Residents at Bolton House Apartments expressed anger at Edgewood Management Corporation at a community meeting on Sept. 2 where they voiced concerns about the security and cleanliness of the 260-unit building. According to the company’s website, Bolton House is one of 70 properties in Maryland that is managed by Edgewood.

Linda Campbell, who has lived at Bolton House since 2002, said Edgewood officials have turned a deaf ear to repeated letters and phone calls since 2008. “This is the first time that they have attended one of our meetings. Maybe it’s because all these people are here, but I hope that these issues will get resolved soon,” she said. Meetings for the Bolton House Tenants Association are held on the last Monday of every month.

Tenants complained about broken elevators, lack of an emergency phone number for residents to call after-hours, unwanted visitors in the building, and the lack of a 24-hour desk attendant to monitor activity within the building. Tempers flared when talks centered on an unidentified person who residents accused of performing job functions poorly and contributing to the unsafe environment in the building.

Del. Barbara Robinson assured the group, which consisted primarily of senior citizens that she would be a “watchdog” for the distressed attendees. “This is unacceptable. And if it means that I will have to use legislation to fix it, then so be it,” she said.

Some resolve appeared amid the tense exchange when Edgewood Management representative Vicky Davis went through an item by item checklist that she compiled on the spot. The list covered the issues addressed at the meeting including what seemed to be an overall lack of communication between residents and management.

The Deputy Housing Commissioner for Community Services Reginald Scriber left the meeting with a promise for residents and a stern warning for Edgewood Management. Scriber said that both the police and fire department will be onsite in the coming weeks. Fire officials will conduct a code enforcement inspection and report any violations found directly to him. “I want to give them the chance to address these matters. But I don’t want to come back here in a few weeks and nothing has been resolved. That would be a bad situation,” said Scriber.

Marvin Cheatham, former Baltimore NAACP president, said he was in attendance as a neighbor and community activist. Cheatham said he invited numerous city, state and elected officials to the meeting to make sure that the management company “does the right thing.”

“We are here to find solutions,” he said before an early departure, “and to open the lines of communication between management and residents in a respectful manner.” Cheatham told the crowded room that he was in the midst of a trial and had asked to be excused to attend the meeting.

 

Melissa Jones

Special to the AFRO