Trumbull Housing Authority
September 26, 2016
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Chairman, Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Suzanne Donofrio and Paul Niebuhr
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
Commissioners Absent: Suzanne Fatse
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Chairman Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mrs. Kopchik welcomed Paul Niebuhr as a new Commissioner for the THA replacing Linda Nassrah and the Board looks forward to working with him.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of July 25, 2016 as written. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved with one abstention from Mr. Neibuhr.
Approval of the minutes of September 6, 2016 was tabled until the next meeting.
Mrs. Burr noted this was her final report as Treasurer for the THA and she thanked everyone for their support for all these years.
For the period ending August 31, 2016, Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss for the period of $9,518. This is entirely attributable to the various vacancies in the Village and the Center which has reduced the rental income. We have reduced and are maintaining our expense structure. As of August 31, 2016, Accounts Payable is approximately $65,512, including the PILOT accrual for the current year and the prior fiscal year. All vendors have been paid currently. The cash position is healthy at the present time.
First Selectman Herbst presented a proclamation to Mrs. Burr noting her many contributions during her years at Stern Village and declared September 26, 2016 as Thelma Burr Day.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky noted the Village current cash position is approximately $37,570 and the Center’s cash position is $18,588. There are two vacancies in the Congregate which should be filled shortly. In the Village, we have 16 vacancies, 10 of which are being kept for hotel units. Applications were accepted for Stern Village during the month of August only. Approximately eighty applications were received for the Village. Applications were vetted and approximately 50 residents appear to qualify for Stern Village. A wait list will be posted within the next two weeks and vacancies should be filled within the next couple of months. There have been capital expenditures during this period including the installation of some new windows and a repair of the sprinkler system in the Congregate. In the Village, the handicapped door will be replaced in the Community Room. In the Congregate they will be replacing the inner door with a new automatic door and key fob system.
Currently the reserve balance is over $1,513,749 which is approximately $6,819 for each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of August 31, 2016 shows a balance of $1,013,668, including the investment account. Ms. Polansky is continuing to look at other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.
UI approved the interconnection agreement for solar panels for the Congregate this morning. Mr. Dunn is also reviewing the documents and the solar panels should be installed within the next week or two.
The annual THA picnic was a huge success. Ms. Polansky thanked the following corporate friends of Stern Village for their generous donations to make it extra special:
– Patty Cahill and John Annis from Home Depot, Trumbull
– Ed Henrich – United Health Care
– Nick and Mark from ISC Security
– Stop & Shop on Quality Street
– JR from RWS
– Malik from Hancock Pharmacy
– Sai fro Medical Arts Pharmacy
– Jeff Shapiro, Creative Culinary for the delicious food
– Brian from Calvert Locksmiths
Paulette was elected to the SWCAA Advisory Council to serve two years to represent the Trumbull Housing Authority at Stern Village.
Ms. Polansky noted it was Thelma’s last THA Board meeting as Tenant Commissioner and Treasurer for the THA Board of Commissioners. Ms. Polansky stated “ We will miss you and everything you, and your daughter Nancy, have done for Stern Village for over 25 years. I will miss your energy and ability to light up a room. I will miss your many contributions on a daily basis, too numerous to mention. I will miss your insight, understanding and compassion for the residents of Stern Village. I will also miss your spunk and commitment to excellence. Thank you for all you have contributed to this organization.” A letter was mailed to every THA resident last Wednesday explaining the election process for a Tenant Commissioners along with a nomination ballot. The third party to oversee the election is Kim from TOVA.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of May 9, 2016 as written. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved with one abstention from Mr. Niebuhr.
Ms. Polansky discussed the key fob for the inner door at the Congregate. The inner door is always locked as a security precaution. The congregate manager or the security guards have to leave their work areas to open the door. She conducted research and the best solution is to have a key fob system installed. Each resident will be provided with a fob to open the door. Cost to replace the fob is $50.00. Collecting deposits for the key fob is okay as long as a meeting was held with the residents of the Congregate and provided them the information. A special meeting was held last Thursday. The deposit money will be put into a separate account and the deposit will be returned when the resident leaves the facility and returns the fob. Wristlets were ordered today for the residents. She would like the Board to approve a one-time deposit of $20 for the key fob to be paid by each Congregate resident.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the one-time deposit of $20.00 obtained from each resident of the Stern Village Congregate Center and the deposit refunded when the key is returned when the resident leaves the building. Mrs. Burr seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Mr. Littlefield read the following statement – “Madam Chairman, I speak to the letter received last Friday about the election of a Tenant Commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Thelma Burr whose long service on the Board is recognized with thanks.
Madam Chairman, does the Board really want to ignore the purposes and intent of State Statute which requires that you have an independent, disinterested and impartial third party conduct and monitor the election?
I ask that because Ms. Kim Pietrorazio, Executive of TOVAH, Inc., a Division of the Simon Knover Real Estate Management Corporation, can hardly claim to be independent, disinterested or impartial, she being a current and probable future paid contractor of the THA. Ms. Pietrorazio is, quite simply, not a qualified independent disinterested third party, according to state statute, to run this election.
Therefore, by the authority of the duly organized, established and legitimately qualified Stern Village Tenants’ Association, Inc. I have been duly authorized…”. At this point, Mrs. Kopchik stopped Mr. Littlefield and reminded him that he can only speak for himself and not represent any other entity. She reminded Mr. Littlefield that the Board does not recognize the Stern Village Tenants’ Association. Mr. Littlefield was asked to rephrase his comments. He continued “I respectfully request this Board of Commissioners, being that of a public housing authority, subject to the law and acting at a called public meeting, take action to disqualify Ms. Pietrorazio and to work cooperatively to select a qualified moderator that is suitable and agreeable to this Board and to the Stern Village Tenants’ Association, Inc. This can be done quite easily…”. Mr. Kopchik stated Mr. Littlefield’s speaking time was up. Mr. Littlefield noted he was interrupted and should be allowed to finish. He noted that he wanted to do this amicably but the Board does not want to so it leaves him no alternative but to pursue other legal means. Mr. Littlefield ended “Respectfully submitted”.
Ed – It is very fitting that it is a very important day. We will remember you and the great job you did for Stern Village. He is very grateful that Mr. Herbst runs Trumbull and has done a magnificent job and Harriet Polansky too. The fact that we are not legally represented by a tenants association as of yet, there has not been a single problem because of Harriet. Anyone who lives in Stern Village should be truly grateful. As far as Kim being the wrong person, he didn’t think he has met a more honest person in his life. Congratulations to Paulette.
Judy – she will miss Thelma; no one can take her place.
Joan – this is a beautiful community and wishes all could get along. There is power when united. She would like to see everyone trying to do the right thing. She respects Mr. Littlefield and stated he is a good man.
Gus – Thank you to Thelma for being a good friend, a lovely neighbor and for all the work she has done. He also stated he would like to file a formal complaint against a resident for posting a sign in her window regarding him and falsely accusing him of theft. He would like the Board to address this legally or otherwise. The resident, Christiane Poggi, was questioned by Thelma Burr and she refused to answer.
Sandy – Thelma is remarkable and a great asset to Stern Village. She felt it was an unfortunate circumstance for Gus and requested the Board to address it. Mrs. Kopchik noted that would speak with Gus regarding this. Sandy spoke that her goal is to have peace, harmony and to have people around her who care. She has been on the board for redevelopment and it has been great for her. Thelma is a great example of someone she would like to copy. Regrets this happy occasion has been diminished. Paulette is more than an advantage to this community. It is sad that people have their own personal agenda.
Mrs. Kopchik and the Board wished Thelma well.
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:33pm. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.
These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.