HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
December 14, 2010
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Rob Handy presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Joe Inman, Judith Pothier, Pete Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. Bill Fleenor was present via speakerphone. County Administrator Liane Richardson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Handy announced Dwyer’s retirement party for Thursday night.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
3. COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson noted the community service that Dwyer and Fleenor gave to the Housing Agency.
Dwyer stated that he might do some housing in the future because the government has a hard time building affordable housing.
4. REGULAR BUSINESS
a. DISCUSSION/Agency’s Draft Strategic Plan.
Stan Biles, Consultant, discussed the Agency’s Draft Strategic Plan. (Copy in file).
Larry Abel, HACSA, commented that this is very detailed and very ambitious. He said they want to push themselves to not just maintain themselves as an excellent Housing Authority, but to further that into the future. He said one of the goals is to raise $1 million in new funds in the next five years because federal funding will be reduced.
Dwyer was concerned about people who have single wide trailers that can’t be moved pre 1976. He said they don’t meet code. He was happy that the strategy meeting with Springfield took place because the cities and Housing need to take a role in this. He thought it was a great opportunity for the Housing Authority to operate a mobile home park. He thought that was where they needed to go. He commented that the most vulnerable people in the community live in trailers and they are crying for help.
Abel hoped there won’t be major changes to the Strategic Plan. He said they will come back to the Board to get approval tomorrow. He indicated that it is a five year plan and if there are substantial things the Board wanted changed they could do it next year. He thought it was important for this Board to approve the plan before the new commissioners come on board because they don’t have the history. He indicated that a strategy is to look at public housing units and to sell some off. He said this year they will identify which units they will be. He thought some could be between $200,000 and $300,000. He said if they did what Dwyer requested, (increasing their stock of affordable housing) that it would be something good to do. He said the residents would either get Section 8 vouchers, other units they manage so no one would be displaced. He believed that public housing is important. He said they feel strongly about not getting rid of all public housing, because the funding is getting difficult.
Fleenor believed in incorporating performance measures and accountability into a Strategic Plan. He didn’t think they hit the target when it comes to accountability with their Executive Director. He thought an additional Goal 5 could develop a process of governance that allows the elected Board and its appointees to more effectively evaluate and interact with the CEO of this organization. He said he is not comfortable with how they are interacting. He believed it is an area that needs to be focused on and expanded as to the governance interaction. He didn’t see flexibility, adaptability and agility mentioned in the Strategic Plan. He thought by putting in a fifth goal they could get this finished . He wanted to develop a process by which they evaluate the Executive Director. He thought they were close to hitting a solid Strategic Plan if they were able to put in a governance/accountability piece.
Biles assumed the Executive Director was primarily responsible to the Board of Commissioners to the full implementation of the Strategic Plan. He asked whether there are enough quantifiable goals for the Board of Commissioners in an annual evaluation to use the Strategic Plan and incorporate that into a review of not only the organization but the Executive Director position. He thought they could add another goal to take it to another level.
Fleenor stated that the relationship between the Board and the CEO needs to be more defined with respect to how they interact and hold the Executive Director accountable and how often. He said they need to be cognizant that the elected body and its relationship to the Executive Officer needs to have a dynamic that might not have been necessary before, but in this financial environment, he believed they needed to tighten the relationship so they can work collectively to the changing environment.
Abel asked the Board how they thought he was doing. He stated that has not had an evaluation and he welcomes one. He thought want Fleenor requested needs to be initiated by the Board. He said the Board needs to tell him what kind of relationship they want and how it is going to work. He recommended that when the new Board is formulated that they sit down together and work on the process and put it into the Strategic Plan next year.
Fleenor asked to put it as Goal 5, developing a strategic relationship between the Board and the Executive Officer with respect to accountability, performance measures and the evolving relationship. He stated that it has been a difficult communication process. He also wanted to know what Abel wanted from the Board.
Stewart thought they could put in a Goal 5 and make it vague, as an effort to bring the Board into a better working relationship with the director. He believed that would be more focused on an evaluation and work plan specifically from the Board to the director. He thought this was more of a plan as a guide for the director to use to achieve the goals stated with the organization as a whole. He thought it should be two separate processes. He recalled in the past two years they have reached out and done a better job of being more involved.
Sorenson commented that the main purpose of the Strategic Plan is for the agency, not for the Board or the Executive Director. He thought issues raised by Fleenor about the structure on how the HACSA meeting goes is up to the Board. He thought evaluating the Executive Director was a two-way street but it is primarily the Board’s role is setting up and having an opportunity for an evaluation. He favored a bigger opportunity to have more time. He cautioned that this was about the Strategic Plan for HACSA.
Pothier commented that as they look at this, they need to be open for change on how they have done things and to be more aware. She thought they could gain more knowledge than by just passing board items. She said as the Strategic Plan is developing and it changes, that they need to change their thinking so they can have the communication to be able to flow as a team.
Handy recalled the Board directed staff to complete a succession plan since many of HACSA key employees have been working for over 20 years. He said it become apparent that in order to determine the knowledge skills and abilities needed by the replacement, it was important to establish the direction the agency would be taking. With regard to Goal 5, he said there was enough interest on the Board and they could put in a stakeholder the Board could consider for tomorrow and to help with the new Board members in the new year. He thought goals were stated clearly and there are strategies for each goal. He added there are action steps for each strategy and there is a schedule for each action step. He said they have identified responsible staff. He liked that there was a more detailed plan than most Strategic Plans and the key will be the Board will receiving specific and timely updates with how the goals are being measured and implemented. He asked what the involvement should be at the end of year one.
Biles said he advises his clients for Strategic Planning to build into their schedule on the day of adoption a one year review and to do it every year. He added at the end of the year they revisit the goals to see if they still make sense. He indicated that strategies will be needed to be developed for year two and they will be determined a success or not from the strategies in year one.
Dwyer thought that August 1 of every year they need to review what was expected up through June 30 of the previous year.
Handy reported that tomorrow there will be a board order approving the agency’s five year strategic plan. He thought Fleenor and Biles could work on a plan to put in Strategic Goal 5 that could address the center of the Board based on comments and the Board will take it up tomorrow as a potential amendment.
There being no further business, Commissioner Handy adjourned the meeting at 9:05 a.m.