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Stern Village Director Still In For Now

The new members of the Trumbull Housing Authority voted to settle his contract, which expires in June. The terms are confidential and his end date was not specified.

The Trumbull Housing Authority, which now has all-new members, is keeping Stern Village Executive Director Harry Wise but his last day of work is not clear. 

Neither the board members nor Wise's attorney, James Cordone, commented. Wise's contract expires in June.

Two reports from emergency officials and Fire Marshal's Office accused Wise of mismanaging Stern Village during Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012 and failing to properly implement the emergency plan from November 2011.

After the unanimous vote, Housing Authority Chairman Russ Friedson said, "He is the executive director and when that changes we will inform people."

Wise earns about $70,000 a year.

The authority met in Stern Village Tuesday night, where one resident said afterward that Wise was "doing a good job." Stern Village is subsidized housing for seniors and the disabled and has about 200 residents.

Another resident said security is an issue because Stern Village also houses people with mental illness. There are problems after Wise leaves in the evenings, he said.

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The issues with Wise were publicized in December, prompting First Selectman Tim Herbst to appoint Friedson and Joanna Leone to the authority. After all the other board members resigned, Herbst appointed Joy Meehan and Diane Pomposello. One of the former board members he did not reappoint was Judith Stern, a relative of the Stern family.

One resident said Stern "served us well."

In December the board replaced its attorney, Anthony Musto, after Herbst charged that Wise's contract was extended in an illegal meeting. The board was also accused of failing to file minutes or post its agendas properly.

Musto defended himself and Wise after that and called on Herbst to apologize.

Included in the accusations was that Wise failed to act on getting a generator for the meeting room.

Under questioning by the authority Tuesday, Wise said he was not an expert in generators and advised the authority to obtain the services of an engineer. Bids were coming in the for the generator, he added.

He said other parts of the emergency plan were installing AEDs and a reverse 911 system, both done. The authority then voted to approve implementing all parts of the emergency plan.

Jim Flynn January 31, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Why does your article fail to mention the chaos that occurred at the end of the meeting. There is an interesting You Tube video which I watched on Trumbull Chat as well as a discussion of this meeting from numerous posters on the Chat. The apparent lack of respect for the Stern Village seniors shown by the newly Herbst constituted THA appears to be appalling.
Carol Hudak January 31, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Again: This is a GOP set-up ensuring a GOP hand-picked director. Mr. Wise, as one Trumbull taxpayer and neighbor of SV, I want to apologize for the goon squad now in place at SV. Civility is dead. Every voter in Trumbull should see this YouTube video. ASK YOURSELVES: WHY THE SUDDEN INTEREST IN STERN VILLAGE??????? You are the 'fall guy' Mr. Wise. They have to 'find things wrong with you' in order to justify replacing you with one of their ilk. These tactics closely resemble the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This is a disgrace. Now we know how Egyptians feel. Egypt has Masai (sp), Trumbull has Mom. AGAIN: WHY THE SUDDEN INTEREST IN STERN VILLAGE?????????? Stay tuned for the next YOUTUBE installment.
JR January 31, 2013 at 02:41 PM
After they get their guy in watch how they are going to have to expand the staff to add more GOP cronies to the payroll.
Aaron Leo (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I have a followup story running tomorrow addressing the rest of the meeting. Thanks for your interest, Jim.
Aaron Leo (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 02:45 PM
What's the url for the youtube video?
Aaron Leo (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 02:54 PM
OK I saw the videos.
Carol Hudak January 31, 2013 at 04:02 PM
JR, the BIG QUESTION: WHO DOES THE GOP 'OWE' PAYBACK TO?? WHO DOES THE GOP WANT TO REWARD?? Some prominent member of the TRTC? Or . . . will it be a Tighe & Bond deal: overkill. A lot of people paid millions to do what 2 or 3 more engineers could have done at a fraction of the cost. There's a big shoe waiting to drop here. In the meantime, tune in to YouTube. Seniors deserve far better.
JR January 31, 2013 at 04:12 PM
It could also be another THS '98 alumnus.
Thomas Tesoro January 31, 2013 at 04:53 PM
I hope Aaron will give the real flavor of the meeting. I was there and watched as Mr. Wise gave what I thought was a thorough and honest report. I thought to myself that it looks like everything has settled down and perhaps the GOP had backed off their earlier inflammatory and disrespectful comments. Shortly thereafter an Executive Session was called for a "personnel matter". The Chair tried to empty the room but the residents resisted and he backed off to a back room while the seniors waited for the promised results and the opportunity to ask questions. A half hour or so later they emerged from the Executive session announced that Mr. Wise was being bought out and in less than 2 seconds called for the meeting to adjourn. The senior residents rose up in protest and before you could say Ownes Shine and Nicola, an attorney from, you guessed it, Owens Shine and Nicola opined that the meeting was formally adjorned and there would be no questions. The residents left angry and confused. It was so ludicrous I had to laugh. So, we have another farce where there is no transparency. I am glad this tape exists or no one would know what really happened. Watch for yourself and see. The residents of Stern Village deserve better. One asked "Why are they doing this to us?" Why indeed?
louis January 31, 2013 at 05:30 PM
You know, one has to ask, of all the town employees, why are they trying to oust Wise? Honestly, haven't they anything better to do, is he accomplishing the goals set forth by teh administration, and if not, why, and what do the people at Stern Village think of it, or do they not care? Was there much damage sustained to the senior and developmentally disabled housing at Stern from the Hurricane, and would anyone else in the job acted differently?
louis January 31, 2013 at 05:33 PM
And as for the Trumbull Housing Authority, what authority do they have? In other words are they merely there to run Stern Village? Why have a board which serves such minor purposes and if Wise was so negligent, why only discover this now?
Carol Hudak January 31, 2013 at 05:49 PM
This is far beyond being a farce. The GOP WELCOME WAGON has arrived. This is now the strong arm of the favored law firm dis-allowing SV residents from having any say. How pathetic - the GOP bullies have to bring the big guns law firm in to silence a group of senior citizens, etc. WAKE UP, TRUMBULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SV is just learning what some (but not enough) of Trumbull already knows: A tighthanded 'regime' runs this town. Speak out at your own peril. I have to keep reminding myself I live in America, and not the middle east. Yes, JR, it could be another THS'98 alumnus, or the wife of a high ranking GOP member. . . Keep your eyes open . . . this job is earmarked for a special someone. GOP, HOW LOW DOES IT GO?? Aaron, I sincerely hope you are all over this story. Remember, there is gov't money here. With gov't $$ comes gov't regulations. Are any larger gov't laws being breached? (this admin. thrives on being technically legal.) What if your parents/elderly were living at SV? Would you want them treated like this? A meeting where they are TOLD that their comments and questions were not welcome. They are being dictated to, not listened to. This is disgraceful and abusive. And totally unnecessary.
Joan January 31, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Is it typical to have attorneys present at these meetings to weigh in on whether they are being conducted properly? I assume that the Trumbull taxpayers--including these senior citizens who were dismissed so rudely--footed the bill for this attorney who decided that they would not be allowed to ask questions at this meeting. I think this is the very definition of hubris. How much longer will Trumbull voters put up with this disgraceful behavior at our expense?
Aaron Leo (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 07:03 PM
A follow up story is coming Friday. Thanks.
David February 01, 2013 at 03:19 AM
My God, why does this feel similar to the Nazi's rise to power. The whole process sounds so evil and sinister.

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