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04-08-1997 1 MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF 2 THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY 3 OF LAS CRUCES BOARD HELD ON 4 APRIL 8, 1997 5 6 The Board Meeting of the Housing Authority of the City of Las Cruces was held at 6:10 7 8 p.m. at.926 S. San Pedro, in the City of Las Cruces, State of New Mexico. 9 10 1. Roll Call. 11 12 The meeting was called to order by Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson. 13 14 MEMBERS: Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson 15 Frances F. Williams, Vice Chairperson 16 Trevas Y. Ryan, Commissioner 17 Alice E. Holmes, Commissioner 18 Jesus R. Chavez, Commissioner 19 20 OTHERS: Andrew T. Holguin, Interim Exe. Director 21 Caroline Velarde, Executive Secretary 22 Tom Hassell, Interim Deputy Director 23 Sharon Hansen, Accountant 24 Al Vizcarra, Community Activities Coord. 25 Hope Bueno, HACLC Truant Officer 26 Robbie Levey, FSS Coordinator 27 Mary T. Torres, Attorney 28 Brian Haines, Auditor 29 Art Trujillo, Auditor 30 Ed Nevarez, Statewide Resident Org. 31 Rhonda Armijo, Statewide Resident Org. 32 Priscilla Melgar, Statewide Resident Org. 33 Maria Ceballos, Resident Council 34 Julia Garza, Resident Council 35 Gloria Montoya, Resident Council 36 Cruzita M. Herrera 37 38 * 2. Approval of the Minutes for a Special Meeting held on March 7, 1997. 39 40 * 3. Approval of the Minutes for a Regular Meeting held on March 11, 1997. 41 42 * 4. Approval of the Minutes for a Special Meeting held on March 15, 1997. 43 44 * 5. Approval of the Minutes for a Special Meeting held on March 22, 1997. 45 46 * 6. Approval of the Minutes for a Special Meeting held on March 29, 1997. 47 48 * 7. Approval of Payments for March 1997. 49 50 * 8. Financial reports for the period ending February 28, 1997. 51 52 * 9. Vacancy/Eviction/Personnel and Maintenance report for March 1997. 53 54 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to approve the above consent agenda. So 55 moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson 56 Gutierrez took a vote for approval: * consent agenda 1 57 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 58 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 59 Commissioner Holmes voted in favor. 60 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 61 Motion carried. 62 10. Public Participation. 63 There was no public participation. 64 11. Interim Executive Director's Report. 65 a. City Audit 66 As per the Board's request, Mr. Brian Haines, CPA of Kriegel & Co. Ltd., reviewed the 67 recently completed audit for the year ending June 30, 1996. There were no findings or 68 recommendations from Kriegel & Co. The Board stated that they had some difficulty 69 locating the sections pertaining to the HACLC when perusing through the entire report 70 which also included the CLC. They asked if it is possible to have a separate report made 71 only for the HACLC. Mr. Haines replied that the HACLC would need to convey that 72 request to the CLC when they begin to prepare the "RFP" (request for proposals) for the 73 next single audit to be conducted. 74 b. Quarterly Audit 75 Mr. Trujillo, who is the HACLC's contracted quarterly auditor, presented the audit to 76 address questions and concerns that the Board may have. Mr. Trujillo was directed to 77 audit the Maintenance Department. The report is for the quarter ending March 31, 1997. 78 The purpose of the audit was to determine any strengths and weaknesses that may exist 79 in internal controls, financial reporting and in the operation of the department. It was also 80 requested that Mr. Trujillo review the HACLC's PHMAP; in particular, the indicators that 81 correspond to maintenance. As a result of the audit, Mr. Trujillo and his staff did not find 82 any major weaknesses. However, they did point out minor items that need attention which 83 are as follows: 84 gw The Maintenance/Inventory Aide should be given a computer access code to those 85 inventory programs that are necessary for the accomplishment of his work. The 2 1 86 supervisor should not permit his access code to be used by anyone else. 87 All personnel have been instructed not to share their access codes. Also, the 88 Maintenance/Inventory Aide now has his own access code so he may continue to work on 89 his required computer program duties. The Maintenance Foreman was instructed to 90 reprogram his access code. 91 tw Evidence that the inventory records were not current at the time of the audit suggests 92 that a periodic physical inspection of inventories should be conducted by the Maintenance 93 Department and matched to inventory records, especially for the larger items such as 94 appliances. It was mentioned that the Accounting Department also does an annual 95 physical inventory. 