Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-07-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019 LETTERS 15 Richard: Scituate Housing Authority working to remedy deficiencies at Rockland Oaks Mulvey: Leach belongs in Heritage Hall of Fame On Oct. 29, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued an order which keeps in place the current members on the Scituate Housing Authority Board. Former Board Chairman Richard Finnegan, together with other former Board members, all of whom had been appointed by the prior Town Council under the "Independent Men," sought the removal of the current Board and reinstatement of their positions on the Board. Represented by Attorney Michael Marcello, Mr. Finnegan petitioned the court to overturn the May 2019 decision of the current Town Council removing them from office. Fortunately, the Supreme Court denied Mr. Finnegan's petition, thus, upholding their removal. Upon taking office in January 2019, the Town Council, now under Republican leadership, began receiving numerous complaints from the United States Department of Agriculture and Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Cooperation that Rockland Oaks was not in compliance with federal and state regulations, and that immedi- ate correction of the deficiencies was needed. These charges included wide- spread management deficiencies and regulatory non-compliance, continued violation of the management plan and federal civil rights regulations, not pursuing rent increases issued by HUD, expending of over $96,000.00 (most of the balance) from the capital reserve account without any authori- zation, continued failure to budget as required, continued delinquency of the monthly mortgage payment, and a tenant / Board member bypassing the waiting list in violation of regulatory requirements. In response, the Town Council held two public hearings to address these charges with Mr. Finnegan and the other former Board members. Unfortunately, they refused to have any discussion with the Town Council or otherwise participate in the hear- ings other than limited engagement from Attorney Marcello. Faced with near crisis conditions at Rockland Oaks, the Town Council subsequently appointed the cur- rent Board members to the Scituate Housing Authority. Under new leadership, the Scituate Housing Authority is pleased to report that it has been diligently working to remedy the deficiencies and to pro- vide the residents of Rockland Oaks a home they can be proud of and thrive in. The new Board has rebuilt rela- tions with state and federal regulators, returned financial stability to Scituate Housing Authority and, most impor- tantly, given the residents at Rockland Oaks a safe, comfortable and inviting environment in which to live. TED RICHARD Chairman, Scituate Housing Authority Smithfield's celebration of induct- ees and honorees to its Heritage Hall of Fame should have included Smithfield Historic Preservation's acting director, Robert Leach, who was nominated, but not inducted, by a tilted selection process made by several adversaries of Robert Leach's professional, methodical approach to preserving historical features of our town. By coincidence, Thomas Winfield and others who also support the crazy huge H-25 provision for urban density in 32 Smithfield neighbor- hoods, and who have also been named to your town's Charter Review Commission the next 12 months. Recall last year's Town Council's attempted removal of him as your Commission director due to the length of time needed to rehab his own home, at an apple orchard anchored by a proud, upright 1750s Colonial being hand restored, bring- ing our heritage roots to life. Robert Leach embodies and embraces our proud past, enhancing its attrac- tions to the world and its residents, especially our students, at large, who he has hosted there. We can say the same for our former SHPC director, Katie Law. These thoughts are shared not to denigrate the fine personal quali- ties and efforts of these Smithfield citizen inductees, especially those memorialized, but to note some committee meeting observations. Congratulations on your many contributions of time, talents and treasure. Hall of Fame committee members expressed concern that nominees and inductees be selected on the basis of voluntary and not paid activities as town employees, and that is exactly what Robert Leach and Katie Law have done for our town and state, over many years of hard, diligent work. This commit- tee also received scores of Providence Journal articles documenting all these years of selfless stewardship. Organizers state those recognized have brought credit and prominence to the town, contributing very signif- icantly, to the history and heritage of Smithfield. From assisting historic homeowners in registering for and receiving plaques, in helping plan the move of a highway to protect and expand Greenville's town green, saving historic landmarks from demolition and re-development, to the issuance of a Historic Inventory, all on "Personal Time" ... to all the Smithfield Historic Preservation's past and current members, your fellow appreciative citizens hereby applaud and celebrate all you have accomplished, in quality of living and educationally. CYNTHIA MULVEY Smithfield do you know? The Valley Breeze & Observer distributes almost 10,500 papers in greater Smithfield every Thursday. Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Creative Pool System, Inc. Swimming Pool Supplies & Services 17 Commerce Street, Greenville (behind A&W) • 949-4400 In shop Salt Cell and Filter Cartridge overnight deep cleaning Service, Supplies, Parts, Advice, In-Shop Repairs, and Free Water Testing! Glow Oil heat your home for less www.GlowOil.com 401-475-9955 Check Our Website for Today's Low Heating Oil Price

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