Jake Stuiver completes his service on the Hoboken Housing Authority

In a letter to the mayor and Council President Peter Cunningham, former HHA Chairman and commissioner Jake Stuiver submitted the following letter officially completing his service.

He was appointed in a unanimous vote of the City Council back in 2009.

January 4, 2014
Dear Mayor Zimmer and Council President Cunningham,
I hereby tender my resignation from the Hoboken Housing
Authority Board of Commissioners, effective January 6, 2014, bringing to a
close a protracted holdover period extending from my term’s official end eight
months ago. It has been a genuine pleasure serving the City of Hoboken, but the
time has come to move on with my life and focus on other priorities. I wish to
thank the City Council, which unanimously appointed me in September 2009, for
the opportunity to serve in this incredibly important and consequential
Among the accomplishments during my term of which I am
particularly proud are the establishment of tighter accountability and
disciplinary guidelines for site managers, who are the agency’s most direct
interface with its residents; the raising of fundamental concerns about the
Vision 20/20 redevelopment plan; the passage of the agency’s first Pay-to-Play reform
policy, modeled on the one previously adopted by the City of Hoboken; the
holding accountable of all of the agency’s professional-services contractors and
assertion of board’s right to demand the utmost integrity; the organizing of
the annual Health, Nutrition & Fitness Fairs (typically sponsored in
conjunction with the United Synagogue of Hoboken) and the Family & Friends
Thanksgiving Buffet dinners; and strident efforts to maintain fairness and
transparency in the agency’s waitlist management.
While the last 18 months of my tenure on the board have been
extremely challenging and at times painfully disappointing, I did not sign up
for this expecting it to be easy, and I deeply appreciate the strong and
empowering support that came from throughout the community as I attempted to
bring oversight, accountability and professionalism to the Housing Authority. In
my efforts to hold the line against a resolute opposition, the dais often
proved to be a rather lonely place. Nevertheless, the appreciation and moral
support I received from many community stakeholders played an extraordinary
role in my ability to maintain my composure and determination to press onward.
I sincerely believe that I leave the Hoboken Housing Authority in a far better
position to reach its true potential than I found it four years ago, and am
proud of the policies, changes and new traditions I helped establish.
These positive changes would not have been possible without
the support and generosity of Hobokenites who donated to fund events for the
residents, came out to speak publicly on controversial issues, offered helpful
advice drawing from their professional experience, or even simply attended
meetings to offer a friendly face in an angry crowd. I cannot thank everyone
enough for these acts of courage and generosity. The future of the Hoboken
Housing Authority will be determined by those who put their money where their
mouths are, not the armchair quarterbacks whose talk-without-action blame games
are part of the problem, not the solution.
I believe public housing is an essential component in any
community. In Hoboken, it is especially critical, as the cost of living
continues to pose challenges to lower-income families. However, a
public-housing program without accountable management, under the illusory
safeguard of ineffectual HUD bureaucrats, can pose real risks to the greater
community, not least because of the political exploitation that can result. I am
confident the Hoboken Housing Authority’s best years are yet to come, and one
day it stands to grow more fully integrated into the broader community to be
seen chiefly as the provider of a valuable workforce rather than an illegal vote-buying
enterprise preyed upon by the old rogue’s gallery of election hijackers and
political profiteers.
While there are some who may have formed negative opinions
of the Housing Authority based on the public spectacles being orchestrated in
relation to Vision 20/20 over the past several months, I earnestly hope they
will come to reconsider their position. The Hoboken Housing Authority contains
1,353 apartments serving as homes to over 4,000 residents. The odious behavior
of a dozen or so paid political operatives waging a reprehensible organized
effort to derail public meetings and intimidate public officials presents an
ugly image indeed. Rest assured, these political prostitutes do not in any way
speak for the silent majority who want nothing more than to participate in the
Hoboken community with the same safety, opportunity and honest representation
as everyone else in this amazing city.

Jake Stuiver announced his resignation from the Hoboken Housing Authority in a letter to Mayor Zimmer and Council President Peter Cunningham.  His was a powerful voice standing for good government seen here leading a protest in April 2011 outside City Hall when a FBI video surfaced showing Councilman Michael Russo
 agreeing to bribes with government informant Solomon Dwek.

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