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:
- Mayorga has served on the board for several years until spring of this year.
- She has a level of knowledge about the operation HADCO that no other candidate has bar none.
- 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.
- She has demonstrated the leadership to try to move HADCO the right, meaning lawful, direction.
- 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 www.citizensnews.wordpress.com or through our website at www.cea4justice.org. 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.