Was anyone really surprised that Donald Martin didn’t show up to this week’s Housing Authority meeting after this newspaper recently revealed that he’s received over $100,000 in public funds for a job he was secretly hired for and he can’t even prove he’s been doing?
Martin was a no-show Tuesday when the board requested his presence so that he could explain exactly what he’s done to earn more money in the past year than the average Yazoo City family – with two hard-working adults in the household – brought home during the same period of time.
It’s no surprise that Mr. Martin failed to show because it’s pretty obvious that he’s done no work of any significance. He previously admitted that he was paid for seven months without lifting a finger, and the work he says that he did do is work that he really isn’t qualified to do in the first place.
Checking behind architects? We have tried without success to find an architect Mr. Martin has “checked behind.”
Inspecting blueprints? What qualifies him to inspect blueprints on a multimillion dollar project?
For the price Mr. Martin has been paid, the Housing Authority could have hired someone who has actually studied architecture and has meaningful experience.
What’s just as shocking is that Mr. Martin was apparently offered a contract – a secret contract that only former director Betty Reed seems to have known about – so flimsy that the current board isn’t confident enough to fire him yet.
Let’s consider two important facts:
1. He was hired without the board that governs the organization approving it.
2. He has failed, even when finally asked, to produce evidence that he has done any actual work, much less the kind of work that would merit a $5,000 a month paycheck courtesy of the taxpayers.
When this newspaper first began investigating and reporting on questionable activities involving the Yazoo City Housing Authority, there were some who were outraged that we would dare question the fact an organization that has helped provide affordable housing for people who need it in our community.
Some people seemed determined to carry water for the previous board despite evidence of wasteful spending and even a questionable transfer of over $500,000 in public funds to a nonprofit with some board members saying they never voted for the transfer.
I wonder if those water carriers still feel that way now that it’s obvious so much money that could have been dedicated to affordable housing has been wasted?