96 Since the Maintenance Department has the majority of the transferable items (appliances, 97 tools, maintenance materials, etc.) under the HACLC inventory, the Maintenance Foreman 98 suggested that the Maintenance/Inventory Aide conduct a monthly inventory of the 99 Maintenance Department. The Accounting Department will continue to do an annual 100 inventory. 101 The Maintenance Inventory Aide should notify the Accounting Department whenever 102 property is acquired from tenants who are deceased or who have left property behind. 103 This property should be accounted for and safeguarded until disposed of in accordance 104 with HACLC procedures. The recommendation has been noted and implemented in the 105 HACLC's internal controls procedure. 106 C. U. S. HUD Conference 107 Ms. Hope Bueno, Truant Officer, Ms. Robbie Levy, FSS Coordinator, and Mr. Al Vizcarra, 108 CAP Coordinator were panelists in a recently sponsored Public and Indian Housing 109 meeting on "Multi-Cultural Perspectives for Succeeding With Welfare Reform." They 110 shared information on the success of their prospective programs as well as received 111 information on programs around the country that are working and achieving important 112 results. The meeting will be utilized by HUD to assist them in determining the needs of 113 the public housing residents in reference to welfare reform. HUD has indicated that they 114 will send an overview or summary of the meeting for review. Mr. Vizcarra stated that they 3 115 discussed the HACLC's Teens Needing Teens (TNT) and its truancy policy. They were 116 given three standing ovations at the end of the conference. 117 d. Drug Elimination-Budget Review 118 The Public Housing Drug Elimination Grant 1994 (two year grant), expires on May 31, 119 1997. Mr. Holguin explained that the HACLC provided the educational and recreational 120 activities and protective services as prescribed in the grant. The total grant was for 121 $95,700.00. In reviewing the budget, the HACLC over budgeted on two line items. First 122 is the protective services account. Presently, the agency has a contract with Las Cruces 123 Security which patrols the public housing neighborhoods. The HACLC is within its budget 124 and anticipates to have approximately $6, 500.00 left in the budget. The other account 125 with a balance is the telephone service. The HACLC anticipates to have approximately 126 $2,000.00 left in the budget. The total balance that requires a budget revision is 127 $8,500.00. The Board recommended the unexpended funds be utilized to purchase 128 computers and printers for the Taylor and Locus community centers. 129 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion authorizing the HACLC to expend the $8,500 130 in the 1994 Drug Elimination Grant by procuring computer and printers for the Taylor and 131 Locus community centers. So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by 132 Commissioner Chavez. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval.. 133 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 134 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 135 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 136 Motion carried. 137 e. Memorandum of Agreement - Resident Council 138 Mr. Holguin stated that there is a resident council at the neighborhood site of NM3-2, 139 named The United Residents of Taylor Center, Inc., (URTC, Inc.,) . Presently, the RC 140 and the HACLC are working on developing a working relationship. They have developed 141 a memorandum of agreement to help solidify this relationship. The United Residents of 142 Taylor Center, Inc., as well as some members of the Statewide Resident Organization of 143 New Mexico were in attendance at the meeting to introduce themselves and inform the 144 Board of their purpose and future direction. 4 145 Mr. Edward J. Nevarez stated that he is a consultant for the New Mexico Statewide 146 Resident Organization (SRO) and introduced Ms. Rhonda Armijo, Corresponding 147 Secretary, and Mrs. Priscilla Melgar, Reporting Secretary of the SRO. Ms. Armijo is a 148 resident of the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority and is the President of the Resident 149 Council; whereas Mrs. Melgar is a Taos County Housing Authority resident and the 150 President of that Resident Council. These people stated their mission concerning the 151 SRO and how it's their objective to help the URTC, Inc., in acquiring a Tenant 152 Opportunities Program (TOP) grant worth approximately $100,000. 