Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Following Through with the Bliss Benches

The controversy over painting the benches at Bliss Towers brought a lot of attention--for some welcome, for others unwelcome--to the governance and management of Bliss Towers by the Hudson Housing Authority. The media, elected officials, and people who didn't live in Bliss Towers or even in the Second Ward started attending HHA board meetings, which previously had been conducted in Jeff First's office since no one ever showed up for them anyway. 

In the latest effort to bring more transparency and scrutiny to conditions at Bliss Towers, State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Common Council president Don Moore have written letters to Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand asking them to "call on HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) to conduct either its own inspection of Bliss Towers or commission an independent inspection that would bring to light any and all problems in the building and lay the groundwork for remediation." (The preceding is quoted from Barrett's letter.) 

With the concern about conditions in the building, Gossips lost track of the bench controversy. On May 20, the HHA board voted to allow the benches to be painted, but more than a month later, it hasn't happened yet. So yesterday, Gossips asked Joan Hunt, project manager of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, whose idea it was to paint the benches in the first place, for an update. The word is that the benches will be painted on Sunday, June 29, at 6 p.m. There are certain to be enough brushes and other painting equipment for anyone who wants to lend a hand.

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