New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority Board Meeting: August 11, 2014

Written By: Robert Cox

New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting – August 11, 2014

Announcements and Discussion Items include:

  • Heritage Homes biggest utility expense is United Water of New Rochelle, same for all NRMHA properties.
  • Change meeting time. Resolution shared with board had been prepared in advance, should have been posted to the web site; by-laws amended.
  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
  • Section 8 Housing. In 2011, NRMHA received 800 applicants in two weeks that took about 3 years to clear. In 2014, NRMHA received 3,000 applications. Based on past performance, it will take 4 years to clear the current list. Hispanics was 18% of applicants, now at 25% which is consistent with the rest of Westchester County Members of the public attending including representatives of the 345 Main Street Tenant Association and a representative of the Gathering of Men.
  • A letter was read stating that the New Rochelle Community Action Program will present their Champion Business Leader Award to New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority Executive Director Steve Horton on October 17, 2014 at their Community Champion Awards Dinner Dance. The letter was signed by Rev. Dr. Harry A. Dawkins, Executive Director of the New Rochelle Community Action Program who was recently appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority Board at the recommendation of Steve Horton.

After attending the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting June 9th, I wrote an article describing a dozen changes that should be made to bring the meetings into compliance with New York State Open Meeting Law; another as an Open Letter to New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome.

Several of these changes were implemented at the July 14th meeting and severl more by the August 11th meeting and stricken from the list:

1. Relocate NRMHA meetings at City Hall and integrate the meetings into the existing system of broadcasting and archiving video of those meetings on the City’s cable access channels and web site.

2. Implement term limits for Commissioners with an enforceable commitment to support FOIL/OML or not be appointed or re-appointed.

3. Display meeting announcements on the NRMHA web site; offer a calendar or announcement section for meeting notices.

4. Provide meeting agendas and related documents on the NRMHA web site; create an archive for past meetings.

5. Place signage outside the meeting room to direct the public to meeting location.

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6. Provide hard copies of meeting agendas and related documents at the meeting.

7. Remove the food and drinks; room that might be have been set aside for seating was taken up by a table containing sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks, ice, cups, plates, napkins, etc.

8. Discontinue the practice of serving food and drinks during the meeting.

9. Meetings scheduled to start at 5 p.m. did not begin until 5:30 p.m.

10. Document circulated to the board but not made available to the public, not posted on the web site was not provided upon request — Draft RFQ & Bracey Redevelopment Draft.

11. Information about board members on the web site including names, photographs, bios, date of appointment, length of service, lengths of terms, end of terms, there is no contact information provided for individual board members.

12. Information about elections for the two “resident” positions on the board.