153 Mr. Nevarez further stated that the URTC, Inc., is to educate and train residents and help 154 them grow professionally as well as personally. He commented that this is a very diverse 155 group of residents that is learning to get along with one another. The SRO has been in 156 Las Cruces almost every week assisting the URTC, Inc., in developing its by-laws and 157 rules and regulations. Mr. Nevarez mentioned that there will be a training in building a 158 strategic plan at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, New Mexico from April 17th 159 to the 20th. 160 Mr. Holguin introduced the officers of the URTC, Inc., as Ms. Maria Ceballos, President; 161 Mrs. Julia Garza, Vice President and Ms. Gloria Montoya, Treasurer. Not present at the 162 meeting was Ms. Crystal Covin, Secretary. The officers of URTC, Inc., stated that they 163 were very happy and proud to have a resident council created in their housing 164 neighborhood. They expect that the council as well as the residents will take advantage 165 of the opportunities that will come forth from being in a resident council. The Board 166 reviewed the memorandum of agreement as presented to them and suggested minor 167 language and grammar changes. 168 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to approve the Memorandum of Agreement as 169 amended by the Board. So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by 170 Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval.- 171 pproval:171 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 172 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 173 Commissioner Holmes voted in favor. 174 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 5 175 Motion carried. 176 Note: Commissioner Holmes informed the Board that she needed to leave tonight's 177 meeting early due to personal reasons. 178 f. Memorandum of Agreement - Head Start Program 179 Mr. Holguin explained that the HACLC has two Head Start Programs. One is located at 180 2220 Lester and the other at 1495 Casa Drive. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) 181 was developed approximately three years ago. The staff believes that the document 182 needs to be revised. A copy of the present MOA was included in the board packet that 183 was recently submitted with a current signature from Mary Jane Embury, Project Director 184 of the Dona Ana County Head Start. Ms. Embury wishes to continue with the same MOA 185 but the staff is proposing a revision to the MOA with the following amendments: 186 0 Outline in more detail the HACLC's maintenance responsibility. 187 0 State what utility costs will be absorbed by the HACLC and Head Start. 188 0 Prescribe that a percentage (50%?) of children in the HACLC's public housing 189 community must be attending the Head Start program. 190 0 Include an option to cancel the agreement by either party. 191 192 Ms. Embury and Mr. Holguin have briefly discussed the MOA and she is expecting some 193 revisions. An MOA draft with the revisions will be presented to the Board at next month's 194 meeting. 195 g. Federal Preferences 196 Mr. Holguin has been reviewing the HACLC's Admissions and Continued Occupancy 197 Policy in order to update it as per HUD's recommendations. In review of HUD's continuing 198 resolution, PHAs have the option to repeal the federal preferences. It is also the option of 199 PHAs to adopt local preferences. Mr. Holguin's recent training in reference to the Section 200 8 Administrative Plan indicated that other housing authorities around the state are 201 choosing to repeal the federal preference and avoid adopting any local preference. It is 202 his understanding that the incoming Executive Director, Mr. Wingard has also adopted the 203 no preference option. 204 If the HACLC continues with its local preference, the agency is still in the same mode of 205 weighing preferences and continuing to attempt to rationalize who is in more need of 206 housing. On a daily basis the staff is explaining to applicants why other applicants are 6 207 higher ranked even though the applicant in question applied at an earlier date. The 208 method of ranking the applicants based on "most need" has always been questioned. The 209 question as to when will/ be housed?, is never really answered because the applicants 210 are ranked against other applicants. Applicants' status are always changing. One day 211 applicant "A" may have a high ranking and the next applicant "B" may come in with a 212 different preference and out rank applicant "A"; therefore, dropping applicant "A" another 213 notch down the waiting list. 214 Another burden on the applicant is that