аЯрЁБс>ўџ 9;ўџџџ8џџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџьЅС{` №ПbjbjюFюF 7&Œ,Œ,џџџџџџЄммммммм№t t t t € №XЖЈ Ј Ј Ј Ј Ј Ј Ј зйййййй$hv§м‹Ј Ј ‹‹§ммЈ Ј ‹ мЈ мЈ з‹зkмм“Ј œ  Д\ˆз!Цt • ƒУ(0X‹xŸjx“xм“0Ј :т рТ Дv Ј Ј Ј §§  Ј Ј Ј X‹‹‹‹№№№„t №№№t №№№ммммммџџџџ  January 25, 2006 The Honorable Terrie L. Suit Virginia House of Delegates P. O. Box 7031 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23457 Dear Delegate Suit: The Hampton City Council opposes HB 900, which would change the composition of our Housing Authority Board from accountable elected officials to a citizen based board. There are two overarching issues of concern in changing the makeup of the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board (HRHA): Who holds the power of eminent domain; and Who leads City Redevelopment Policy. On the first issue, it should be considered that eminent domain is one of the most powerful and controversial tools that governments have at their disposal. The recent Supreme Court decision of Kelo et al versus City of New London, illustrates the importance of eminent domain, the risks associated with using it and the controversy it can create. Taking someone’s home or business is a very serious matter and that is why the Hampton City Council believes that those decisions should be left up to elected officials who are accountable to Hampton’s citizens. There was recently concern among one neighborhood that the City was planning to condemn their properties in a redevelopment effort. The Mayor and Council, who are all directly accountable to these citizens since all Council members are elected at-large, were able to offer assurances to this community that their properties would not be condemned. If the Council did not serve as the Housing Authority Board we would not have been able to offer them such assurances. With redevelopment becoming increasingly more important to Hampton, a built-out urban community, it is increasingly more important the goals, vision and objective of the Housing Authority are consistent with those of the City Council. The reason why Hampton’s City Council currently serves as the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board is because in the early 1970s the appointed HRHA citizens board’s policies were not in concert with the elected City Council. The only viable solution to this issue was then, and is now, that the City Council serve as the HRHA board. The last time Council addressed the issue was in 2001, and it was decided that Council continue to serve as the HRHA Board. It was during the last review of this issue when Hampton established two citizen-based committees to advise their actions, with respect to action taken by HRHA. Hampton has historically recognized the importance of broad based citizen involvement in important issues facing the community. It was in this spirit why Hampton established two citizen-based committees (Housing Operations Advisory Committee & Redevelopment Advisory Committee) to advise the Housing Authority on the issues that Housing Authorities deal with – redevelopment, managing public housing and promoting affordable housing. The Housing Operations Advisory Committee is composed of six citizens and one council member and the executive director of the Authority serves as an ex-officio member. This committee provides the expertise, leadership, guidance, and support on housing issues in the City of Hampton. Please see attached Housing Operations Advisory Committee Statement of Purpose and Operating Guidelines for additional detail. The Redevelopment Advisory Committee is composed of seven citizen members and has three ex-officio members that include the one City Council member, the HRHA Executive Director and the City’s Neighborhood Office Director. This committee provides the expertise, leadership, guidance, and support on redevelopment issues in the City of Hampton. Please see attached Redevelopment Advisory Committee Statement of Purpose and Operating Guidelines for additional detail. Finally, the composition of the City’s Housing Authority Board does arise from time to time and the most important thing to remember about this issue is that Hampton City Council has the discretion to, itself, convert the membership of the HRHA to a citizens board. There has been no great outcry among Hampton citizens to change the practice of the Council serving as the Housing Authority Board – if there had been, the City Council, serving as an accountable elected body, would surely have responded. As Mayor, I find it very disturbing that legislation is being proposed without the advise or consent of the local governing body. This is a direct conflict of policy of the legislative and executive branch over the last two years. Thank you for your consideration of this information. Feel free to contact me, or our Legislative Liaison, Brian DeProfio, if you have any questions about this information. Sincerely, Ross A. Kearney, II Mayor Attachments cc: Delegate Melanie L. Rapp Delegate Glenn G. Oder Delegate Christopher B. Saxman Delegate Robert D. Hull Delegate David L. Bulova Delegate Rosalyn R. 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