Report: Three Quit Ocean City Housing Authority Board Over City Reimbursement

Chairman Ed Price and Vice Chairman Steve Lalli resigned Tuesday night.

Ocean City Housing Authority Chairman Ed Price resigned Tuesday night. (Patch File Photo)
Ocean City Housing Authority Chairman Ed Price resigned Tuesday night. (Patch File Photo)
Three Ocean City Housing Authority commissioners, including one who ran for mayor this year, resigned from the group's board following a vote to reimburse the city for repairs made after Superstorm Sandy, ocnjdaily.com reports.

Chairman Ed Price, who ran against Mayor Jay Gillian in this year's non-partisan election, Vice Chairman Steve Lalli and Board Member Marlene Sheppard resigned at the end of Tuesday night's meeting after they voted not to reimburse the city for repairs made to Pecks Beach Village following Superstorm Sandy, according to the report. They were outvoted, 4-3.

The city conducted emergency repairs at Pecks Beach Village, helping reisdents of the low-income housing units return to their homes four months after they were hit by Sandy.

The city used an affordable housing fund and hired local contractors. It had no obligation to do so, but Mayor Jay Gillian saw growing frustration among residents and the slow pace of work and decided the city should help. The repairs cost $1.2 million.

The Housing Authority received reimbursements from FEMA and through flood insurance, but there was some concern over repaying the city the $1.2 million without first consulting the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the report.

Price told ocnjdaily.com he believed engaging in the repairs without a signed agreement was wrong.

Sheppard said the previous chairman of the board, Bill Woods, met with city officials without the authority's knowledge to work out that deal, according to the report.

CleanOC May 21, 2014 at 02:51 PM
There you have it. The whole controversy was politically motivated around the mayors election. Great job Commissioners. Make getting the people who needed help the most and got it take a second seat to filling out forms and waiting for an approval that wasn't needed. How about thanks to the City for having your back!
Bill Hartranft May 21, 2014 at 05:15 PM
It's hard to criticize the city's actions to bring people back to their homes. I applaud that decision. It's equally hard to see that the rules weren't followed...especially regarding appliances that fell short of the criteria. I think Price was right. I think Gillian was right...never saw this as political. My regret is that in the rush to get people back in their homes, expediency ruled. There had to have been a better way.
Eleanor May 22, 2014 at 06:24 AM
I agree with WDH that both sides might have the best intentions. It is a terrible hardship for people to be out of their homes so long. But I heard Price say on the radio that if the installations of the appliances falls short of what HUD specifies, HUD could withhold the housing subsidies that a lot of these residents depend on. The problem was the city just wanted it over and done with to GET the residents in their homes, and the housing authority wanted it done in a way that would KEEP the residents homes affordable.


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