All In The HADCO Commission Pot!

It is interesting how some controversy can bring out more interest in a County appointed volunteer position than it has ever seen before.   I am not complaining mind you, I just find it interesting each time names show a keen interest in being on the HADCO Commission, yet are not known to those of us  citizens who have been following this public agency for some years now.  We do not see them at HADCO meetings, never heard them speak up about the things that HADCO was doing illegally, never a peep, but now they have enough skills and knowledge to take their seat at the helm. 

Anyway, all the candidates have put themselves forward, and now it is up to the Douglas County Commissioners to decide who will fill two HADCO Commission vacancies.  However, this does not mean we cannot have some influence about who is going to sit on this public body and represent us.  We need to let the Douglas County Commissioners know who we want on that Board. 

According to the DC Commission office, it seems that there are six people vying for the privilege:     

Shannon Gammie            Property Manager Umpqua Community Development Corporation

Richard Hunt                      UCC Nursing Student.  Has served on HADCO’s Resident Advisory Board (RAB)

Ernie Luna                           Former, Planner and Housing Developer for Umpqua Community Development Corporation.  From Myrtle Creek

Joy Mayorga                      Former HADCO Board Member

Jesse Morrow                   Umpqua Community College Public Safety Director

Jim Smalley                         Smalley Trucking in Sutherlin

I have uploaded a copy of the Applications from all of the above, which is at the bottom of these comments.  It is in one pdf document.   

Of the above candidates, we know Joy Mayorga and recommend her appointment for several reasons that I will go into a little bit below.  We also know Richard Hunt and the work he had done to improve HADCO specifically over the past few years and recommend him as well, but if the Douglas County Commissioners will only chose one of them because they are both residents of HADCO, we recommend former HADCO Commissioner Joy Mayorga above everyone else. 

The reasons are pretty compelling from our point of view:

  1.  Mayorga has served on the board for several years until spring of this year.
  2. She has a level of knowledge about the operation HADCO that no other candidate has bar none.
  3. There are several issues and concerns about HADCO going on right now that needs someone with this experience to help HADCO through some troubled times now and possibly in the near future.
  4. She has demonstrated the leadership to try to move HADCO the right, meaning lawful, direction. 
    1. An example was her efforts to help get a Resident Advisory Board set up after CEA showed her that HADCO was violating federal law by not having one. 

                                                                           i.      She did not just take our word, but she was open to what we were saying

                                                                          ii.      She then investigated on her own

                                                                        iii.      When she found out from HUD that we were correct, she took action to get the RAB established.

She did this all while being chastised for it by some of her fellow board members at the time. 

       5.  She has continued to be involved with HADCO by attending Commission meetings although she is no longer on the Board.  She continues to work with other residents to improve the quality of life of residents and HADCO’s public housing program.

Although, we have not always agreed with Mayorga when she was on the HADCO board before, and will probably have disagreements in the future, she has demonstrated that she can work with those with whom she disagrees and treat them appropriately.   This has been a challenge for some who have served on the HADCO Commission including current HADCO Commissoner Chris Spens.  These more mature interpersonal/public official skills plus her extensive background and knowledge about HADCO makes Mayorga the number one candidate bar none.   If nothing else, it is critical that Joy be put back on the HADCO Board if even for four short months.

As mentioned above, CEA also endorses Richard Hunt, but if there has to be a choice of either or, CEA must support Joy for all the reasons above, but that does not mean there are not good reasons to support Hunt.  However, all of the reasons will have to be for a later time when we make all of our recommendations. 

Yet, based on what we know about them right now, we will not be supporting the applications of Jim Smalley or Shannon Gammie.  However we would like to more about Jesse Morrow and Ernie Lund.  If anyone knows anything that would help us decide who should be appointed to the public position, please let us know. 

Ernie Luna seems a good match for HADCO’s needs although we have not seen him or any of the other candidates except Mayorga and Hunt at any Board meetings.  A concern may be that he and HADCO’s current Executive Director worked for Umpqua Community Development Corporation at the same time.  This alone would not be a reason to reject him unless this would prevent him from being able to view her and her actions objectively.   We need more info before we decide.

Jesse Morrow is program director for public safety at UCC.  People associated with CEA have had Jesse as an instructor for computer classes.  They liked him in this capacity.  However, we do not know his interest in being on the HADCO Board or what he can contribute so we rely upon folks like you to help us out here, as well as answers some questions that we have that we hope he and the other candidates will provide.    

If you are interested in why no Smalley or Gammie, we will have information on CEA’s blog by Saturday, which you can go to directly at or through our website at  We will also have our recommendations and why by then as well. 

One of the reasons why has to do with the fact that HADCO is not just some non-profit board without legal authority to do much of anything.  HADCO is a public entity that has no direct oversight of what it does except through the HADCO Board of Commissioners. 

HADCO is a lot more powerful than a private non-profit like UCAN or UCDC.  It has the same power as many other public entities in the state.  Who controls that power is extremely important not just for the residents of HADCO but all of us. 

Stay tuned for more about HADCO and the Appointment.

Take care,

Completed Applications for HADCO Commission


HADCO Commission Deadline

Tomorrow, Monday December 28, 2009 is the deadline for anyone interested in applying to be on the HADCO Board of Commissioners.  These appointments are to fill to interim vacancies.  One is to fill a two + year unexpired term and another is to fill a four month vacancy. 

