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01-14-199738 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 U V MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF LAS CRUCES BOARD HELD ON JANUARY 14, 1997 The Board Meeting of the Housing Authority of the City of Las Cruces was held at 6:10 p.m. at 926 S. San Pedro, in the City of Las Cruces, State of New Mexico. 1. Roll Call. The meeting was called to order by Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson. MEMBERS: Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson Frances F. Williams, Vice Chairperson Trevas Y. Ryan, Commissioner Alice E. Holmes, Commissioner OTHERS: Andrew T. Holguin, Interim Exe. Director Caroline Velarde, Executive Secretary Tom Hassell, Interim Deputy Director Delbert Ortiz, Maintenance Foreman Mary T. Torres, Attorney Margaret Edmond - HACLC resident Annette Ortiz Al Vizcarra Cruzita Herrera Joe Sandoval Jaime Carrillo Ysidro Lopez Paul Bazan Joe Barrio Eddie Clark Santiago Lerma Jose Diaz 2. Employee Recognition Plaque - Delbert Ortiz. Mr. Holguin stated that he would like to take the opportunity to recognize Mr. Ortiz for his 20 years of service to the HACLC. Mr. Holguin explained that Mr. Ortiz was hired by the HACLC on January 2, 1977 as a Maintenance Labor. Since then, he has been promoted several times up to his current position as the Maintenance Foreman as of October 26, 1989. During his tenure, Mr. Ortiz has seen the HACLC expand its housing stock from 295 units to over 500. The type of company vehicles utilized by the employees has changed and increased as well as the number of people employed by the agency especially in the Maintenance Department. There were four people who worked in the maintenance area and now there are eleven. He has also worked for three former Executive Directors. 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 Mr. Holguin further explained that as the Maintenance Foreman for the past seven and some half years, Mr. Ortiz has managed to have one the lowest employee turnover rates in any department within the organization. His employees' longevity within the Maintenance Department ranges from one year to 18 years. Time and again, Mr. Ortiz has proven himself to be one of the most reliable, sincerest, trustworthy and honest individuals that the HACLC has employed in its history of existence. Mr. Holguin requested the Board's permission to proclaim Delbert Ortiz Day on January 22, 1997 and hold a luncheon in his honor on company premises. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to approve the proclamation of January 22, 1997, as Delbert Ortiz Day. So moved by Commissioner Holmes. Seconded by Vice Chairperson Williams. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. Commissioner Holmes voted in favor. Motion carried. * 3. Approval of the Minutes for a Special Meeting held on December 3, 1996. * 4. Approval of the Minutes for a Regular Meeting held on December 10, 1996.) * 5. Approval of Payments for December 1996. * 6. Financial reports for the period ending November 30, 1996. * 7. Vacancy /Eviction /Personnel and Maintenance report for December 1996. * 8. Resolution No. 571 - A Resolution Approving a Revision in the Personnel Policy. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to approve the above consent agenda. So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. Commissioner Holmes voted in favor. Motion carried. *consent agenda 2 84 9. Public Participation. 85 The Board recognized Ms. Margaret Edmond who stated that she is a housing resident 86 and is requesting a transfer from one housing neighborhood to another one nearby. 87 Ms. Edmond explained that she was experiencing some trouble at her present 88 residence and felt that relocating would alleviate the problem. Mr. Holguin replied that 89 Ms. Edmond would need to meet with her housing counselor in order to follow the 90 procedures for transferring from one unit to another. 91 10. Interim Executive Director's Report. 92 a. Review of HACLC By -Laws by Ms. Mary Torres, Attorney 93 Mr. Holguin stated that he met with Ms. Mary Torres on December 19, 1996, to review 94 the HACLC By -Laws. Ms. Torres explained that she reviewed the By -laws and 95 recommended that some changes be made accordingly. 96 In Article Two: Section Two Election of Officers, Ms. Torres suggested that the 97 words "but only for just cause" in the last sentence of the paragraph be deleted. 98 In Article Two: Section Three Chairperson, Ms. Torres suggested that it be amended 99 in part to read as follows: 100 "The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Authority, except as 101 otherwise authorized by these By -Laws or resolution of the Authority." 102 Under the same article Section Five Secretary, a typographical error was noted and 103 corrected in the last paragraph of the second sentence. The word "proved" was change 104 to "provided." 