-existing issue and has nothing to do with Harriet’s administration. Harriet is trying to make the correction and is doing a terrific job in trying to make things better.
Sydney – spoke about the garbage on the street. She encouraged the residents and their families not to litter on the street.
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending August 31, 2015. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall gain of $9,768. All vendors have been paid. As of August 31, 2015, Accounts Payable was approximately $66,267 including the PILOT accrual for the current and past year. The PILOT payment will not be paid until the outside accountant finishes his annual audit. The cash position is healthy. The Village current cash position has approximately $19,049 and the Center’s cash position is $22,191.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported for the period ending August 31, 2015. Currently the reserve balance is over $1,430,290 which is approximately $6,443 for each unit in the entire complex. Our overall cash position as of August 31, 2015 shows a balance of $1,211,556 including the investment account.
Some repairs were made to the sprinkler system in the Congregate; air conditioners were purchased for the Congregate and the phone in the office was also repaired. For the Village, some refrigerators and ranges were purchased. Management will always look for projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.
Ms. Polansky noted that residents need to close their windows. If you close them, you have to lock them so it is not drafty. Residents leave the windows open a little bit. Locking them is one way to deal with the drafty windows. There are other ways to stop the drafts by using draft stoppers, using plastic to seal the windows or hanging heavy curtains. There are a lot of energy efficient things you can do and UI also offers suggestions.
Ms. Polansky thanked Sydney for helping with the newsletter and addressing the topic of garbage. Ms. Polansky asked everyone to pick up if they drop something, including water bottles in the outdoor areas. She also thanked all of the volunteers – the Are You Okay Squad leaders, Stern Village Neighborhood Watch and the nine-member Development Advisory Committee. She stated that if you need the facts, she always has the facts; don’t listen to rumors.
Over the next few weeks, the maintenance staff will be patching the paths and the town will be coming on to fill in the potholes. The priority is to repair the roads, the paths, the sewer system and storm water management system once we receive funding.
The annual picnic was a huge success. We received a total of $425 in donations, a $50 Stop & Shop gift card, 2 large cakes from Stop & Shop and 2 large coolers on wheels from Home Depot. Jeff Shapiro, the food vendor, did not charge for the additional foods. She thanked Linda Nassrah, Theresa and Nancy who volunteered time to serve food. Helen Munoz from the Department of Housing was at a meeting with management and then she attended the picnic along with Bruce and Neil from Millennium. The pictures are on Facebook and will be on the website.
Ms. Polansky applied for a grant – the Housing Authority Small Improvement Program for Kim from TOVAH. Kim put together a proposal and we got the grant for her services. She will be conducting a leadership training program on a monthly basis over a period of one year. She will do team building and teach residents to take a leadership role in decision making for the community. Residents will learn skills to enhance communications, address community issues and conflict, participate in community processes, elect resident representatives, facilitate community meetings and sustain resident participation. Kim has gone above and beyond even when she wasn’t being paid by the state to put together the resident participation plan which was mandatory in order to get funding.
Paulette has scheduled some presentations for October. We are having a flu clinic on 10/28. Please sign up. All information is in the newsletter. Thanked those who helped with all the activities that are held.
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Linda Nassrah, to adjourn the meeting at 4:25pm.
These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.