HOBOKEN – Just over a year after the controversial termination of Carmelo Garcia, the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) appointed a new executive director during a meeting Thursday. Sept. 10.
Marc Recko, the current executive director of the Washington Housing Authority and Mid-East Regional Housing Authority in North Carolina, was assigned to the post with 4 votes of approval and 3 housing authority members absent.
The HHA executive director is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of roughly 1,300 units of low-income federally-subsidized housing on the west side of Hoboken. The position is overseen by the volunteer Board of Commissioners and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D).
“I’m really excited, Recko is a housing professional. He has over 30 years of experience in housing authorities and 15 as an executive director,” said HHA Chairwoman Dana Wefer after the meeting.
Commissioners David Denning, James Sanford, Jean Rodriguez and Chairwoman Wefer voted “yes” to assign Recko, while Vice Chair David Mello, and Commissioners Judith Burrell and Robert Davis III did not attend the meeting.
Gans, Gans & Associates, an executive search firm based in Florida, was the lead consultant during the nationwide search that was ultimately narrowed down to nine prospects.
Wefer commended the new executive director, who will officially start Oct. 26, during the meeting for having experience both on the financial and maintenance side of housing authorities. Recko, who was born in Cleveland, OH, has a bachelor of arts degree in English from Cleveland State University and holds certifications as both a housing manager and rehabilitation finance and construction specialist.
“[Prior to working for a housing authority, he] worked for a non-profit that was dedicated to getting affordable housing for people,” added Wefer. “So his entirely life has been dedicated to it. He’s somebody who I think truly cares about the residents, will want the residents to feel comfortable with him and really want the housing authority to thrive.”
Recko will be taking over for Hoboken Housing Authority interim director Emil Kotherithara pending his signature Friday, Sept. 11. Previous interim directors include Richard Fox – who very briefly filled the role after Garcia – and more recently, West New York and Weehawken Housing Authority Executive Director DiVincent.
Over the years, the HHA has been labeled at “troubled” housing authority by HUD, but climbed out of that designation. The HHA consists of 21 buildings on the western side of town. The agency also manages Section 8 vouchers.