105 In reference to Article Three: Section Five Votes Required, Ms. Torres noted that 106 § §3- 45 -5(C) states that when one has a five member commission board, a quorum will 107 be three members and that a majority of that quorum may conduct business. Therefore, 108 two of three members present may conduct business. Ms. Torres suggested striking out 109 Section Five and stay with Section Four under the same article to be consistent with the 110 state statute. III As for Article Four: Section One Amendments to the By -Laws, Ms. Torres 112 recommended that this section ought to be consistent with Article Three: Section Four 3 C] performed to include modernization, energy consumption, inspection and condition of units, tenants' account receivable, operating expenses, and resident initiatives. Once again, the organization is considered to be a High Performer by HUD with an outstanding score of 100 percent (100 %). This honor gives the HACLC national recognition for its accomplishments. The good news was recognized by both the Las Cruces Bulletin and the Las Cruces Sun -News. e. Update on NM 3 -11 Mr. Hassell apprised the Board about the NM 3 -11 Acquisition /New Construction Project, in which the HACLC purchased a parcel of vacant land located between Chaparro and Utah street. He explained that the lot is approximately .65 acres and is composed of nine lots measuring 25 feet by 135 feet. The property is currently zoned R -1 which implies detached family, low density housing. In order to fill the needs for the NM 3 -11 project, the HACLC will be required to build a minimum of eight units on this parcel of land. Legally, this can be accomplished without a change in zoning as long as the organization builds detached family housing. Unfortunately, the lot size of 25'x 135' lends itself to detached units that are referred to as "Pullman" houses (essentially a very long and narrow building like a single wide mobile home). The HACLC believes that eight units could be built on this parcel and would be more aesthetically pleasing, more cost effective and much more acceptable to its residents if built in the form of two quadraplex units. This would require a zone change from R -1 (as stated above) to R -2 which is multiple housing units, medium density. The Development Consultant and the Architect both approached the CLC's Planning and Zoning staff prior to the purchase of the property to ascertain its chances of successfully achieving a zone change from R -1 to R -2. The staff felt that the P &Z Commission would pass the HACLC's request. Mr. Hassell went on to say that prior to the meeting with the Zoning Commission on December 11, 1996, the Sun -News ran an article highlighting the NM 3 -11 project. Unfortunately, the article stated that the HACLC would be building 19 units on this particular piece of property. Apparently based on the article, residents living in the 5 U J 17l neighborhood surrounding this parcel of land, formed a petition asking the Zoning 72 Commission to deny the HACLC's request based on "unit density ". M Mr. Hassell pointed out that the Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation had previously 74 constructed affordable housing in the same area last year. According to the petitioners, .75 the residents of the Tierra Del Sol housing have been a problem in the neighborhood 76 inasmuch that there has been an increase in crime, traffic, etcetera. It also came to light 77 that the previous owner of the vacant parcel of land had attempted to receive a zoning 78 change from R -1 to R -3 (multi - family, high density) and proposed to build an apartment 79 complex consisting of approximately 18 units. Unfortunately, all of the above situations 80 precipitated a very "anti- housing" attitude from the surrounding neighborhood. 81 Mr. Hassell further explained that Mr. Holguin, Mr. Vorenberg and himself met with the 82 Planning and Zoning Commission met on December 11, 1996 at 7:00 p.m. The 83 HACLC's case number was Z2334 and represented a request for zone change from R -1 84 to R -2. Mr. Vorenberg prepared and presented a proposal which detailed two 85 quadraplex units to be built on the property. A number of petitioners from the 86 neighborhood were also in attendance and stated that they felt the zone change would 87 allow housing that would permit an unacceptable density of units for the property in 88 question. Mr. Vorenberg made it very clear that legally the HACLC could and would 89 build eight detached units but felt that the design of two quadraplex units would be much 90 more aesthetically pleasing, cost effective and would have no more impact on density 91 than eight detached units. The discussion centered around not letting "those low income 92 project people" into their neighborhood. Mr. Holguin responded that the units would be 93 offered to residents who are participating in the FSS program and explained what the 94 FSS program was. He also added that the units are inspected weekly and maintained by 95 the HACLC's Maintenance Department. After the floor was closed for public discussion, 96 the Zoning Commissioners commented. The Commissioners had centered primarily 97 around the downtown revitalization plan, and they appeared to lump the HACLC in with 98 the CLC. Three of the four P &Z commissioners in attendance at the meeting supported 99 the citizens and failed to honor the agency's request. It is