NEW VIDEO: Mayor Cleans House in Housing Department
NEW VIDEO OF THE MAYOR’S STATEMENT:….
May 7, 2014
(West Palm Beach, FL) – West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio today announced she is cleaning house in the city’s housing department.
During the Mayor’s weekly media briefing, Mayor Muoio told reporters she is terminating the contract with the outside company brought in to straighten out the city’s housing department.
The consultant firm of Community Redevelopment Associates of Florida (not related in any way to the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency) was hired in 2012 to clean up the department. The Housing Department had a very public troubled history during prior administrations, and Mayor Muoio said significant change was needed.
“At the time we hired this firm, I made it clear to them what my expectations and demands were. The department must operate efficiently, effectively and above reproach. Every ‘T’ must be crossed…every case handled in strict accordance with the rules and regulations involving the handling of both city and federal dollars,” Muoio said today.
“While they have been able to improve some of the areas in the department, over the course of the last 2 years, it has become more and more clear that the company was not able to attend to a department as large and complex as ours.”
Mayor Muoio said this week a tipping point was reached when it came to light that federal housing application deadlines were being missed, paperwork was being mishandled and questions were raised regarding when certain documents were signed.
“As a matter of course I do not review housing applications, but when it came to my attention that serious questions were being raised, I immediately ordered a review of the cases in question,” added Muoio.
The issue came to light following inquiries from a reporter looking at the department.
“I appreciate the reporter’s efforts, but the fact that these problems were not brought to my attention internally before the inquiry is unacceptable,” said Mayor Muoio.
Mayor Muoio announced the firm will be out by June 1st. She said discussions are already underway regarding how to replace them, and whether to completely restructure how the department does business.