...is one of my favorite tracks from David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
It's also the length of Carmelo Garcia's contract with H.U.D.
He was named HHA Deputy Director in 2007, then promoted to Executive Director in 2009. Garcia signed a 5-year contract in 2010 which expires on August 31, 2015.
All this information is in the public domain. So why are we talking about it?
The sudden interest over the HHA Executive Director's contract has everything to do with his own resistance to provide copies of it to the HHA Board, the unusual appointment powers ("sole authority") the contract allegedly gives him, re-appointment authority to the lawyer who drafted its contents, and the intense push-back against HHA Chairman Jake Stuiver- the scapegoating, the vicious online attacks on Stuiver and his family.
And the backdrop for all this: the proposed Vision 20/20 redevelopment of the HHA and its millions of dollars in contracts to be awarded, serious money and jobs, jobs, jobs.
So, the why of hiding the contract... the urgency to rehire the lawyer who drafted had everyone wondering what could be in this mystery contract?
Yesterday MSV provided the answer by posting the elusive document.
After its publication, the general consensus has been that the contract is generous in compensation and benefits, and lacking in any objective performance criteria, such as evaluations, attendance requirements, reporting obligations,etc. A lawyer friend said that the creepy-sounding 'savings clause' is fairly standard fare- it basically grandfathers the provisions of the original contract should the law change later.
So why hide it? GA doesn't get it. There appears to be nothing 'illegal' written in the contract.
Instead, it's a contract so vague, so cushy, so generous, without accountability it leads one to believe that its author, Daglian is no longer acting on behalf of H.U.D, he is acting as Garcia's personal attorney; the impression created is that Daglian writes a dream-job for his 'client' and the contract perpetuates his own employment by empowering his 'client' to reappoint him.
Who is protecting the oversight authority of the HHA Commissioners?
No one, apparently. And that's the situation as it stands.
A standoff between the Executive Director and the HHA Board, now that they are trying to assert their oversight authority. A 'contract' suddenly appears out of the mist slapping back the authority's power to appoint another attorney. At the conclusion, it appears Garcia prevailed to keep his defacto 'personal attorney', Daglian.
But all sorts of questions arise.
One is whether the given power to appoint 'employees' stated in the contract includes attorneys and other consulting professionals. GA would interpret that as those working for Garcia in his capacity as Executive Director, those who call him 'boss'. The attorney works for H.U.D. not the E.D. If the E.D. was solely responsible to appoint the lawyer that does suggest an inappropriate 'attorney-client' relationship.
The other, giving a 'junior' Executive Director with only 1 year of experience on the job at the time a 5-year contract.
40A:12A-18. Executive director of housing authority; qualifications.The statute appears to require 5-years of service in the position of Executive Director to be eligible for a lengthy (5 year) contract. But you know, GA is no lawyer. Dalgian is.
(b.)An individual who meets the qualifications set forth in this paragraph may be awarded a contract which shall not exceed one year, except that any person serving as an executive director at the time this bill is adopted into law shall be eligible to be awarded a contract not exceeding five years.
(2) An individual who, in addition to having met the qualifications set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, has served for five years as an executive director of a housing authority, may be awarded a contract which shall not exceed five years.
Maybe he knows something the rest of us don't.