s/he has to remember to keep in mind the list of 215 the preferences that is available to him/her and try to keep his/her file updated so s/he 216 may be properly ranked on the waiting list. 217 On March 3, 1997, the HACLC held a public hearing to announce the proposed repeal of 218 federal preferences and to receive feedback from the public as to adoption of local 219 preferences. Only one participant attended the hearing, Ms. Julia McClendon , Executive 220 Director of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. Her request is to adopt a local 221 preference for the homeless, if the HACLC is to continue with local preferences. As per 222 HUD regulations, the HACLC announced the hearing in the local newspaper (SUN 223 NEWS) and had an outreach to public and social agencies as to its proposed changes. 224 The public had a month in which to respond but no other recommendations were brought 225 to its attention. 226 Mr. Holguin recommended that the agency revert to its old method (before federal 227 preferences were mandated) to serve the public on a first-come first-served basis. This 228 method greatly reduces the doubt as to when an applicant is going to be served and the 229 doubt as to whom is in most need of housing assistance. He has witnessed both methods 230 (with preferences and without preferences) and in conclusion, it is the fairest method to 231 use when assisting applicants for housing. 232 h. Montana Apartment Assessment 233 The HACLC recently received a response from Mr. Erickson, who stated that the HACLC 234 will have to pay the assessment performed on the 370 Montana property. The agency 235 received a waiver on the penalties and accrued interest. 236 7 237 i. NM 3-11 Project Update 238 The drawings for the new construction of 19 units for NM3-11 are slowly evolving after the 239 recent problems regarding the Staff Architect's computer, which Mr. Hassell briefly 240 reiterated. In approximately four weeks the construction documents will be completed. 241 The project will then go out to bid. Upon completing the above, the Modernization 242 Department will begin working on the construction documents pertaining to the storage 243 doors at NM3-3. This process will take approximately three weeks to complete. 244 j. Ad Hoc Committee Meeting 245 Mr. Holguin stated that the next Ad Hoc Committee meeting is set for April 9, 1997 at 4:00 246 p.m. in Room A, at Branigan Library, 200 E. Picacho, Las Cruces, NM. On the agenda is: 247 1. Comments and suggestions from Housing Authority Staff. 248 2. Purpose and objective of Housing Authority Ad Hoc Committee. 249 k. FSS Graduate - Diane Astorga 250 Ms. Levey explained that Ms. Diana Astorga is the fifth FSS participant in the last ten 251 months to successfully complete the HACLC FSS Program. She has been an FSS 252 participant since April 1, 1995. When signing her FSS Contract of Participation, Ms. 253 Astorga, a single mother of three children, enrolled in the Project Forward Volunteer Work 254 Experience with the Protective Services Division of Children, Youth and Families. 255 Due to her superior work as a volunteer with the Protective Services Division, Ms. Astorga 256 was hired as a full-time employee in October, 1995. In November, 1995, she began 257 receiving $192/month in her FSS escrow account. As Ms. Astorga's earned income 258 increased, her monthly escrow increased to $294/month. When Ms. Astorga successfully 259 completed the FSS Program on February 28, 1997, she had accumulated $4,207.87 260 (including interest) in her FSS escrow account. 261 At the February, 1997 FSS Seminar, Ms. Astorga shared her experiences with FSS 262 participants. Her words of encouragement were motivating to all who attended. 263 Because of hard work and perseverance, she and her family are planning to purchase a 264 new home in the community. Ms. Astorga continues her full time employment, and she 265 and her children are now economically independent and self-sufficient! 8 266 I. FSS Graduate - Lydia Castillo 267 Ms. Levey explained that Ms. Lydia Castillo has been a participant in the Family Self- 268 Sufficiency Program since October 1, 1995. When signing her FSS Contract of 269 Participation, Ms. Castillo had recently begun employment at American Linen. She had 270 previously received AFDC, and had decided that it was time to find employment. 