Perhaps the most interesting single thing about the Chelsea Housing Authority receiver’s first monthly report to the Supreme Judicial Court and the Attorney General is the bill for her services which was provided with it.
Receiver Judith Webber has billed $23,000 for her first month’s work.
That would make each of the 7 page report worth approximately $3,400.
The report actually spans 9 pages. Pages 8 includes her title and signature. Page 9 is referred to in the industry as her certificate of service.
If Ms. Webber makes it a year as the receiver of the CHA, she will receive approximately $275,000 for her services. This would be less than the $365,000 disgraced CHA executive director Mike McLaughlin was being paid but would put her about $100,000 over the going rate for an executive director of a local housing authority.
Ms. Webber, who has been employed a lifetime as a real estate manager type is well qualified to do so.
However, it would be impossible for Ms. Webber to find a job in the real estate industry doing what she does for that kind of money running 1400 units of subsidized property.
As bills go, hers was fabulous.
She billed at a rate of $165 an hour.
This translates into $1320 for an average 8 hour day.
She filed expense reports for three $1320 days.
Generally, these were for discussions with City Manager Jay Ash, with interim director Al Ewing and for the review of letters, staff meetings, the signing of checks, calls to HUD and what she described as outreach.
There were also meetings with maintenance supervisors, HUD staff, and with other attorneys, including high priced attorneys who worked for her pro bono.
One meeting on December 5 with Ash, Ewing and Chelsea Neighborhood Housings David Keane apparently went on for 8 hours and was billed out for $1320.
We appreciate the professionalism shown in the construction of Ms. Webber’s precisely documented bill for her month’s work.
But we deeply resent her being paid so much money to essentially find virtually nothing wrong that she ultimately reported to the Supreme Judicial Court.
Does this mean she will receive another $23,000 in February?
We certainly hope not.
For if she did, the CHA would be coming close to wasting the kind of money that was thrown away on McLaughlin.
With McLaughlin gone, we got Ms. Webber. She’s a consultant being paid a consultant’s wage.
But who’s going to be watching Ms. Webber and what she does in February and who’s going to be judging whether or not the duties she is performing are worth the money?
With all the CHA checks clearing and rents being collected, what is there for her to do that interim director Ewing can be doing?
Ms. Webber’s per month income needs to be immediately capped. We hope the Supreme Judicial Court will show an interest in saving money that could be going to better housing.