City Council moves forward on HRA board expansion

Published 8:15 pm Monday, December 3, 2012

After more than a half hour of discussion and some heated speeches, the Austin City Council will expand the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board of Commissioners from five to seven members.

Council members discussed a proposal to expand the HRA board during its work session Monday night, ultimately voting 5-2 with Marian Clennon and Janet Anderson dissenting to bring a resolution to the next council meeting for discussion. The proposal, originally mandating four HRA members to come from the City Council, the Austin Port Authority or city staff, was modified so three council members, one from each ward, sit on the board along with a Port Authority representative, a representative who lives in HRA housing, and two Austin residents. The HRA board changed its format in 2010 to have one city council member, one representative who lives in HRA housing and three Austin residents.

At issue was the level of control the council had over the HRA. Council members believed seven members would be better for the HRA, while HRA Board Chairman Marv Repinski and other HRA board members said the board operated well on its own and shouldn’t be influenced by the council to such a degree.

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—Look for the full story in the Tuesday print edition of the Austin Daily Herald.