Local News

June 30, 2013

Housing Authority staff numbers listed

PLATTSBURGH — The upheaval at Plattsburgh Housing Authority has raised some questions in the community about staff size and pay at the agency.

Members of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners won’t talk about Executive Director Lori Cantwell’s dismissal or any aspect of the agency since she was removed from the post.

Plattsburgh Housing Authority has more than 800 units providing housing for income-eligible families and senior citizens. Funds to operate the program are provided by the federal Housng and Urban Development program.

The Press-Republican filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the Housing Authority to find out the number of employees on staff and what they are paid.

Cantwell was hired at a salary of $127,173 but was making $171,870 at the time she was let go about a year and a half later. She has been replaced by an acting executive director.

The 34 staff members also include housing specialists, maintenance workers, accountants, teacher’s aides, clerks and typists, an education coordinator and several other positions.

Salaries range from a high of $80,000 for the acting executive director to a low of $28,309 for building maintenance helpers.

The total payroll is $1,537,467, not including Cantwell’s salary.

The building maintenance supervisor makes $73,454, and the acting assistant to the executive director gets $68,000.

The network and systems coordinator is paid $66,545, and the educational coordinator makes $60,359.

A senior building maintenance worker makes $51,085, and a senior stenographer is paid $47,211.

One accountant makes $66,587 and another, $56,017.

Two teacher aides make $34,416 and $33,324, respectively.

City of Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak, who appoints the commissioners to the Plattsburgh Housing Authority Board, said an audit of the agency should be requested to see of all of the positions are needed.

“I don’t believe the number of employees and their salaries were at these levels a few years ago,” he told the Press-Republican.

“I would expect the board will be reviewing these details in the future.”

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