The Gloversville Housing Authority board took another hit Thursday when recently appointed member Greg Gottung resigned his seat — the second resignation on the seven-member board since May.
“There’s no sense for me to be on the board, we don’t accomplish anything,” said Gottung on Thursday after a board meeting where he announced his resignation.
Gottung’s exit follows the resignation May 17 of board member James Del Savio, who left the board for similar reasons. Del Savio claimed political interference with the board by Gloversville Mayor Dayton King led to his resignation.
Gottung was appointed by King in March, while Del Savio was appointed last August.
Gottung cited friction between authority Executive Director Timothy Mattice and housing authority employees as one reason for the board’s alleged inertia and his resignation.
“The problem is it’s a personal thing with Mr. Mattice, and until he resigns or whatever happens, nothing is going to get done,” he said. “And it’s too bad because it’s the residents that suffer.”
Since last year residents have complained about the presence of bedbugs, a lack of security, and a longtime lack of working washers and dryers. They’ve also called for Mattice’s resignation based on his alleged lack of responsiveness and his poor relationship with employees.
Mattice placed several employees on unpaid leave in January following a letter the employees sent to the board calling for Mattice’s resignation. The letter accused Mattice of committing various ethical and legal infractions, and of creating a toxic work environment.
Mattice said the employees were placed on unpaid leave because they revealed confidential information in their letter to the board. The move was seen by many, however, as retaliation for the letter.
The employees were later reinstated and launched a $10 million lawsuit against Mattice and the board for allegedly violating state and federal whistle blower statutes. The employees also unionized under the Civil Service Employees Association.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched an investigation of the claims against Mattice contained in the letter. That investigation is continuing.
Housing authority board chairman Michael Ponticello said Gottung’s resignation was accepted in a resolution at Thursday’s meeting. He said that despite the exit of Gottung and Del Savio the board is in good working order.
“Absolutely. We had a very good meeting today, a lot of things were accomplished and I’m confident that things are moving in the right direction,” he said Thursday.
Asked what was accomplished, he said he was driving and didn’t have specifics, but did mention that the housing authority is progressing toward a planned conversion to Section 8 under federal housing guidelines.
Gottung said the feud between Mattice and the employees amounts to a “grudge match.”
CSEA president Ron Briggs said the union has concerns about working conditions at the authority.
“The working conditions continue to be a concern to both members and the union,” he said. “When management fails to engage members to the benefit of the public we [see] it is a failure that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately we are in that position at this time.”
Briggs did not identify what specific working conditions are of concern.
King, who controls five appointments to the seven-member board, did not return a request for comment by press time.