AHA tenant seat returns to first Latina rep
Menotomy Manor resident Fiorella Badilla was unanimously appointed to the tenant seat on the Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) board of directors at the board meeting on Monday, August 9.
Her formal appointment marks the first time in 72 years of authority that a Latina has been represented on the five-member board of directors of the state agency that provides rental housing to low-income, elderly residents. and disabled.
Badilla was temporarily appointed to the board last November, in the seat vacated by veteran board member Richard Murray.
Housing authorities align with cities
On January 14, Governor Baker signed a law requiring housing authorities to designate a permanent seat on the city-appointed tenant council. This process reflects how tenants are currently appointed to boards of housing authorities in cities since 2014, according to the Citizens ‘Planning and Housing Association fact sheet, and “ensures tenants’ participation in the governance of their housing. lodging”.
Badilla will complete the remainder of Murray’s five-year term, which expires in April 2023. She was one of eight candidate tenants for the seat, including residents of Menotomy Manor, Cusack Terrace and Winslow Towers.
Council meets remotely, Hurd recuses himself
Chairman Steve DeCourcey said an in-chamber board meeting was called off at the last minute and held at bay due to rising rates of Covid transmission in the region. “For a meeting that could last from three to four hours, we thought it was better to have the meeting remotely”, even respecting the city policy requiring face coverings in all municipal buildings, instituted That day.
Board member John Hurd recused himself from the vote, saying he had “a family relationship with the housing authority’s director of operations who currently serves as interim executive director” and to “eliminate any appearance of a potential conflict of interest”. In the interest of full disclosure, I will withdraw from the discussion and vote on this item.
Hurd’s sister is married to Jack Nagle, the authority’s acting executive director. According to previous reports in YourArlington, Hurd is a member of a well-known Arlington family. His father, Jack, served on the Selectmen board from 1997 to 2011, and Franklin Hurd Jr. was executive director of the housing authority until 2007, replaced by John Griffin, who is on indefinite personal leave since April.
Applicants declare their diplomas
Only two candidates attended the meeting remotely, with Badilla touting her experience on the board. She said she would use her appointment “to represent the interests of all tenants in the housing authority”. She noted that she had advocated “replacing the leaky windows and doors at Menotomy Manor” and that she “would continue to defend the rights of tenants.”
Pam Hauser, president of the Winslow Tower Tenant Association, told the board that her eight years as president made her a “very qualified candidate for this position.” I was very noisy to get new elevators and new windows’ for the high rise building on Mystic Street.
Council congratulates Badilla, thanks others
Following these statements, DeCourcey thanked “everyone who expressed interest in the housing authority position, for submitting written materials and for being involved in the city.” These candidates were Menotomy Manor, Dylan Dalton, Alicia Jones, Julia Moden and Vanessa Rowsell; Cusack Terrace, Pat Dunleavy and Cynthia McGinty; Winslow towers, Hauser.
The board’s unanimous vote adds Badilla to a board consisting of President Brian Connor, Vice-President Jo Anne Preston, Treasurer Gaar Talanian and Member Nick Mitropoulos.
Selected Board Member Len Diggins congratulated Badilla: “I think you’ve done a great job. I encourage you to continue working with us, and perhaps even in broader areas. “
Board member Diane Mahon wanted the dossier to reflect that the majority of applicants “are very actively involved in housing authority properties and work with their neighbors. I want to thank [them] on behalf of the city.
Badilla thanked the board for the appointment and said she “was so looking forward to the next two years”.
The Arlington Housing Authority’s next meeting, with newly appointed tenant representative Badilla, is meeting remotely at 7 p.m. on August 25. See the AHA website for more details.
July 12, 2021: The Menotomy Manor tenants association takes shape
This news summary from YourArlington freelance writer Melanie Gilbert was posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.