Two GHA seats still empty

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority is still awaiting two new members following the resignation of two in July.

During Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, the issue of the two opens seats was addressed by interim executive director Daniel Towne.

The two seats were vacated when former Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Ponticello and resident commissioner Bernard Manzer resigned their seats on July 20, following a vote that place Executive Director Timothy Mattice and tenant relations employee Sherri McCloskey on paid administrative leave.

Towne said that the housing authority has a policy to elect residents. He said it will be up to the board to follow the GHA’s election policy going forward.

“Frankly I don’t know if we’ve ever had a tenant commissioner resign. So we are kind of in new territory for us,” Towne said.

Ponticello’s seat is one of five that is appointed by the city’s mayor. Manzer’s resident commissioner seat is open for an elected tenant from either of the two towers.

Some residents asked if they could hold elections for both seats, one for Kingsboro and one for Forest Hill.

Towne said the composition of the board is regulated by public housing law. He said the rules limit the GHA to two resident commissioner seats only. This means that the towers split a seat on the board with Dubois Gardens seat filled by Jason Sweeney.

“We are prohibited from having three elected representatives,” Towne said.

Towne said the by laws can’t be changed to contradict state laws, which dictate five appointed and two elected members.

Towne said candidates will need to file an election petition and there will be an eligible waiting period. He said an election for the seat likely won’t happen until October or November.

“We want a full board,” Towne said. “Maybe in a few months we can have a full board.”

Diane Sauve, president of the Forest Hill Tenant Association, said there is an interested party for the seat in their building. Joyce Estee, president of the Kingsboro Towers Tenant Association said her building has someone interested as well.

Mayor Dayton King offered to fill Ponticello’s seat with someone from either of the towers.

“I’ll certainly follow up with the public housing authority to see if it is possible. If it is not we won’t. I just think it would be awesome if we had representation for both towers,” King said.

Board Chairman John Castiglione said he is in favor of that idea, but said it needs to be ok with the state before the appointment of a resident could go forward.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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