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Housing authority board members needed

by Jefferson Weaver on 30th-May-2014

City council and staff are trying to find three new members for the Whiteville Housing Authority.

WHA Director Carla Shaw asked the council this week for candidates for two open and one pending open seat on the housing board. The group sets policies for public housing, among other duties, and meets once per quarter.

Mayor Terry Mann said Shaw contacted him because the city is responsible for two members of the board, “and they don’t have any nominees.”

Robin Graham and Lyndon Merritt have completed their five-year terms on the board, and are not seeking re-appointment. Board chair Todd Collins agreed to stay on while the replacements are recruited and brought on board, but he also wants to resign. He is only staying on to keep the WHA operational and to provide some transition assistance for the new board members.

Councilman Tim Blackmon, noting the lack of volunteers in the city, asked if board members had to be city residents.

“We have a lot of people outside of town who would do some good for the community,” Blackmon said.

City Clerk Bonnie Williams checked the statute and the city’s ordinance describing the WHA, but could find no requirement that members be city residents. It was also noted by Williams and City Manager Larry Faison that the WHA has authority at least ten miles from the city limits.
The board agreed to send nominations to Mann, and vote on the best qualified at the next meeting.

The Housing Authority meets once per quarter, and members receive no compensation except for approved travel expenses. Terms are generally for five years.

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