SRHA endorses Hinton

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

If the wheels keep moving at the current pace, the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners could expand to eight members as early as next month.

After more than a year of confusion surrounding Resident-at-large member Thelma Hinton’s non-voting role on the board, it appears that she will finally have an official say. Hinton has sat on the board for almost two years and has been very vocal in her quest to gain voting power.


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The SRHA Board Commissioners met in closed session Tuesday night to discuss the change. Initially, five names were forwarded to City Council for consideration, and the board was then asked to endorse one Tuesday night. Hinton’s ability to win the majority of the votes during a public housing election in November led to the board’s choice, explained Board Chairman Mary V. Richardson.

&uot;I think it’s great that she can now vote,&uot; said Richardson. &uot;She’s an advocate for the people. She always spoke for them. Now she can vote for them.&uot;

Also at issue has been the housing authority’s request to expand the board to a ninth member, representing the Section 8 community. Patricia Briggs was elected to that post last year as well, but has yet to sit on the board. Richardson said Wednesday that council will not support the addition of a ninth member.

Council is scheduled to vote on adding Hinton as the eighth voting member during its April 2 meeting, according to Mayor E. Dana Dickens III.

At its March 19th meeting, council voted to add an eighth seat to the SRHA board, in accordance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s federal mandate that a public housing or Section 8 resident serve on each local housing board.

Dickens said he didn’t know why it has taken the council so long the idea to act on the issue. &uot;It’s been brought up in the past but no action was ever been taken on it,&uot; he said.