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    Friday, May 24, 2024

    New London Housing Authority leader resigning

    New London ― Housing Authority Executive Director Kolisha Kedron will leave her job at the end the month to “explore new opportunities and challenges.”

    Kedron, who served as head of the authority for more than five years, submitted her resignation letter to authority Board of Commissioners Chairman Candace Devendittis on Nov. 2.

    “The decision was not made lightly, as I hold great respect and admiration for the agency, the residents and its mission,” said Kedron, who earned $113,000 a year as executive director.

    Kedron, who could not be reached for comment on Friday, vowed in her letter to work with her colleagues to ensure “all ongoing projects are properly handed over and my departure does not disrupt the progress we have made.”

    Kedron’s decision, effective Dec. 1, comes just weeks after the authority announced a $65 million plan to demolish and re-build the three 60-year-old state-subsidized housing complexes it owns and manages: George Washington Carver Apartments on Colman Street and two other senior and disabled apartment buildings at Gordon Court and Riozzi Court.

    The authority also oversees the federally subsidized Williams Park Apartments on Hempstead Street.

    Kedron’s tenure was challenged by the loss of an outside building management company, Imagineers, LLC, though departing staff, including Kedron, were later re-hired by the authority. The authority in recent years has sought to address deteriorating housing conditions and been the subject of resident complaints regarding safety and health issues.

    Mayor Michael Passero said Kedron was hired after a series of interim executive directors and took the agency to “the next level.”

    “It certainly is a loss,” he said.

    Passero said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials recently told him the hiring of Kedron’s successor is the responsibility of the city’s chief elected official, which in New London is the mayor.

    “My office will work with the authority members to vet a new leader,” Passero said. “We want to do that, to pursue our options sooner rather than later so as to not slow down our initiatives.”

    Housing Commissioner Nancy Cole said she’d like to see a special commission meeting convened soon to discuss the federal requirements needed to hire Kedron’s successor.

    “When we hired (Kedron), we were under the gun and didn’t have enough time to things the right way,” she said referring to the ending of the Imagineer contract that led to Kedron’s hiring by the commission. “We can advertise, do interviews and look at resumes. But we don’t have much time.”

    In her notice letter, Kedron thanked authority members and her staff.

    “The experiences I have had at the New London Housing Authority have helped me grow into the person and leader I am today,” she wrote.

    j.penney@theday.com

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