Clark Metro Development Corporation board
parts ways with Executive Director Kruger
by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, February 2007) For months, according to sources, the Clark Metro Development Corporation (CMDC) Board of Trustees has been under pressure from Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago to fire its Executive Director Steve Kruger. The CMDC Board of Trustees seems now to have bowed to that pressure.
At the January 18th meeting of the Vega Barber Block Club, Councilman Santiago announced that CMDC’s Board of Trustees had made some staffing changes. Councilman Santiago said CMDC now has only two employees, John Fennelly and Maritza Santiago. (Editor’s note: in December of 2001 CMDC’s newsletter, Clark Metro News, listed eleven employees).
Councilman Santiago said longtime Clark Metro staff member John Fennelly will serve as interim executive director and that Maritza Santiago will continue to work as a community organizer. “I have confidence in the staffing change and that Clark Metro will now move forward,” said Councilman Santiago.
When asked by a block club member if his comments meant that Executive Director Steve Kruger had been axed, Councilman Santiago indicated that Kruger would no longer be serving as the executive director of Clark Metro Development Corporation. Dena Czupih, Chair of the Vega Barber Block Club and a member of the CMDC Board of Trustees, chose not to comment on the board’s decision to end Kruger’s tenure at CMDC, citing possible legal issues.
To help relieve the workload of Maritza Santiago (no relation to the councilman), Councilman Santiago said staff members at other neighborhood community development corporations would serve Ward 14 residents in the Clark Metro service area. He indicated that Eddie Webb would work from the Stockyard Area Development Corporation on safety issues. Robert Rogers, working out of Tremont West Development Corporation would address code enforcement and housing issues.
Matt Martin, working out of the Stockyard Area Development Corporation, would serve as Neighborhood Service Provider, a newly created position. Councilman Santiago said Martin’s job would be to address neighborhood filth. Martin would work on neighborhood clean-ups, alley clean-ups, and address the graffiti problem in the neighborhood. Martin would work with court community service workers who are doing community service as part of their sentence.
Councilman Santiago also said the staff of the Spanish American Committee would offer home buying classes and some social services to neighborhood residents.
Councilman Santiago said the Clark Metro Development Corporation has three block clubs now and the organization has only 30 members. To help increase membership in the development corporation Santiago said he and some area businesses will pay the $5 annual dues for any residents wishing to join the organization. The councilman said CMDC is looking for new board members. He urged those interested to contact the CMDC office or members of the board.
Clark Metro Development Corporation serves the area from W. 25th to W. 52nd from I-71 to Train Avenue. For more information about Clark Metro Development Corporation call 741-9500.
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