Nominations and Appointment Committee Report 08/02/21
Nominations & Appointments Committee
Monday, August 2, 2021
Attendance: Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz (electronically) S. Marmarou
Others Attending: S. Smith, B. Rivera, (electronically)
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Mr. Marmarou.
- Stacey Taylor – Reappointment to the Human Relations Commission (HRC)
Mr. Marmarou noted that since Ms. Taylor is a reappointment and he questioned if there is anything that could use improving on this Commission. Ms. Taylor stated that she just would like to stress the importance of communication in not just this group but all groups that come together for a specific mission. She stated that transparency is crucial and so is awareness and those two components can be met by open communication.
Mr. Marmarou questioned if all requirements are being followed by the standards set forth by HUD. Ms. Taylor stated that she believes this to be so and with the moratorium being in place, it has become more challenging to make certain that all needs are being met. She stated that many of those who rent are having hardships in meeting their rent payment and it is the HRC’s mission to ensure that landlords are doing their part and not charging unrealistic rates to tenants.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz questioned that with the moratorium being removed in the coming months, how will this affect those that will be obligated to pay their rent. Ms. Taylor stated that it will definitely be challenging in the months ahead to address this. She believes that more people will be displaced and forced to move in with relatives. This will create unsafe living conditions as many of them will be in overcrowded homes that are not suitable for large numbers. Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz concurred. Ms. Taylor also added that some landlords are not doing their part in terms of maintaining properties up to standards and that too puts a strain on the tenants.
Mr. Marmarou brought up a scenario in which there is clear overcrowding in a home which is causing safety concerns among other concerns. He questioned if the HRC gets involved with this type of circumstance. Ms. Taylor stated that she has heard of such cases and has heard that intervention has been implemented. Ms. Taylor again stressed that some landlords are charging such high rates in rent which are not warranted by the conditions of the property and these tenants which are of mostly poverty-level income cannot come up with the rent when they are just struggling to put food on the table for their families. She stated that maybe something can be proposed regarding rent controlled situations like is the case in bigger cities.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz commended Ms. Taylor on her positive contribution to this Commission and all of her efforts to that end. She questioned if there is something that the City can do to assist with the housing crisis we have in the City. Ms. Taylor stated that there are many variables to coming up with a solution. There needs to be better paying jobs and there needs to be a way that rent rates can be controlled so that more people can stay in their homes long term without the threat of eviction because they are unable to make their rent payment.
Mr. Marmarou stated that sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes people just don’t want to pay what they need to pay and create these overcrowded neighborhoods with limited parking due to overcrowded homes. Ms. Taylor agreed that in some cases he is right.
The Nominations and Appointments Committee recommends the reappointment of Stacey Taylor to the Human Relations Commission.
- Maria Delgado – Appointment to the Housing Authority
Mr. Marmarou questioned why Ms. Delgado is interested in serving on the Housing Authority. Ms. Delgado stated that she has been actively working within the community for about 25 years. She worked for Children Services and would visit homes to make assessments. She then worked for the Hispanic Center and worked with seniors as a caseworker for 18 years finding them suitable housing spaces.
Mr. Marmarou presented a hypothetical situation to Ms. Delgado regarding poor living conditions due to overcrowding and questioned how this would have been handled as a caseworker. Ms. Delgado responded to the scenario and there was a short discussion regarding the scenario.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that she is impressed by Ms. Delgado’s background and experience. She believes that Ms. Delgado will make a valuable addition to the Authority with her knowledge.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz commented that in her observation, most, if not all, of the low income housing is concentrated in the City and not County-wide. She questioned if this is something in the current policy of the Housing Authority and if it can be changed. Ms. Delgado stated that she is currently unfamiliar with how the policy reads but that she makes a good point that if it does read that way, can the policy be rewritten or revised.
Both Mr. Marmarou and Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz thanked Ms. Delgado for her interest in serving on the Housing Authority.
The Nominations and Appointments Committee recommends the appointment of Maria Delgado to the Housing Authority.
- James Schlegel – Reappointment to the Stadium Commission
Mr. Marmarou stated that he is aware that Mr. Schlegel enjoys what he does. Mr. Schlegel mentioned that he’s so dedicated to serving on the Stadium Commission that he is currently on vacation as he is being interviewed. Mr. Marmarou questioned if he had any suggestions on improving things at the stadium. Mr. Schlegel stated that it is quite helpful to have Mr. Marmarou as a liaison as it’s a direct connection to City Council.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that their communication could have been better as she didn’t learn about the latest developments regarding the stadium until she read about it in the newspaper. Mr. Schlegel agreed and apologized for the lack of communication. Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that though all was resolved quickly and without issue, it may have been handled more smoothly if it had been communicated more effectively. There was some discussion on how meeting notes are handled and at what point during the process Mr. Marmarou is apprised.
Mr. Marmarou stated that since Mr. Schlegel has been in charge, the Commission has accomplished so much and he is really pleased with his level of commitment and his overall involvement.
Mr. Marmarou spoke of when he was the chairman of the Stadium Commission and how much involvement there was back then. He stated that somewhere along the line, the involvement waned but now it is back to what it should be and he is pleased about it.
Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that she has been very uneasy regarding the vaping area permitted at the Stadium as it has been acknowledged and documented by professionals to be just as harmful as cigarette smoking. Her concern is that it is sending out the wrong message to the public and she questioned Mr. Schlegel what he believes would be an appropriate resolve to this. She stated that the City has every right to intervene as the stadium is considered City property but she would like an amicable resolve to this as it is a sensitive topic. Mr. Schlegel recalls having this conversation with Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz some time ago. He stated that he does believe it is something that requires addressing and he understands the health concerns associated with this issue. It will definitely be discussed and addressed. Ms. Goodman-Hinnershitz stated that as a Councilwoman, she will only support the Stadium if and when this is addressed; that is how important it is to her. Mr. Schlegel stated that he will see to it that this is on the agenda before year’s end.
The Nominations and Appointments Committee recommends the reappointment of James Schlegel to the Stadium Commission.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:41pm.
Bea Rivera, Legislative Aide