SRHA votes to let council in

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

In a move that seemingly reflects the board’s desire to heal some old wounds with City Council, Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority commissioners have unanimously supported the inclusion of council members during their closed sessions.

Board members made the decision Tuesday night, which led to council liaison Linda Johnson’s first time in a two-hour closed-door meeting with the commissioners. Board Chairman Mary Richardson said that action came at the request of council.


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The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows government bodies to convene in closed sessions to discuss issues such as personnel and pending contracts, which may require confidentiality to avoid jeopardizing the outcome.

Board attorney Howard Martin disclosed in a prepared statement, which is always read prior to a closed meeting, that the board would discuss personnel issues and a Request For Proposals (RFP).

City officials have sent the SRHA a RFP regarding pending neighborhood development projects, for which leaders are also seeking the services of outside private contractors. City officials have questioned whether the SRHA can handle the magnitude of proposed development projects on the drawing board, given its primary concentration in public housing.

In other business, board members questioned when the positions of development director and administrative and finance manager would be filled. According to SRHA Executive Director Clarissa E. McAdoo, the development position will be filled on March 17. She expects an answer from a prospective hire for the administrative post by Friday.

Commissioner Roy Waller asked whether the objectives set by the board for the executive director earlier this month had been formalized. A week after a meeting that drew more than 100 supporters for McAdoo – following public and internal criticism of recent personnel actions – board members established goals for her. Two of these measures include ensuring that employees do their jobs correctly, and following up with timely responses to residents’ complaints. McAdoo said she has been working on the list with staff.

Members anticipate voting on the guidelines at next month’s meeting, and the commissioners also plan to establish a list of goals for the board.