HRA director search narrows

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 29, 2002

The field of candidates for the opening of executive director of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Austin has been narrowed from 11 to three.

The HRA Committee met Wednesday to discuss which candidates they wanted to interview for the job and when the interviews should be held. After each committee member gave their recommendations, the committee reached a consensus and passed that recommendation on to the HRA Board, who finalized the suggestion at its meeting, which was held after the committee meeting.

The finalists are George Brophy, of Austin, who serves as the president of the Development Corporation of Austin, Mark P. Hanson, of Austin, who currently serves as the community development director for the Southeast Minnesota Development Corporation and Thomas Smith, of Austin, who is the acting executive director of the HRA.

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Board member Gloria Nordin said she based her recommendations of who to interview on "experience and background and location. Someone from a distance, I don't know how long they'd stay. And there were so many who had great backgrounds, but not with HRA."

Board member Mickey Jorgenson also said she mostly focused on experience when giving her recommendations. She said the position needed someone "with experience in both housing and redevelopment. Some had a lot of experience in housing, but not in redevelopment. You have to put all the pieces together -- their resume, their experience and their references."

The interviews are scheduled for 1 p.m., Sept. 11.

"We have time, we're not in a big hurry. We'll weigh the references as they come in. We haven't set an absolute date for when we have to have someone in the position," Jorgenson said.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at