believed that the citizens who :00 signed the petition left under the impression that the HACLC would not be allowed to 6 U U 201 build on the site in any shape or form which is not the case. 202 Mr. Holguin stated that upon discussion with Mr. Hassell and Mr. Vorenberg, it was 203 decided to appeal the decision. Mr. John Roybal, Director, HUD FHEO and Mr. Don 204 Farenkrog, CLC Fair Housing Officer were contacted. Mrs. Gutierrez was also contacted 205 and informed of the situation. Based on discussion with Mr. Roybal of HUD, this 206 appears to be a classic case of "NIMBY" or "Not In My Back Yard." He sited the example 207 of the town of Hatch and their P &Z Commission who were recently defeated in court for 208 attempting to force legal alien migrant farm workers from certain parts of town using 209 zoning restrictions which violated the fair housing rights of the workers in question. Mr. 210 Roybal believed that the HACLC should also appeal the decision. 211 Mr. Holguin went on to say that the HACLC responded to the Zoning Commission's 212 denial with an appeal letter on December 26, 1996. The appeal will be heard by the City 213 Council at a meeting yet to be announced. He noted that overhead slides outlining the 214 property layout and proposed designs will be shown at the meeting to clarify the above 215 status report. 216 f. Signature Card 217 Mr. Holguin noted that Vice Chairperson Williams will need to sign a signature card with 218 the HACLC's local financial institution. 219 11. Closed Session - discussion regarding limited personnel matters with 220 regards to Executive Director resumes. 221 222 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to go into closed session at 9:12 p.m. So 223 moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson 224 Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 225 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 226 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 227 Motion carried. 228 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to reconvene into open session at 9:45 p.m. 229 So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. 230 Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 231 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 7 J 232 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 233 Motion carried. 234 While in closed session, the Board discussed the procedures that will be utilized in 235 reviewing the resumes that were submitted for the Executive Director's position. 236 12. Recommendations and Comments by Board Members. 237 * Commissioner Holmes stated that she would need to leave the meeting at 238 approximately 7:30 p.m. to attend to some personal business that required her presence 239 elsewhere. 240 * Vice Chairperson Williams stated that she met with Ms. Cindy Gorman, Director of the 241 Office of Public Housing and discussed various aspects of the HACLC at length. Ms. 242 Gorman had stated that the HACLC has an excellent and very cooperative staff. Ms. 243 Gorman informed the Vice Chairperson that she is scheduled to attend the Ad Hoc 244 Committee meeting on January 29, 1997. 245 * The Board informed Mr. Holguin that they will participate in the training on the Open 246 Meetings Act when the Attorney General's Office personnel comes to Las Cruces in 247 March. 248 13. Other Business. 249 * Ms. Torres stated that she was asked to review a report from Mr. Trojan, Assistant City 250 Manager. Having read the report Ms. Torres noted that on page one, Mr. Trojan 251 recommended to the City Council that it appoint a task force to make recommendations 252 to the Council as to how the CLC should administer and oversee the public housing 253 needs of the citizens of Las Cruces in the upcoming decades. It was understood that the 254 Ad Hoc Committee was created and has held two meetings thus far. The next meeting is 255 scheduled to be on January 29th at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The Board asked Ms. Torres 256 if she could be present at that meeting to which she replied that she would need to check 257 her schedule for availability and will call to confirm her attendance. 258 Vice Chairperson Williams asked Ms. Torres if she has a copy of the resolution that 259 established the Ad Hoc Committee. Ms. Torres replied no. Mr. Holguin responded that 260 a copy will be furnished to Ms. Torres. Vice Chairperson Williams commented that the 261 1 committee had requested the HACLC to provide information with regards to its insurance 93 U J 262 policies, contracts, budgets, inventory and the like. Ms. Torres stated that the committee 263 needs to know how the HACLC insures itself and who is responsible and what is covered 264 in the policies. It was brought up that a newspaper article noted that Mr. Trojan 265 reportedly stated that a statement was made that the HACLC was "out of control" and 266 they wondered in what context was the statement made. Chairperson Gutierrez and Mr. 267 Holguin assured the commissioners that no such statement was made during the Ad Hoc 268 Committee meetings as reported in the Sun -News. 269 Ms. Torres continued with the report noting on page