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Pais retires as Town of Wilna Housing Authority director

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CARTHAGE — Kelly E. Bush will become executive director of the town of Wilna Housing Authority after John M. Pais retires Jan. 4 from the job he has held for 12 years.

Mrs. Bush currently is public housing manager for the authority, which oversees operations of both Brady Acres and Long Falls Apartments.

Mrs. Bush has worked for the authority since 2009, starting as a secretary and being federally certified through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as housing manager the following year. The 1997 Carthage Central School graduate was employed by EBS Benefit Solution Inc. (Blue Cross) in Syracuse and in sales for New York Air Brake, Watertown.

She said she looks forward to new challenges and working with the housing authority board and its seven employees.

The 50-year-old Brady Acres facility is embarking on a face-lift this spring. In October, housing authority was awarded a $725,000 grant through the state Housing Trust Fund Corp. The Comprehensive Public Housing Modernization Grant will be used to replace roofing and install siding on the 17 buildings at Brady Acres.

“We have a very active board which I will be working closely with to make decisions about the new project,” Mrs. Bush said.

She foresees an easy transition because Mr. Pais has been forthcoming with information about how the authority functions and recent computer updates have made record keeping more efficient.

Mrs. Bush, the daughter of Michael and Susan Storms of Carthage, graduated from Jefferson Community College, Watertown, in 1999 and married Jason J. Bush in 2005. The couple has three children, Mitchell J., 5, and twins Elizabeth E. and Jacob L., 3. Mrs. Bush said between work and her family, she has little time for outside activities or community involvement.

Prior to replacing Larry Waterman as executive director, Mr. Pais was meat manager at P&C Foods for 31 years. He has been active in politics, serving as mayor of Deferiet for 18 years and as a village trustee before that. In the November election, he was voted in as mayor again on write-in votes but declined the position.

The retiring director said he has been thankful for the cooperative authority boards he has worked with as well as the “good working relationship” he has developed with the town, village and police and fire departments. He sees his biggest accomplishment as “maintaining a healthy financial situation at both facilities.”

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to make living conditions better,” he added. “I have enjoyed working with the tenants.”

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