HRA director resigns

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 10, 2002

Citing family and personal reasons, Tom Smith, Housing and Redevelopment Authority's executive director, resigned Wednesday at HRA's meeting and asked that he be reinstated to his previous position.

Tom Dankert, director of administrative services, agreed to fill in as interim director until HRA hires a director.

Smith will resume his position as deputy director for community development, a position he had been in for 30 years.

Email newsletter signup

"This is a gentleman who has 29, 30 years experience in housing. We're more than happy to move him back," said Dick Chaffee, council member at large.

Smith had served as executive director for about a month after the previous director, Kermit Mahan, accepted a job in California

Chaffee said Dankert and other city employees will pitch in to cover the director's duties.

The HRA will discuss hiring procedures at next month's meeting.

"There are internal issues we have to work out," Chaffee said, referring to communication among employees, before they hire a director.

The HRA discussed a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program. Julie Ackland, family housing specialist, said the program, Homesteps, teaches those in subsidized housing how to become homeowners.

The HRA gave approval to apply for the program, which provides a $30,000 grant for administrative costs. Ackland said the program could start later this year.

HRA clients would be eligible for the classes.

In other HRA business the committee:

n Approved $12,000 for new soil to be put on the railroad yard clean up project. The committee also expected to know whether

Austin Transportation is still interested in the site. Smith said the property would be appealing to other groups if Austin Transportation decides not to build a bus garage on the site.

n Discussed the flood progress report. Chaffee said he hoped the homes would be bought before next spring.

n Decided to move a house on Fifth Street NE and buy a home on Ninth Street NW as a part of the East Side Homeownership Program.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at