three, that Mr. Trojan mentioned the 270 lack of appropriate procedures to close meetings. It is his recommendation as a 271 permanent solution, that the Council require the HACLC to utilize the City Attorney's 272 Office to oversee the work of the attorneys hired to support the HACLC. It is Ms. Torres' 273 opinion that if the agency hires an attorney, the work should not have to be overseen by 274 another attorney. By the same token, the HACLC should not have to spend money 275 hiring an attorney when it can utilize the City Attorney's Office. It was pointed out taht 276 the City Attorney's office has charged the HACLC for legal services. Ms. Torres replied 277 taht the CLC will need to decide either the HACLC is an agency of the CLC, a 278 department of the CLC or neither. 279 On page four, Mr. Trojan recommended that the HACLC be required to follow the CLC's 280 purchasing codes and procedures. Ms. Torres stated taht most agencies do not follow 281 the city's procurement policy, but rather they follow either the state procurement policy or 282 the federal procurment policy. Vice Chairperson Williams commented that she asked 283 Ms. Gorman, Director of Public Housing, (Albuquerque HUD Office), which procurment 284 policy should the HACLC adhere to, the city, state or federal. Ms. Gorman had said 285 whichever is the most restrictive one of them all. 286 In addressing the issue of board involvement in an operation, Mr. Trojan recommended 287 that City Council give some direction to the HACLC which would clarify the role of the 288 Board versus the Executive Management in day -to -day administration. It was Ms. 289 Torres' opinion that the HACLC Board is not exactly an autonomous board even though 290 it has been perceived as such because of the fact that the CLC has the power to abolish 291 the board at any time. 9 FJ 292 Mr. Trojan also recommended that Mayor Smith and City Council go on record as 293 requesting the HACLC to continue to operate with an Acting Director until a 294 determination is made on to the structure and relationship between the CLC and the 295 HACLC. Vice Chairperson Williams stated that she spoke with Mayor Smith about this 296 and that he had said he would go ahead and approve the HACLC hiring an Executive 297 Director. 298 On page five, Mr. Trojan recommended that the City Council ask the City Manager and 299 the City Attorney to review the court actions being filed and advise the City Council in a 300 closed session on its potential legal exposure in this case. It is Ms. Torres' 301 understanding that the case Mr. Trojan is referring to is over and that there is no pending 302 litigation. 303 * Ms. Torres stated that she had some questions about her scope of employment as it 304 relates to the HACLC. Ms. Torres explained that when she was initially hired by the 305 Board two years ago, her job was to advise the Board on personnel matters. Then there 306 was an addendum to her contract in which she was to advise the Board on other matters 307 as they came up. Ms. Torrres went on to say that according to the rules of professional 308 conduct, she will need to have some sort of documentation in her files that sets out what 309 is the scope of her employment. It is her understanding that she is not the HACLC's 310 general counsel although there are times when she has been treated as such. The 311 Board replied that they need legal counsel to advise them on issues that they are not 312 comfortable with handling on their own. Ms. Torres suggested that when the Board hires 313 an attorney to give legal counsel, that the commissioners also give that authority of a 314 name of an individual that the attorney can go to if he /she has questions regarding 315 scope of representation. 316 * Mr. Holguin stated that the HACLC was recently informed that a lien had been placed 317 on the property located at 370 Montana Street. He explained that the CLC imposed an 318 assessment on the property due to paving and storm drain installation. He pointed out 319 that the CLC had been sending the assessment notices to the previous owners until they 320 realized that the HACLC had acquired the property. A notice was sent to the HACLC 321 1 outlining the penalties and interest accrued which the organization is expected to pay. 10 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 Mr. Holguin went on to say that the matter is being looked into to determine if the HACLC can obtain a waiver from having to pay for the accrued penalties and interest due to lack of proper notice of the assessment. Mr. Holguin anticipates having more information available at the next meeting once the matter has been thoroughly researched. * Mr. Holguin apprised the Board that the HACLC recently hired Mr. Earl Mayne as the its Construction Inspector for the Modernization Department. 14. Adjournment. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion for adjournment. So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. Motion carried. Adjournment 10:00 p.m. SEAL .14 C f SE" j# 1.kNtW MEXIC y SUBMITTED BY, olguin, I APPROVED BY, Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson Executive Director