Housing board elects Dana Wefer new chairwoman; David Mello appointed vice-chair; angry residents removed from meeting within minutes of the vote
May 08, 2014 | 1291 views | 2 2 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Left to right: Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia (left) is paid to run the agency that manages the city's low-income housing. He is partly overseen by a seven-member board of commissioners.  Dana Wefer (center) is the new chair of the board following a reorganization meeting Thursday night. At her right is David Melllo, new vice chair. Mayor Dawn ZImmer's allies now have a majority on the board.
Left to right: Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia (left) is paid to run the agency that manages the city's low-income housing. He is partly overseen by a seven-member board of commissioners. Dana Wefer (center) is the new chair of the board following a reorganization meeting Thursday night. At her right is David Melllo, new vice chair. Mayor Dawn ZImmer's allies now have a majority on the board.
slideshow
HOBOKEN -- Dana Wefer, a newcomer to the board that oversees Hoboken's public housing, was elected by a 5-2 vote on Thursday to a one-year term as the chairwoman. The change took place at the annual reorganization meeting of the Housing Authority's (HHA) Board of Commissioners. Board member David Mello, who also serves as a city councilman, was elected vice-chairman of the board by a 4-3 vote.

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
Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
assilem
|
May 18, 2014
Yes right, Resident Relations. Someone who knows nothing of the life of these people. Get a grip guys. People are not going to buy this lack of representation forever. One day folks may actually get fed up and VOTE. Then your gooses will be cooked.
Dirty$$Media
|
May 09, 2014
Saw only one resident removed based on this video, or rather she decided she wanted to create a scene of getting removed.

http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2014/05/hoboken-housing-authority-chair-dana.html

Sounds like some not insignificant illegalities were uncovered later in the meeting. The number mentioned was $1,000,000.

Yikes, are those racist reformers at it again?