271 Ms. Castillo is currently employed full time in the Distribution Department at American 272 Linen in Las Cruces. She is the single mother of two children. Ms. Castillo and her 273 daughter were both employed full time at the time that Ms. Castillo signed her FSS 274 Contract of Participation. According to Mr. Ruben Trujillo, FSS/Section 8 Housing 275 Counselor, when an earned increase occurred, it put this family's income over the low 276 income limit. Because of this, no escrow was received. However, since August, 1995, 277 Ms. Castillo and her family have been completely off all welfare assistance. Because of 278 hard work and perseverance, Ms. Castillo and her family are economically independent 279 and self-sufficient! 280 12. Closed Session - a discussion regarding limited personnel matters. 281 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to go into closed session at 11:22 p.m. So 282 moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson 283 Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 284 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 285 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 286 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 287 Motion carried. 288 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to reconvene into open session at 11:35 p.m. 289 So moved by Commissioner Chavez. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. Chairperson 290 Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 291 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 292 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 293 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 294 Motion carried. 295 9 296 The Board discussed reimbursing Vice Chairperson Williams for telephone calls and 297 business meal expenses related to the candidates who vied for the Executive Director's 298 position. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion for reimbursement of expenditures 299 incurred related to the interview process. So moved by Commissioner Ryan. Seconded 300 by Commissioner Chavez. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 301 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 302 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 303 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 304 Motion carried. 305 * The Board discussed reimbursing the expenses for two prospective candidates for the 306 Executive Director's position. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to pay for 307 expenses incurred by Mr. J. D. Foster (gas and lodging) and by Mr. John L. Wingard 308 (airfare, hotel and mileage) each of whom submitted invoices to the Board. So moved by 309 Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Chavez. Chairperson Gutierrez 310 took a vote for approval: 311 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 312 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 313 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 314 Motion carried. 315 * The Board discussed the employment contract for Mr. John L. Wingard, the new 316 Executive Director. Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion to approve the 317 employment contract for Mr. Wingard as the newly hired Executive Director. 318 So moved by Vice Chairperson Williams. Seconded by Commissioner Ryan. 319 Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for approval: 320 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 321 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 322 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 323 Motion carried. 324 325 10 326 13. Recommendations and Comments by Board Members. 327 a-c The Board stated that in the future they would like to be informed about the HACLC's 328 group health insurance renewals for employees. They also stated that they would like for 329 the HACLC to place all of its insurance policies under one group policy instead of 330 separate policies as they are currently done now. 331 14. Other Business. 332 6u Ms. Mary T. Torres, Attorney, stated that the Board requested that she research and /or 333 perform certain tasks in rendering legal advice concerning the possibility of the HACLC 334 revising its current military leave policy, draft a proposed contract for the Executive 335 Director, review the legal ramifications of a certain project and review the procurement 336 policies of HUD and the State of New Mexico concerning the procurement of attorney 337 services by the HACLC. 338 Ms. Torres explained that pursuant to New Mexico Department of Labor statutes 339 concerning veterans and reserve personnel, any public employee shall be given up to 340 fifteen (15) days of military leave with pay in addition to any other leave or vacation time 341 with pay to which that employee is otherwise entitled. The HACLC's personnel policies 342 and procedures manual addresses military leave on page IV-8. Currently, the policy 343 states that employees shall receive unpaid military leave which is contrary to New Mexico 344 Labor statutes and as such, the policy must be changed to reflect New Mexico Labor 345 statutes. 