Tempers flare at Scituate Housing Authority board appointments

Tempers flare at Scituate Housing Authority board appointments

SCITUATE – The Scituate Housing Authority Board of Commissioners met last week to appoint new officers, sparking heated accusations regarding members’ oversight of the 24-unit subsidized apartment complex Rockland Oaks.

In a 3-2 decision, members ousted former President Ted Richard, who has served in the role since November 2019, instead appointing Terrell Park to the board presidency.

Richard and member Dick Stapleton voted against the motion to appoint Parker, while members Joyce Healy-Sirois, Norman Munroe and Parker voted to approve.

Munroe, who serves as the SHA resident commissioner, said he felt the SHA needed new leadership. Healy-Sirois supported Parker and said she felt both Parker and Richard did a great job on the commission.

Stapleton, on the other hand, said things ran well under Richard’s leadership and he never had a problem. He added that Richard worked well with Pauline Galbreath of Rural Consulting, the property management group for Rockland Oaks.

Parker accepted the nomination and said he appreciates the passion and involvement each member brought to the board.

In another controversial decision, the board rejected a motion to re-elect Munroe as vice president on a 3-2 vote, with only Munroe and Parker voting in favor. All five members later voted in favor of electing Healy-Sirois as vice president, and Stapleton was re-elected as secretary.

Richard claimed Munroe “had not done a great job at all” as vice president, and accused him of using his position to attempt to run the organization and supervise Galbreath and her operations.

“He wants to run the organization and that’s not how we set up,” Richard said.

Stapleton added that Munroe’s attempt to oversee Galbreath would leave the commission back where they began two years ago when the board attempted to self-manage and the SHA “blew” $100,000 in reserves, he said. The board, he said, did not know how to run the business without Rural Consulting.

“I think it’s essential that the person who is in charge have a good relationship with Pauline. She understands how the whole system works,” he said.

Richard said he received complaints from Rockland Oaks residents about Munroe losing his temper or raising his voice.

Munroe responded angrily to the accusations, saying that he never had a resident come to him to say they do not like him. In his experience, he said, residents often ask him about the water situation at the complex.

Richard responded that Munroe losing his temper proved that he does not belong as vice chairman, and Parker requested that Munroe maintain decorum and that the board get back on track.

“I think you see that we’re all very passionate about this board and the responsibilities we have,” Parker said.

He added the accusations were “heavy” and described Munroe as a great source of information about Rockland Oaks residents.

“I can’t think of someone who cares about the residents of Rockland Oaks more than Norman,” Parker said.

Later in the evening, Galbreath gave an update on Rockland Oaks. The housing complex will see a $20 rent increase, from $895 to $915, that she said is subsidized by the government.

She added that there are two empty units at Rockland Oaks and interviews have begun for potential residents.

She also said a plumbing company will return in the coming weeks to purge the water heater.

The low-income housing complex has long had problems with its water supply system, prompting violations to be issued by regulating agencies.