Homestead - South Dade

Vice Chair seat up for grabs for the Homestead Housing Authority

The Homestead Housing Authority commission board voted to re-elect current chairman Michael Goodman during its meeting on June 18.

The vice chair seat, however, is still up for grabs.

There was a nomination to consider Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez for the position, which is currently held by by Russell Black. But the vote was deferred to next month’s meeting because Rodriguez was not at the meeting.

“We deferred because we didn’t know if [Rodriguez] would accept the nomination,” Goodman said. Later in the meeting, Goodman said that Rodriguez “texted Human Resources back and said that she did accept.”

The commission will need a re-vote to approve Goodman as chair, and also to elect a vice chair at the next meeting, which will be held on July 16.

The board also revisited the issue of its decorum policy, a subject that concerned HHA officials last month, particularly Commissioner Lois Jones.

“I’ve been listening to School Board meetings on the radio and reading up on my Roberts Rules, and I know that we’re too loose,” Goodman said.

Jones, one of the board’s oldest members, said the HHA has had “horrible meetings in the past” and that she was tired of seeing meeting “run like a fish market,” where people raised their voices or spoke out of turn.

“We did see a fair bit of chaos in October,” Goodman agreed.

During Thursday’s meeting, the board reviewed a new draft of a decorum policy that mirrored the City of Homestead’s standard.

“I’m not opposed to this, but what I would like is time to compare this to the bylaws that we already have,” Goodman said.

Approval of HHA’s new procedural policy was deferred to allow more time for the commissioners to review the amendments.

In Executive Director Shane White’s report, he reviewed his eight months as director — including his move to hire two skilled employees rather than renew re-modeling contracts, which saved HHA $9,000.

Also in his report:

▪ HHA negotiated a new contract with a security company that will save $2,500;

▪ A new contract with Waste Management in the community center will bring a yearly savings of $11,830;

▪ A new property insurance policy will save the board $30,000 a year.

Commissioner Jones ended the meeting by praising White.

“Everything you do is transparent and you keep us updated, and that’s what we need,” Jones said. “You are doing wonderful job.”