Public housing tenants picket official's transfer

March 19, 1994|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Sun Staff Writer

A group of public housing residents picketed city housing authority offices yesterday, demanding that the agency rescind the transfer of a popular administrator.

The 13 residents, from Latrobe Homes in East Baltimore, want former manager Robin Mack reinstated at the 701-unit low-rise complex at 900 E. Madison St. Ms. Mack was transferred March 1 to the Broadway senior citizen high-rise in a management swap that sent Broadway manager Henry Johnson to Latrobe.

Carrying picket signs and chanting, "What do we want? Partnership!", the residents picketed the authority's Fayette Street headquarters for nearly three hours. They said that programs based at Latrobe and boosted by Ms. Mack's leadership -- Parents Against Drugs, the East Baltimore Reading and Resource Program and the CHANGE coalition, a public housing tenants group -- will suffer without her.

"We were on our way to doing great things at Latrobe," said Pat Mobley, who has lived there 27 years. "And the next thing we knew, she was gone. They snatched her away."

Zack Germroth, spokesman for the authority, declined to comment on the transfer. "It's a personnel matter and we're comfortable with the decision."

The Latrobe tenants, who have a 300-signature petition demanding Ms. Mack's return, also voiced other complaints yesterday. They said that maintenance requests often go ignored and that the authority has not hired residents for construction and day care jobs at the developments.

Mr. Germroth said the authority employs 85 people who live in the city's 18,088 public housing units.

The tenants said they want to form a partnership with the authority to get direct input in decisions that affect them.

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