Wefer and Mello are both allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who now has a majority on the seven member unpaid board.
In recent months, both Mello and Wefer led a campaign to oust former Chairman Rob Davis III, a public housing resident and supporter of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia. Garcia has been at odds with Zimmer for over a year, thus rendering the housing board a fierce battleground.
On Thursday night, Davis, the outgoing chairman, thanked residents who attended the meeting for their respect and support and asked that they show the same respect to Wefer.
But within minutes of her taking control of the meeting, Wefer asked police to remove two residents who had begun verbally berating her following the vote. The residents, who had spoken about housing matters at a City Council meeting the day before, eventually left the meeting peacefully.
One of those removed was not Patricia Waiters, who made controversial remarks at the last meeting. She was present at this meeting as well.
Despite the rough beginning, Wefer said she would work together with residents to improve life in the housing authority, focus on the agency's finances, and tackle what she said were pressing infrastructure issues. She also created a Resident Relations committee to handle residents' short-term, low-cost grievances in order to improve quality of life on a day-to-day basis. -- Dean DeChiaro