Mr. Stern is entitled to his opinion, however, I would like to point out that several statements in his letter are untrue:
1.) Mrs. Polansky did not dismantle a security camera;
2.) Mrs. Polansky never ordered portraits of the founders to be discarded. That is absolutely false;
3.) The long-standing secretary that Mr. Stern references started in 2005, not 1992 (according to an appointment letter from Mr. Wise) and the administrative assistant he references stepped down of her own volition;
4.) Mrs. Polansky had her weekly meeting with residents today in the community room and the door to her office was open. This was observed by more than one person and therefore, it is not closed at all times;
5.) I have difficulty understanding how one can make statements of purported fact, as Mr. Stern does in his letter, when he has not been to Stern Village in recent weeks or months to make these observations personally and to the best of my knowledge, no longer lives in Trumbull;
6.) In late November, after Hurricane Sandy, I met with Mrs. Stern to discuss the emergency reports that had been generated by Emergency Management and the Fire Marshal. Also at this meeting was the Town Attorney. I voiced my concerns with the reports and the response from the Housing Authority after the hurricane. Mrs. Stern defended the actions of the authority and did not believe that further action was required;
7.) My decision to not re-appoint Mrs. Stern had nothing to do with politics. My decision not to re-appoint Mrs. Stern, in addition to another commissioner dealt exclusively with the response from the THA in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy;
8.) Today, nearly fifty seniors attended a coffee with the new interim Executive Director. This meeting was covered by the Trumbull Times. I encourage you to read the article and I would also encourage Mr. Stern to read the article as well:
[Editor's note: Trumbull Patch's story is here.]
The comments from the residents are very clear.
I have been honest and candid as to why I elected to appoint new people to the Trumbull Housing Authority and in the coming weeks, I hope the new THA and their interim executive director will work quickly to address the following:
1. Fully implement the emergency readiness plan;
2. Install emergency generators that will allow the community room to function as a shelter, should the need arise;
3. Develop a safety manual for residents;
4. Implement computerized systems;
5. Develop a capital improvement program that improves lighting and walkways throughout Stern Village.
These are some of many priorities that need to be addressed.
I respect what Sam Stern, his wife and his son, did for Stern Village. I also respect many of Judi’s contributions. However, I cannot ignore the recommendations of emergency management professionals and I certainly cannot ignore actions at a meeting that disregarded the findings of those professionals. When you are the leader of a community, you have to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions. We have a moral obligation to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our residents. I think the people of Trumbull know how seriously I take this obligation in how the Town has responded to Irene, Alfred, Sandy and Nemo. The actions I have taken have always kept as my highest priority the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Stern Village and every resident of Trumbull.