When we heard the news that Governor Deval Patrick removed George Anzuoni as Chairman of the Revere Housing Authority, we were stunned and disappointed at this classic misstep and what can only be termed as politics at its worst.
In a time when one cannot help but read of incompetence and corruption in other public housing authorities, the Revere Housing Authority (RHA) seemingly has been above reproach after a checkered past that has been absolutely righted in the last several years by a new executive director. The current enviable position for the RHA comes from an active and diligent Board of Commissioners, which Anzuoni has chaired successfully. Under Anzuoni’s leadership, the RHA Board has improved the lives of almost 1,400 residents by providing the most basic of human needs – a secure and clean place to live and raise their families. In 2005 when there was talk of federal receivership coming to take over the RHA, it was George Anzuoni who personally met with the federal officials to ask for time so that the RHA could clean up its act.
In less than eight months, under Anzuoni’s guidance and oversight, any question of a federal takeover was dismissed. Since that time, RHA has been providing excellent services to residents and taxpayers. In addition, Anzuoni has taken his personal time to enroll in the necessary courses to provide the residents and taxpayers of Revere with one of the most efficient and knowledgeable authorities in the state. As a matter of fact, Anzuoni is the one of only a handful of Housing Commissioner in the entire state to be certified by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities.
One only has to look at neighboring Chelsea and see the corruption, incompetence and greed that can happen when a Housing Authority Board turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the Machiavellian intrigues of a Housing Authority Director.
We call upon our elected state officials, Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Senator Anthony Petruccelli to write to the Governor about this egregious action. We will publish their written comments in the Journal. For these elected officials not to voice their opinion and remain silent is to condone the political pettiness of Governor Patrick at the expense of one of Revere’s most dedicated city officials.
This action by Governor Patrick goes against every acceptable norm in private and public business. When you have a great worker or leader, you reward him, not tear him down. There are workers in state and local government that can be deemed above reproach and George Anzuoni is one of these.
Governor Deval Patrick has the right to appoint a commissioner to all Massachusetts Housing Authorities, and he chose not to reappoint Anzuoni. Governor Patrick should hold his head in shame for this petty political deed. We expect more from the governor of Massachusetts.