You think that Florida is the only place where legal maneuvering can screw the public?
The NEW biggest lie in the world:
"We're from NYCHA and we're here to help you!"
Example: Back in early 1999, NYCHA attempted to evict 2 brothers. At the Termination Hearing, one of the brothers mentioned, to the Hearing Officer, that he (the brother) was Jesus Christ. The Hearing Officer, in a move that entitles him to apply for a manager's job at an Inn in Bethlehem, didn't miss a beat. Eviction was ordered.
Then a Federal Class Action Suit was filed against NYCHA on behalf of tenant's who are mentally disabled.
Fast forward to this year. Our old friend, Nora Reissig-Lazzaro jumps in with an idea. And what an idea it was, if you believe that Justice thrived under Joseph Stalin.
Nora wanted her people to take over as the official "Guardians" for NYCHA's mentally challenged tenants.
Yep, you heard that right!
Some poor mentally disabled tenant is told that NYCHA wants to evict them. When the tenant next hears from NYCHA, it's to place the tenant under one of NYCHA's Department's care, while NYCHA is also trying to kick him/her out.
If you've ever heard the stories about the Kangaroo Court that NYCHA runs as "Impartial Hearings" for grievances for/against employees, you're probably not shocked by this convoluted circus of NYC Public Housing.
(And we're sorely disappointed that John Martinez, while talking a much better game than his predecessors, can be as arbitrary and capricious as the Finkel-Franco monster ever was. Once his impartiality might conflict with a Finkel vendetta, he puts his tail between his legs and kisses Finkel's ass. Ask about the farce of a hearing given to Frank Rogers. After sticking up for an employee he supervised, he's been railroaded so bad that he's left NYCHA for good!)
Fortunately, present circumstances stopped our ambitious Nora dead in her tracks. But even this stoppage gives some insight into why NYCHA's Social Services is in such a poor state under Ms. Reissig-Lazzaro.
As Deputy Director of NYCHA's Operations Services, we must assume that Nora knew that New York City's Agency's already had contracts with Protective Services for Adults (PSA) to provide Guardianships when needed. This arrangement had been in place for years.
If Nora didn't know about PSA, she wasn't doing her job.
Yet Ms. Reissig-Lazzaro tried to take the fate of NYCHA's mentally challenged tenants away from a disinterested entity and place their fate in her hands.
Even the language Nora chose to use in her August 4, 2000 memo (Click Here) seems to show that her goal may yet be reached.
"In following GM 3630 procedure, we have encountered difficulties in obtaining guardianship. Agencies that provide guardianship service have agreements with Protective Services for Adults regarding payment for these services, currently making it necessary to have PSA's involvement in the guardianship process."
Note the words "currently making it necessary to have PSA's involvement in the guardianship process". That wording seems to signal that Nora relishes an end to any contractual arrangement with PSA, a guardianship agency that doesn't have NYCHA's apparent conflict of interest, to care for the mentally ill tenant's rights.
Arrogance on this scale, even in NYCHA, is a tad unusual.
Spotty hears that there is some discontent in the Design Department. On November 1, they passed out phone bills to the employees. NYCHA listed every phone call that lasted over 5 minutes and asked that the employees pay for the calls. Now the employees have to try and prove that calls were made for NYCHA business.
As one employee wrote to us: "I guess NYCHA is trying to make up for the $100,000,000 Long Island City lease (the Finkel/Ruben Schron folly) by getting nickels and dimes from the lower end of the pay scale. I wonder if Directors and above receive the same billings?"
Of course, if NYCHA had some decent management, there'd be no need for this. In the real world, management is usually capable of finding an employee who spends so much time on personal calls lasting over 5 minutes that the cost of the calls is worthy of an audit and the delivery of individual bills. We can only guess that the cost of defining the individuals, adding up the individual calls, preparing and delivering the bills would far exceed the $ returned.
Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish!
Here's a radical suggestion for NYCHA: If, at the very low rate NYCHA pays for phone service, you discover that an employee is using a NYCHA phone to such an extent that preparing individual billing looks like a cost-effective measure, it's either time to fire the employee or switch to a cheaper telephone company/plan!
We're putting together a story of how NYCHA is ignoring legitimate complaints from the Pelham Parkway Residents Council that point to security problems and other problems having a direct effect on the tenant's' ability to access there apartments during major elevator repairs that are scheduled to begin shortly. If you have any info regarding this, please either Fax it to 718/745-0170 or email it to us at:Spotty@NYCHA-Spotlight.com
There is a new site that's filled with articles about NYCHA and it's varied scandals. Spotty highly recommends it.
(Hell, we believe it should be used as part of the Orientation of New Employees!)
© MM Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
Issue links are at page bottom
or click here for a Directory page with Issue overviews.
Click on the mailbox to send us your thoughts!
Or Message/Fax us with info at 718/745-0170