Tonight, the Common Council voted on the resolution, introduced by Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), asking the mayor to remove the current members of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and appoint new members. Prior to the vote, Council president Tom DePietro reminded the aldermen of the rules of order they had agreed to, specifically Rule No. 9 and more specifically this language: "under no circumstances can he or she attack or question the motives of another member." His caution may have been inspired by the revelation, reported in the Register-Star less than two hours before the Council meeting began, that in November 2017 the HHA board had asked Garriga to move out of her apartment in Bliss Towers because it had been discovered that she had for three years been co-owner of a house on State Street, a fact she had not disclosed, as required, to the housing authority: "Housing board claims alderwoman owned home while living at Bliss Towers."
After DePietro's reminder and before the roll call vote, Alderman Kamal Johnson (First Ward) wanted to confirm that the vote would not be binding on the mayor. The vote then took place. Garriga, Johnson, Calvin Lewis (Third Ward), and Shershah Mizan (Third Ward) voted in support of the resolution. Rob Bujan (First Ward), Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward), Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward), John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward), Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward), and Rich Volo (Fourth Ward) voted against it. With the exception of Bujan, each alderman prefaced his or her no vote with a statement about how a visit to the building had revealed that progress was being made in improving living conditions and that a change now would be a disservice to the tenants.
After the resolution failed 6 to 4, former Second Ward supervisor Ed Cross demanded to know if anyone had talked with the tenants. DePietro told him, "I think most of us have." DePietro then went on to say, "The resolution has already accomplished much of what it was intended to do. We have put [the HHA board] on notice."
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