September 19 – After years of rumors and worries about money management, it looks like the Franklin County Housing Authority is in good hands.
The Housing Authority board met yesterday without a current executive director.
Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery sits on that board and he said, “Just to let everyone know, the Housing Authority is running really, really well right now. We’ve taken on a team approach there and the management staff right now works together better, I think, than they ever have, at least since I’ve been on the board there.”
A Human Resource manager works with the authority.
Flannery said, “It’s just a great environment to be in. You ever go out, you walk into a room and you just get that vibe? It used to not have a good vibe. Now when you walk into the Housing Authority, it’s a really good vibe. I mean, those people work together really well. We were fortunate yesterday that some of the staff there, the management and some of the others there in Chambersburg presented us a letter thanking the board for the work we’ve done here the last six months to try and turn the Housing Authority around. So it’s really exciting.”
The new Section 8 manager presented information on their progress.
Flannery said, “They’re moving in a good direction. So the numbers are really great for the Housing Authority. I think we’re going to set an example in Pennsylvania and Franklin County with how well our Housing Authority is going to run here.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “It’s nice to hear that kind of news given the years of what’s going on? What’s with the bonuses? What’s with the inside stuff happening here? The gossip, the backbiting and all that and to get a letter like that? That’s great for you.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “A whole long list of employees who signed it. We did hear from some employees that things were difficult, especially over the COVID years and the problem I kept running into, they kept running into and then I was trying to find out well, who do I go to? You have a good board and you guys are responsible for appointing the board, but they had board members just exiting left and right before things calmed down.”
Flannery said, “The whole board is new. As soon as I was appointed to that board, I applied for that position, as soon as I was appointed to that board, the rest of the board members except for the resident board member, which it’s required they have one resident board member, they all left, they all exited. So we had to rebuild the board from scratch. We were able to put a really good board together that really cares and believes in teamwork. There’s different styles of management. I like to think I fit somewhere in the middle, where it needs to be, but it’s all about teamwork and working together, inspiring people to do great things. These people are smart, they’re good people there, they know their job. They don’t need to be told what to do. They need to be encouraged and empowered and I think that’s what this board is pushing. These people know their job. They do a great job and we’re happy moving forward with them.”
Jansen pointed out, “It’s not the fault of the housing authorities that this is the way this has been set up, that there is no sort of single entity that’s over them to hold them accountable. So you need a good board and you need good management. If you have those two, that really helps a lot.”
There’s one Housing Authority in Chambersburg and one in Waynesboro.
Ryan said, “The reason this matters is now we’re watching the dollars and now we’re empowering people, where the days before and the people involved with that are now long gone. You have to scratch your head a little bit, because there were people that were blowing the whistle and there were people that were getting in our ear and going you have no idea what’s going on here. This is an s-show here.”
Jansen said, “I like that the resident representative, the person there representing the people in the housing is with this, part of this and is happy about what she’s seeing.”
Her name is Maureen O’Malley.
Flannery said, “She is a wonderful woman. She’s a great asset to the board. She’s been through I think she’s been on three different boards now, which she’s been through some executive directors and she expressed her delight yesterday in how well the board works together and how well the board works with the Housing Authority.”