GHA moves meetings to Monday

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a motion amending the bylaws to move the regular monthly meeting time to the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m.

The GHA previously held regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., but a time change was necessitated to accommodate the schedule of GHA Attorney Anthony Casale who in January was appointed corporation council to the city of Amsterdam where the Common Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Casale also serves as city attorney to Gloversville, that Common Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

As a result of the schedule conflict, this month’s GHA Board of Commissioners meeting was held at noon on Tuesday, but the work schedule of a prospective new board member would require that the meeting time be moved back to the evening hours.

“We may have another board member,” said board Chair John Poling. “However, she can’t make it during the day. She’s at work.”

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting the board identified the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. for the new meeting time, but public comment from Forest Hill Towers resident Pat VanSlyke prompted renewed discussion among the board over the optimal meeting time.

VanSlyke suggested that the board maintain the noon meeting time to accommodate residents without vehicles, like herself, who rely on public transit to reach DuBois Garden Apartments where the regular meeting is held.

The Gloversville Transit System’s last run on weekdays is scheduled to arrive at DuBois at 5:54 p.m., meaning residents traveling from Forest Hill Towers or Kingsboro Towers to attend a 6 p.m. meeting would have to secure alternate means of transportation home afterwards.

Both Poling and board Vice Chair John Castiglione agreed that holding meetings at noon would likely be more conducive to attendance and participation from residents than continuing to conduct 6 p.m. meetings at DuBois that typically draw attendance from only one or two residents.

But Commissioner Marcia Weiss pointed out that permanently moving the meeting time to noon would prevent the prospective board member and any future prospects who work during the day from joining.

“We discussed that we need more board members,” Weiss said. “The issue was that there are people who want to come onto the board, but because they work and they have to drive a distance, they can’t be here during the day. We all talked about this, I thought, and we made a decision.”

Currently there are two vacancies on the seven seat board; one for a five-year mayoral appointment and another for a two-year term for a tenant elected commissioner.

As a compromise Castiglione suggested alternating meeting locations to include the senior towers. VanSlyke agreed that bringing the meetings to the residents at those buildings every third month as the board did in the past would likely boost public attendance.

But Weiss pointed out that the board ceased the rotation over lack of adequate space at the other buildings for the board to conduct executive sessions which the board typically enters into at the end of each meeting to discuss pending litigation or personnel matters.

She also noted that limited space in the community rooms at each of the senior towers creates cramped quarters for the board members and tenants during the public sessions compared to DuBois.

The board in recent years has conducted one regular meeting at Kingsboro and Forest Hills respectively in the summer. While attendance among tenants during each meeting is typically high, residents often complain of difficulty hearing the board, causing disruptions.

During a meeting at Kingsboro Towers in 2019 the board attempted to make use of the community room’s sound system, but a microphone cord was too short to be easily passed around among the commissioners as they spoke during the meeting and became tangled around some board members.

Following the discussion the GHA Board of Commissioners ultimately approved a motion to amend the bylaws to permanently move the regular monthly meeting time to the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. No action pertaining to the meeting location was taken.