346 She recommended that the HACLC replace the first sentence of Military on page IV-8 in 347 the personnel policy to read the following: 348 "An employee who enters active military duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, National 349 guard or Reserve Unit, will be granted up to fifteen days paid military leave when 350 that employee is ordered to active duty training. It is understood that this leave is 351 in addition to other leave or vacation time due that employee". 352 353 Ms. Torres went on to say that if there are employees who have taken military leave 354 without pay then they will need to be reimbursed. Since the statute of limitations on such 355 a claim is three years, she suggested that HACLC records be reviewed for the past three 356 years and reimbursement be instituted to employees so affected. The Board concurred 357 with Ms. Torres' legal advise and requested Mr. Holguin to draft up a resolution to revise 11 358 the Military Leave policy for next month's meeting and proceed in reimbursing any 359 employee(s) who may have been affected by this policy. 360 The Board reviewed the proposed employment contract for the Executive Director and 361 accepted it. They stated that it will be sent to Mr. Wingard for his signature. 362 In reference to the procurement policy, Ms. Torres stated that it consists of different 363 policies of which the HACLC abides by the most stringent. According to Ms. Cindy 364 Gorman, Director of the Office of Public Housing, housing authorities go with the most 365 stringent policies. State procurement policy recognizes two types of professional 366 services. She pointed out that in procuring legal services, the HACLC does not have to 367 contract out for such services if the cost is under $25,000. HUD says to look at state 368 procurement policy. If it is under $10,000 it does not care, however, if it is over $10,000 369 then the Board needs to review it. Ms. Torres suggested going along with HUD and 370 change the professional services in the HACLC's procurement policy. She concluded that 371 she would draft up a letter for Chairperson Gutierrez' signature. The Board concluded 372 that they will review future potential changes to the procurement policy with the new 373 Executive Director and staff prior to implementing those changes. 374 Bw Mr. Holguin stated that there is a strong indication that the HACLC will receive CDBG 375 funds to continue Ms. Bueno's position as the HACLC's Truant Officer. 376 " Mr. Holguin stated that there will be a training session on the implementation of a new 377 social security (SS) and supplemental security income (SSI) verification program for 378 individuals supervising the function of (re)certifying tenants for housing assistance. The 379 Albuquerque HUD Office will be implementing the program for public housing agencies 380 and Indian housing authorities in New England, New York/New Jersey, Mid-Atlantic, 381 Southeast/Caribbean, Midwest and Southwest HUD Regions. The training will take place 382 on May 1, 1997 at the Technical-Vocational Institute Auditorium in Albuquerque. Mr. 383 Holguin further stated that he would like to send Mr. Jesse Padilla, Senior Housing 384 Counselor for public housing, and Mr. Joe Barrio, Jr., a Section 8 Housing Counselor, to 385 this training which will enable them to train the rest of the housing counselors about this 386 program. The Board concurred with Mr. Holguin's decision. 387 12 388 Mr. Holguin stated he would like to send Mr. Paul Bazan; Housing Counselor, for 389 training as a Certified Occupancy Specialist since he is the only housing counselor in 390 charge of the Multifamily Housing Program (Section 8 New Construction). The National 391 Center for Housing Management (NCHM) will be sponsoring the training in Albuquerque 392 from June 18th to the 20th. The Board concurred with Mr. Holguin's decision that Mr. 393 Bazan be certified. 394 15. Adjournment. 395 Chairperson Gutierrez entertained a motion for adjournment. So moved by Commissioner 396 Chavez. Seconded by Vice Chairperson Williams. Chairperson Gutierrez took a vote for 397 approval: 398 Vice Chairperson Williams voted in favor. 399 Commissioner Ryan voted in favor. 400 Commissioner Chavez voted in favor. 401 Motion carried. 402 Adjournment 11:50 p.m. 403SES ;:���N�»N.,..,. APPROVED BY, 404 pf tNQ *�ti 405 406 sa ��,' , 407 NEt�i'11p Lorraine R. Gutierrez, Chairperson 408 s ' 409 410 'x• 411 412 SUBMITTED BY, 413 414 415 416 417 J. L. Wig Executiv Directo 418 419 13