Hey, we were truly hopeful that this NYCHA rag could become a Housing Authority trivia question for the next 10 years. (Okay, 10 minutes might be the length of our stay in the average readers mind. But, we like to think big.) We heard all the noise about investigations. City Hall Investigation! HUD Investigation! US Attorney Investigation! Manhattan District Attorney Investigation!
And what really happened?
Well, Franco did leave. Of course, we were quickly told by City Hall that it had nothing to do with the women who were sexually harassed, and who had their complaints ignored under Ruben's watch. And they said it had nothing to do with the tragic fire. Then, at the news conference announcing Ruben's exit, it sounded as if he were being proposed to replace Andrew Cuomo at HUD. So much talk of the great job he had done and how he had improved public housing in New York City . . . even we began to believe the PR spin!!!
They had gone to such lengths to avoid the truth that by the time they forced Ruben to accept the inevitable, they had negated any and all logical reasons for his departure. So, the scene we were treated to had the Mayor and Ruben muttering about how Ruben was leaving to seek new opportunities.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES! Come on, fellas!
Ruben himself had stated, not two weeks before, that he had no intention of leaving the Housing Authority.
Anyway, that was it! Ruben left. Before leaving, he spent a lot of time at the shredding machine. After he was gone, other shredding machines were heard busily humming along at 250 Broadway. The Financial Management System was taken out of service for the longest time in anybody's memory. Norberto Caballery was given a new title. The Authority seemed to go into a semi-coma. Board meetings lasted 15 minutes. People didn't know who to suck up to, as there was nothing certain about anyone's status.
But, slowly, Finkel/Hahn stuck their heads out of the foxhole and believed the battle was over. Immediately, Tom Hahn began pushing for Data Secure to be given contracts to store Housing Authority data off site. The old story seems to be continuing.
But how could the same old problems
continue during the current "investigation."
Wake up folks. If there's an investigation into our Public Housing going on at this time, then the investigators must be questioning each other. They're certainly doing one hell of a job in avoiding speaking with anyone that could give them the information that they should want.
So, we expect to start publishing again sometime soon. Those of you who have helped in the past are still needed. We hope to hear from all of you this week. Anyone else who wants to help need only send an email to the address listed on the left of this page.
Let's all hope that somebody takes NYCHA's waste of taxpayers money seriously enough to begin a real investigation. Until then, let's do some of their job for them!
© 1999 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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