Anyone who is interested can get an application from the Douglas County Commission office.  You can get the application from Tina Roy in person or by email.  But it needs to be completed and returned by the close of business tomorrow.

Spens Suspends All HADCO Business

I just sent an email to the Douglas County Commissioners asking them to remove Chris Spens from the HADCO Board of Commissioners because he is refusing to meet with his fellow HADCO Commissioners.  The email I sent to the DC Commissioners regarding this is below, which includes two emails between HADCO Commissioners. 

Dear Douglas County Commissioners,

Here is just one more reason that your decision to reappoint Chris Spens to the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners earlier this year was a mistake.  This should demonstrate to you that Mr. Spens is not interested in the well being of HADCO.  He has failed over and over again to fulfill his fiduciary duty, yet he is now in the position to control all business of the organization because he is refusing to conduct business with his fellow commissioners.

 As you should be able to extrapolate from the emails, there is a legal matter pending before the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that may have adverse consequences for HADCO.  Chris was the only current HADCO Board who was there when the complaint with BOLI was filed.   

 Chris’ refusal to meet with his fellow HADCO Commissioners is on the heels of him stalking out of the HADCO Board meeting last week.  This eliminated the quorum so business had to stop.  He left because he was not getting his way after trying to stop me from commenting on an agenda item when he had allowed other members of the audience comment agenda items previously. 

This should be grounds for removing him from the HADCO Board of Commissioners. 

 Full View

Fwd: meeting about the BOLI complaint

From: Jamie Sanchez <>

View Contact



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Christian G. Spens <>
Date: Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM
Subject: RE: meeting about the BOLI complaint
To: Jamie Sanchez <>
Cc: Dolly Newman <>


 I have no intention of attending another HADCO meeting until such time that two additional commissioners are appointed by the County Commissioners and a Chair and Vice Chair are elected. If those appointments are not made by Jan 5th I will meet for the sole purpose of fulfilling the annual plan requirements, nothing else.   


From: Jamie Sanchez []
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 9:03 AM
To: Jody Ahlstedt; Christian G. Spens
Cc: Dolly Newman

Subject: meeting about the BOLI complaint

Dear Fellow Commissioners,

 As you are well aware, we did not discuss the pending BOLI complaint at our meeting this past Thursday. After the meeting, I had asked Dolly to contact Chris to see about setting up a meeting, even if it is just an executive session, to deal with this issue. Since I have not heard back from her, I am writing to both of you to try to set up a time to have a meeting. Since we are under a time constraint here and I am not interested in the state taking adverse action against us due to our failure to act, I would like us to meet this week if possible. If both of you are available in a few days from now, could you meet to deal with this? Please remember that we have to give Dolly a few days notice so that she can notice it out to the public. If we are going to make a decision, that too has to be noticed out to the public. I look forward to hearing from both of you.



Spens Suspends HADCO Commission Meeting!

With a deadline regarding a fair housing complaint pending with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) looming over their heads, HADCO Commissioner Chris Spens stalked out of the HADCO Commission meeting and it came to abrupt halt. 

Responding to a challenge from CEA and a fellow Commissioner, Spens picked up his things and left the meeting in a huff.  In describing Spens interaction with the public and his subsequent departure, one observer said, “It was just like a 10 year old kid.”  

All of us at the meeting appeared dumbfounded when Spens left the meeting and did not return.  The remaining two HADCO Commissioners looked shocked as he walked out the door, with Commissioner Jamie Sanchez calling to him to remind him that they had an executive session scheduled to deal with the pending “BOLI complaint”.  However, Spens seemed unconcerned about leaving his fellow board members and the organization in a lurch.   

With Spens gone, there was no longer a quorum and the public business meeting had to come to an end by law.  Normally, this might not be a problem but HADCO has a pending legal matter that needs to be addressed in a public meeting, which cannot be done without all three of the current HADCO Commission members being present.  Spens knew all of this when he made the decision to depart.

It would not be surprising to discover that Spens had planned all along to end the meeting before having to go into executive session to discuss the complaint pending against HADCO for discriminating against a 5-year old disabled girl and her service animal.  After all, he is the only one on the current HADCO Commission who was there when the complaint was filed.  Historically Spens has a problem taking responsibility for his own bad behavior regarding problems at HADCO, avoiding taking responsibility for this would fit his MO.   

He already canceled one meeting schedule regarding this complaint, and seemed to drag his feet when at least one of his fellow commissioners tried to schedule the meeting that was finally held today.  Hopefully the sleazy political tactic of this novice politician will bite him in the ass when it comes to election time. 

 We must not forget that this same Chris Spens is a city councilman in Roseburg, which, by the way, is extremely puzzling to me.  I know he ran unopposed, but did the voters know this guy?  Couldn’t the city find someone better? 

 Given how he has behaved as a HADCO Commissioner over the past few years we have observed him, I cannot believe that the voters in his district are aware of his attitudes and actions then voted him in as their city councilman anyway.  Maybe he saves his bad behavior for HADCO. 

After all he has implied on more than one occasion that HADCO residents should be grateful for what they have.  Maybe he does not see the people served by the program as equal citizens deserving his respect.  He certainly does not have the sense to set aside his personal feelings long enough to take care of the public’s business.

Take care,