Tuesday, September 9, 2014

More Mishegas At The Wallingford Housing Authority

Michael Misiti has resigned as chairman of  Wallingford Housing Authority and for at least the time being, we don't know why.

Misiti confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he had resigned, but refused to give a reason for his decision.

"Let's just say it was time," Misiti said.

It is his right not to offer a reason for his decision. Some may even consider it a classy move on his part for not getting into the reason for his departure.

But it has been my experience in decades working as journalist that if people have simple reasons for resigning for a job, they usually make them clear. Things like spending more time with family or needing to devote more time to work are the explanations most frequently used.

When somebody leaves a job and declines to offer an explanation, it's because they're trying to save somebody from being embarrassed. Sometimes, it is themselves, sometimes it is someone else, and in some cases, it is the organization or company they represent.

Let me say from the outset that I don't believe Misiti is leaving because he did anything wrong.

I have spent nearly a decade covering Wallingford and for much of that time, one story that never seemed to die was controversy involving the town Housing Authority. That all ended about the time Misiti joined the Authority in March 2011 and became its chairman soon afterward.

 Misiti was chosen because of his background in facilities maintenance. He is assistant director of facilities at Quinnipiac University.

 Things haven't been perfect at the agency by any means, including some difficulties this year developing an operating budget. But they are better than they were.

Based on my dealings with him, I can say Misiti was able to remove the Authority from its place as a local political football.

 That was something his two predecessors, Robert Prentice and the late William Fischer, couldn't do because they were both chairman of their respective Town Committees. Prentice still heads the Republican Town Committee and Fischer was a long time chairman of the Democratic Town Committee.

Much of controversy at the Authority prior to Misiti's arrival Nere, and allegations of questionable activity made against him by Democrats on the Authority. That all ended in November 2011 when Nere accepted a $130,000 buyout of his contract.
centered the housing agency's executive director, Stephen

I hope I'm wrong in speculating that Misiti's resignation signals a return to the bad old days when the Housing Authority was a cauldron of controversy. But there is something more here than meets the eye.

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