The City’s top housing official said this week that she is looking forward to appearing before the City Council next Monday to set the record straight on the newly introduced trash ordinance.
“I’m looking forward to coming before the Council to share my ideas because the Council hasn’t been accurate in what they are saying,” Revere Housing Authority (RHA) Executive Director Linda Shaw told the Journal. “The housing authority is not the problem…I realize they want to generate revenue for themselves, but the housing authority is like a small city unto itself and they should not expect to get rich off the housing authority.”
Shaw’s comments came after City Councillors introduced a motion at their meeting on Monday, Jan. 9th, calling for Shaw to appear and explain why the housing authority was not complying with the new trash ordinance that went into effect on Jan. 1st.
“I was made aware it was the policy of the Revere Housing not to go along with the new ordinance and I don’t think that’s right,” said Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch at the Jan. 9thmeeting. “They need to follow the rules too.”
Added Councillor Tony Zambuto, “We delayed that ordinance to accommodate the Revere Housing Authority. I’m dismayed they’re not in compliance…and I’m not happy about this. I’m not at all thrilled this is happening after delaying this for several months and now they’re not up to speed.”
Shaw said that there is no specific policy not to follow the ordinance, but rather she said the Council had passed an unfunded mandate that is costing the Authority a tidy sum of money.
“What they have passed is an unfunded mandate for the housing authority,” she said. “Our intention is to provide new barrels for families that don’t have any with lids. That’s going to run us $50,000 or better for the 900 families that are our tenants. They passed this ordinance without giving any resources to get it done.”
Shaw said that in the interim, she has ordered the Authority’s maintenance personnel to pick up bags that don’t comply with the ordinance and to clean up any mess that might be left behind on trash pick-up day. She said they have also invested in a dumpster at the Hyman Towers building.
“We’ll send out our guys to pick up anything left behind so the city won’t look blighted at all,” she said.
One of the problems, she said, was that the Council never successfully got notices put in the tax bills and water bills prior to the ordinance going into effect.
“I heard that there were going to be notices put in the tax bills that were sent out and that never happened,” she said. “Then I was under the impression notices would be in the water bills and that never happened. I was never sure when it would take effect until January 3rd when I got something in the mail saying the ordinance had passed and we had to comply.”