Commissioner Picks

I read the two articles in today’s Register about the new commissioners picked for the Housing Authority and the Allingtown Fire Department with interest and some concern. In the Housing Authority piece, I see that Mayor Picard has picked all his cronies for the commission. I also noted that Jasmine Nugent did not resign as asked by the mayor and will remain on the commission. Very interesting. But my eyes really popped out of my head when I saw how much the recently retired Executive Director Michael Siwek hauled in for pay! Somewhere between $188,973 and $230,000. Holy cow. And apparently that just was not enough money since he allegedly needed another $22,000 to gamble with at the casinos. I hope the new commissioners realize that their role as commissioners is to oversee all aspects of the Housing Authority. They need to take their jobs seriously and implement some much needed checks and balances.

As for the Allingtown Fire Department, I will give the mayor a pat on the back for not re-upping the existing commission members, with the exception of current Chairman Ronald Walters. He was kept for the sake of continuity. Fingers crossed he has the mental capacity to keep things on the straight and narrow so we won’t end up with yet another debacle on our hands. I am concerned, however, that the mayor has picked Stella Cretella and Martha Bell to be on this commission, too. Both were appointed to the Housing Authority Commission. Are there no other people in our city of more than 55,000 that can serve on a commission without overlap? Is the mayor so concerned about losing control that the needs to have this level of overlap on commissions? I have been told that Cretella has known Picard since he was a little tiny baby. In the past, Picard has tried to push her on the Police Commission no less than three times to no avail. Let’s hope she has the credentials to do the job and not just kowtow to what the mayor tells her to do. But I fear I may be expecting too much.

I think the biggest shocker for me, after learning about Siwek’s exorbitant pay, is that a nineTEEN year old is being appointed to the commission. I certainly do not want to be accused of ageism, but come on. How much experience and wisdom is a 19 year old going to be bringing to the table? Again, are there no other people better qualified for this role? I agree with At-large council member David Forsyth’s quote in the Register – “I don’t think working on a mayor campaign qualifies you for a commission.” Or is that exactly what it does take?

A drum roll please! The winner of the primary contest is Paul Studdard. Congratulations Paul! Paul guessed 1,800 residents would come out to vote. He was the closest to the 3,739 (plus about 350 absentee ballots) that voted in total.

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9 Responses to Commissioner Picks

  1. westieblueblood says:

    Regarding Mayor Picard’s selections: Why would the mayor want to pick someone that does not like him and refuses to agree with him merely on grounds of political difference. I would want to pick folks I could work with……wouldn’t you?

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. It certainly is human nature to pick folks you can work with on projects. However, Mayor Picard is picking the same people over and over for posts. What does it say about someone when they can only work with a very small pool of people? It does not send a very good message to the residents of West Haven and reflects poorly on him. Great leaders are able to successfully work with a wide range of people. But in West Haven that’s not the case, and it’s a big reason why this city is not moving forward.

  2. westieblueblood says:

    “But in West Haven that’s not the case”……that line speaks volumes. If folks would think about the city rather than political gain, petty arguments, ancient grudges or childish tantrums…perhaps we could move forward.

    Working together is the key…… I am afraid that the Democratic party has lost that whole notion – the Mayor is the Mayor…When it was Borer, 1/2 the party did not like him, now it is Picard and one term 1/2 the party doesn’t like him, and then the next term 1/4 of that party moves over to the other “side” because of petty foolishness…….Sigh.

    I support Mayor Picard….you do not….so why can’t we accept who is in office and move us forward rather than fighting for 2 years to get them out and not allowing them to accomplish anything! Mayor Picard will not be in forever and we will get someone else…no matter which side, we need to help rather than hurt our city or it will be all over!

    • I would like nothing better than for everyone to work together. Unfortunately from what I’ve seen and experienced, the mayor does not seem to want to work with others who do not support him 100%. As a resident, I feel I should be able to openly comment on the job the mayor is doing. In this particular instance, do you really think it is appropriate to appoint a 19 year old with no relevant credentials to the fire commission?

  3. westieblueblood says:

    I have no problem with your voicing your opinion.

    For the record….I don’t agree with the appointment of the 19 year old… I support the mayor, I don’t necessarily agree with EVERYTHING he does.

  4. Me says:

    How old was Dave Forsyth when he was first elected to the City Council?? A position that has great authority and responsibility?

    • I’m not sure how old Councilman Forsyth was when he was first elected. However, there is a huge difference between the two situations. No one handed Dave his position on the City Council. He wasn’t even endorsed by the DTC. He walked his district and other districts to get the support of the people in this town. No small feat and very impressive to say the least. The 19 year old was simply handed his spot on the commission. He did nothing that I am aware of to get it, other than work on the mayor’s campaign.

  5. Off topic but as fellow home owners and tax payers in the city does anybody here know how to actually get a housing authority agent call back? I accepted a voucher tenant into my house 1 week ago for the first time and have been calling everyday to try and simply find out what next steps are to no avail. It’s frustrating and I have never seen an agency so unresponsive as this one. (I’ve dealt with many). This strikes me as particular troublesome given these recent affairs. Any thoughts or suggestions? The individual assigned to my tenant had never answered the phone and their voicemail is now saying it is full. What to do?

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