Castro To Head Elderly Services

Thomas MacMillan File PhotoGet ready for yet another special election in New Haven—as Fair Haven Alder Migdalia Castro moves to a job in City Hall.

Mayor Toni Harp said Thursday that she is appointing Castro as her new director of elderly services.

Castro (pictured) replaces Pat Wallace, whom Harp chose not to reappoint.

Castro starts her new job Feb. 1.

“I have a great deal of confidence that the city’s new elderly services director will find new resources and expand services to provide for New Haven’s diverse community of senior citizens,” Harp said.

Castro currently represents Ward 16, in Fair Haven. (Click here for a story about work she has done with seniors and other neighbors in her ward.) Once she resigns, a special election for the seat will take place within 45 days, according to state law. A special election will also take place in Ward 7, whose current alder, Doug Hausladen, will become Harp’s new transportation chief. And Hill Ward 3 Alder Jackie James resigned her seat to become Harp’s deputy social-services director.

Also on Wednesday, the city’s cultural affairs director, Vivian Nabeta, told the Independent that she, too, is leaving her post. She said it was her decision.

“It was just time. It’s nothing personal,” she said. Asked about her next career step, she said, “I’m mulling over some things. I might surprise some people.”

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 23, 2014  6:46pm

Starting to look More Like Jurassic Park.

posted by: FacChec on January 23, 2014  7:21pm

During the campaign Mayor Harp said she would appoint city residents to city jobs, we took her at her word. Well, come to find out, she is appointing city residents, all politicians.

1. Thomas Reyes*
2. Matt Nemerson
3. Steve Fontana*North Haven
4. Jackie James
5. Sundiata Keitazulu
6. Doug Hausladen
7. Migdalia Castro
8. Eric Johnson

I guess we were confused of her intent, jobs for non political resident is not her priority.
Maybe later… temporary construction jobs? sounds good. Stand by.

posted by: webblog on January 23, 2014  7:38pm

Normally it is the politicians who submit the names of their qualified constituents and friends for job openings. But in this case the politicians submitted names all right…their own..!

Shame on them and Harp.

posted by: Indigo on January 23, 2014  9:44pm

What an abysmally cynical and poor choice. Particularly given that Pat Wallace does such a wonderful job. Harp’s hiring might be summed up this way: no politician left behind. Meanwhile, the people of New Haven are left behind entirely.

posted by: FairHaven Elderly Community on January 23, 2014  10:14pm

Congratulations! Migdalia, we know you are the right person for this position.  You have always demonstrated your love and effort by helping all kind of people including elderly.  We are very proud of you and confident that you will do whatever it takes to maintain our elderly community happy and satisfied with their needs. God Bless You…

posted by: Billy on January 23, 2014  11:28pm

This nothing short of ridiculous!  This is patronage at its very worst.  I don’t know Ms. Castro personally, but there is NO WAY that she is nearly the fit for the Elderly Services job that Pat Wallace is.  Pat has been an outspoken voice for seniors in New Haven, and has led with wisdom, heart, humility, and compassion.

As someone who interacts with Elderly Services regularly, I am nothing short of heartbroken about this decision. 

This is yet one more way that the Harp ship has no one at the wheel.  Iceberg ahead!

posted by: Tlove on January 23, 2014  11:39pm

Migdalia I wish to congratulate you on being hired as the Director of Elderly Services. I can’t think of a better person for the job.You are very bright and intelligent. You have a lot of experience working with the elderly. You understand their social and emotional needs. You also have patience and compassion, good communication and interpersonal skills. I can’t think of a better person for this job. You deserve this great opportunity. May God be with you and give you guidance and strength to face any challenges that you may encounter. Tlove

posted by: Xavier on January 24, 2014  12:07am

Are you kidding me?

What qualifications does she have? Has she ever managed a budget?

She leaves her position in the parking authority to care for the elderly.

More Latinos in City Hall?

Nice pick COS Reyes.

Don’t get too comfortable in city hall.

This city will see that One City Henry would have been the best mayor.

UGH and Groan.

posted by: Guido Brunetti on January 24, 2014  12:15am

I understand from folks who work at City Hall, that Pat Wallace successfully lobbied the State legislature to extend the time of application for the Renters Rebate program by 2 months.
This program provides Senior Citizens and disabled persons with a portion of rent refunded to them.

Subsequently the legislature passed a bill to “Sunset” the program which effectively denied new applications. This has prevented hundreds of elderly and disabled residents Statewide from receiving this very needed financial help.

Coincidence? Draw your own conclusion.

posted by: robn on January 24, 2014  10:53am

Is this another non-union coalition backed Alderperson kicked upstairs by the Harp administration to open up a slot for a compliant ally? Is Harp trying to re-establish a supermajority in the BOA after losing Gabriel “no-show” Santiago, Jackie James, Robinson-Thorpe and Foskey-Cyrus?

No, the explanation for why someone with very little management experience is put in charge of a major city department couldn’t be that simple.(sarcasm)

posted by: getyourfactstraight on January 24, 2014  6:18pm

I am speechless and becoming more and more concerned. I do not believe Mayor Harp has any shame what so ever. My God, what is she thinking! Look at all her appointments so far. How will this city ever trust her. She not only is making former Mayor Daniels look really good at this point, but she has far surpassed the political games of the DeStefano era already.

posted by: Pat Wallace on January 25, 2014  2:33pm

I have been grateful to have the chance to serve this City and the older adults in particular.  I have known Migdalia Castro since she began her work in the Fair Haven community.  We have shared a commitment to serve the community for decades.  I respect her passion for the community, and her hard work and commitment to help people, especially the Hispanic community in Fair Haven, whether they were in her Ward or not. I look forward to her continued service to New Haven in this new role, and will do everything I can to ensure that the transfer of responsibility goes well, and with a spirit of friendship. I believe the motives of those who were involved in this decision were to serve the community.  I hope people will consider that possibility.  Pat Wallace

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 25, 2014  8:12pm

posted by: Pat Wallace on January 25, 2014 1:33pm

I believe the motives of those who were involved in this decision to serve the community.  I hope people will consider that possibility.

Sorry it is call Political Patronage.

posted by: obi on January 26, 2014  8:55am

What are Migdalia Castro’s qualifications for this position?  Salary not listed as in other positions.  Bio’s along with salary has been listed for many of Harp’s appointments.  Why not this position ????

posted by: HewNaven on January 26, 2014  11:57am

Reading that back story about Castro makes it appear that she is a good alder who knows her constituents and cares about that neighborhood. Its a shame she’s leaving the Board. She even mentions in the story that she would like to groom a successor from one of the many community activists in her ward:

Castro said her goal is to have two leaders on each block who can carry on those efforts after she’s gone.

“I want to develop leaders who can take ownership of their own ward,” she said.

I hope Castro has found someone who can continue the mission of ‘blight reduction through home ownership’. I think its a good mission to continue, and the people in that ward need the momentum that Castro has helped build to continue. I hope she is not leaving too soon.

posted by: jepadilla on January 28, 2014  8:28am

I’m not interested in passing judgement on Migdalia Castro’s qualifications to head Elderly Services, but I do want to thank Pat Wallace for her classy and professional remarks.  Unfortunately, we don’t see enough of this from the folks who post comments on these pages.