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Letter: Housing Authority seems unable to change its wasteful practices

Why? A few short months ago, the newly appointed Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners suspended travel for executive staff as a show of changes to the authority, which also claims of funding shortfalls from Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Now, after the bait, comes the switch. The new policy only affects the executive staff, not the commissioners or employees. A “training seminar” that must be attended by commissioners happens to be in Las Vegas. This trip, which most likely is at a cost of $2,500 per commissioner, would amount to $17,500. Where’s the fiduciary responsibility?

Although the chairman insists this is in the budget, I’m sure that amount could be used somewhere in operation. The “training” is necessary so commissioners can better serve residents. What a crock. After two News articles a couple of weeks ago and one editorial, you might think it would matter.

To add insult to injury, the BMHA adds a new position for another City Hall insider – director of operations. A position that will pay around $90,000.

If the Housing Authority’s executive staff and board members were really concerned about residents’ well being, hiring two or possibly three maintenance workers to provide much-needed care of the properties would make more sense.

Meanwhile, BMHA Executive Director Dawn Sanders-Garrett has not surrendered her travel records to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, as requested.

This irresponsible, incompetent, arrogant behavior continues even during a HUD Office of Inspector General audit. Where is the chief executive officer of the city?

Joe Mascia


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