Housing authority hires new director
During Tuesday’s meeting, Heather Reynolds was approved by the Board of Commissioners to take over the executive director position. Reynolds will officially start on Feb. 1 and will have a salary of $70,000 per year.
Reynolds is taking over the reins of the authority from Interim Executive Director Daniel Towne, who was put in place on July 20 when previous executive director Timothy Mattice was put on paid administrative leave. Mattice and the GHA agreed to part ways in September following a resolution on the appointment and the term of employment for Mattice. Towne worked for the GHA for 31 years, retiring in 2015.
Board of Commissioners Chairman John Castiglione told the crowd that Reynolds grew up in St. Johnsville and got her bachelors degree in Communications from SUNY Brockport.
She worked for American Greetings and Walmart before deciding to be a stay-at-home mother for a decade. She has property management experience at Two Plus Four Property Management Company as a property manager and regional manager.
She previously was assistant director of the Fulton County Community Heritage Corporation, which operates Petoff Garden Apartments and is involved with housing rehabilitation and home repair assistance.
“She has a lot of experience in property management and we are very fortunate that she decided to come our way, and we are very happy,” Castiglione said.
Reynolds told the audience that she looks at those who live and work at the Gloversville Housing Authority as pieces of a puzzle.
“We have to work together in order to make the Gloversville Housing Authority the best that it can be. No one piece is any more important than another piece, so we need to work together,” she said. “I want to say thank you to everybody… I’m looking very forward to working with everybody, not just individuals, but as a team together.”
She said after the meeting she is excited to get “her feet on the ground and get running, with everybody.” Reynolds declined to answer questions about future plans for the GHA until she starts next month.
Speaking after the meeting, Castiglione said Reynold’s answers to the board’s questions during her interview and her enthusiasm for the GHA and the job were what made them decide to go with her.
“We felt very comfortable with her and we thought she could do an excellent job,” he said.
Towne said he will stay in place for a few weeks after Reynolds starts. He said around the third week in February he will likely step away.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in her,” Towne said.
President of the Forest Hill Towers Tenants Association Diane Sauve said at the start of the meeting that she and the other tenant officers welcome Reynolds and hope for a good and productive relationship.
Towne said the board tried to keep Reynolds appointment a surprise, but that the few tenants who were privy to the news spoke very highly of her.
“I guess her reputation preceded her,” Towne said. “It was all positive stuff.”
Castiglione said the GHA is looking forward to getting back to business as usual moving forward.
“The housing authority had a rough period there for a while, but what the housing authority has going for it is an experience staff, a well-qualified new hire, a board that has really been very dedicated and outstanding in the short period of time they have served together.” Towne said. “Like Heather said in her remarks, this is going to be a team effort: the board, the employees and the residents. That’s what we are looking to get back to, because the housing authority is a great organization, and I think it is going to get better.”
The GHA also voted to approve Joe Battaglia as building maintenance supervisor, taking over for interim Frank DeSantis who was voted in as interim during the same July meeting as Towne. Battaglia will take over on Feb. 1 and will have a salary of $47,500 a year.
DeSantis will leave the interim post on Jan. 31.
Castiglione said that Battaglia had taken the civil service exam for the position roughly three years ago, and the board determined he was the best fit for the job. Battaglia’s position will be a one-year probationary appointment.
Battaglia told the audience he has enjoyed his job and the tenants he works with. He has worked for the GHA for the past three years in building maintenance. He has a degree in construction technology from Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
“This is probably the best job I’ve ever had,” Battaglia said. “I plan on doing the best I can and being prompt in any complaint I can fix.”
Battaglia said after the meeting he wants to have a good relationship with both employees and tenants moving forward.
“We already have that, but I want to keep that going and work on the infrastructure. I’m already abreast of what is going on here for the three years I’ve been here, so I know there are certain things that need to be replaced so that is going to be my main focus,” he said.
Kerry Minor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.