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Another year at the helm of the BMHA

   The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority voted Thursday to extend the contract of Executive Director Dawn E. Sanders for one year.

   The extension increases Sanders' paid vacation time to four weeks from three. And she got a four percent wage increase to her $94,000 salary — down from 6.5 percent suggested in the original agreement two years ago.

   Some commissioners were not too happy with Sanders' work performance two years into the job. They have complained about her style in dealing with residents and some commissioners. She can be abrasive, unresponsive and out of touch, they say. Nor did they feel she had accomplished much in her two years running the Housing Authority.

   One of the five commissioners, Leonard Williams, was ready to vote months ago against keeping Sanders on board. He changed his mind when the group agreed to include goals and objectives to benchmark her progress.

   The list will be used in February 2010 when housing authority officials start negotiating a contract with Sanders.

   Joseph Mascia — who was elected to the board of commissioners by BMHA residents, as was Williams — also was set to cast a no vote on Sanders' future with the public housing agency. But rather than reject her completely, he decided to abstain from voting and wonders if the board made a mistake by keeping her on another year.

   "I hope the four commissioners who voted for her prove me wrong," Mascia said.

   What do you think?

   —Deidre Williams  

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