The County of Santa Clara
California

Report
88460

Under advisement from September 12, 2017 (Item No. 13): Consider recommendations relating to the governance of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara. (County Counsel)

Information

Department:County CounselSponsors:
Category:Report

Multiple Recommendations

Possible action:
a. Receive report from Administration and County Counsel on options for restructuring the governance of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara.
b. Direct County Counsel to return to the Board on October 17, 2017 with implementing actions to designate the Board of Supervisors as the Governing Body for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara.

Body

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

The recommended actions are expected to have no significant net fiscal impact on the General Fund because the assets, liabilities, employees, and funds of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara would remain separate from those of the County itself.

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara (“HACSC”) provides housing and related services to eligible households throughout Santa Clara County.  The HACSC was established by Resolution of the Board of Supervisors in 1967 under the provisions of state law allowing for the creation of local housing authorities as separate legal entities from local governments.  The HACSC is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners.  The Board of Supervisors is responsible for appointing the members of the HACSC’s Board of Commissioners who serve two- and four-year terms.

At its September 12, 2017 meeting, the Board asked Administration and County Counsel to return with recommendations related to restructuring the relationship between the County and HACSC.

Under California law, the Board of Supervisors can instead of appointing a governing Board of Commissioners for the HACSC, serve as the HACSC’s governing body itself, thereby vesting in the Board of Supervisors all of the rights, powers, duties, privileges, and immunities that are currently vested in the HACSC’s Board of Commissioners.  Simultaneously, the Board of Supervisors would appoint an advisory Housing Commission for the HACSC that would report to the Board of Supervisors.  The advisory Housing Commission’s members must include two HACSC tenants, in conformity with federal and state requirements that current tenants must advise on the governance of public housing authorities like the HACSC.  The current HACSC Board of Commissioners, which includes two tenant members, could be appointed to serve as the new advisory Housing Commission.  Numerous counties have elected to govern their housing authorities in this manner, including the counties of Contra Costa, Los Angeles, and Riverside.

To the extent the Board of Supervisors wishes to exercise more direct oversight of the operations of the HACSC, Administration and County Counsel recommend this approach.  Given the significant leadership role that the County is now playing in the areas of affordable housing and homelessness, including the 2016 Measure A Housing Bond, having the Board of Supervisors directly set coordinated priorities and policy for both the County and the HACSC could provide important synergistic benefits.

The Board of Supervisors has previously taken similar action to re-establish its role in directly governing other “dependent” entities like HACSC.  In 1979, the Board of Supervisors acted to dissolve its appointed Board of Commissioners for the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District (“County Fire”), reestablishing the Board of Supervisors as County Fire’s governing body.  In 1981, the Board of Supervisors took further action to establish an administrative structure whereby County Fire remains a separate legal entity—with its own employees, funds, assets, and Board-appointed Fire Chief—but functions from an administrative/operational standpoint in a manner very similar to a County department, reporting to the County Executive on a day-to-day basis, maintaining a County Budget Unit, and bringing policy and other actions to the Board for approval as part of the regular Board agenda.

Given the tremendous success of the County Fire model, including its successful collaboration with cities and service partners, Administration and County Counsel recommend a similar structure for HACSC to the extent the Board wishes to exercise greater oversight of its operations. The HACSC would remain legally separate with its own assets, liabilities, employees, and operations, but it would otherwise be administered in a manner that allows close coordination and cooperation with the County.  The Board would be able to directly set policy direction for the HACSC.  This proposal should also entail relatively minimal disruption in operations and would have no direct effect on HACSC employees or programs.  County Counsel and Administration are prepared to bring forward implementing actions based on the direction from the Board. 

Other potential restructuring options are not recommended because of legal or operational considerations. 

 

CHILD IMPACT

The recommended action could have a positive impact on children and youth by allowing the Board of Supervisors to respond directly to the needs of children for housing and supportive services.

SENIOR IMPACT

The recommended action could have a positive impact on seniors by allowing the Board of Supervisors to respond directly to the needs of seniors for housing and supportive services.

SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS

The recommended action could further economic and social sustainability by enhancing the HACSC’s governance.

BACKGROUND

On March 13, 1967, the Board of Supervisors created the HACSC.  Thereafter, the Board of Supervisors appointed a Board of Commissioners for the HACSC, and since that time has appointed new commissioners as commissioners’ terms have expired.  Under Section 34290, subdivision (a), of the Health and Safety Code, the Board of Supervisors is empowered to designate itself as the governing body of the HACSC and to vest in itself all of the rights, powers, duties, privileges, and immunities of the HACSC’s Board of Commissioners.  Under Section 34290 subdivision (c) and Section 34291 of the Health and Safety Code, the Board of Supervisors is also empowered to appoint an advisory Housing Commission for the HACSC, whose members would include two HACSC tenants.  The HACSC would remain an independent governmental entity separate from the County of Santa Clara, with its own employees and assets.

CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION

There would be no change in the current governance structure of HACSC.

STEPS FOLLOWING APPROVAL

County Counsel will return on October 17, 2017 with implementing actions to designate the Board of Supervisors as the governing body of the HACSC, effectuate an administrative structure similar to that of County Fire, and establish an advisory Housing Commission with tenant commissioners.

 

Meeting History

Oct 3, 2017 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Five individuals addressed the Board.

At the request of Supervisor Chavez, the Board directed Administration to discuss with the City of San Jose and the Housing Authority the opportunities relating to designation of the Board as the governing body of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara, including potential changes to the structure of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

At the request of Supervisor Yeager, the Board directed Administration to report to the Board relating to an analysis of the positive and negative aspects of designating the Board of Supervisors as the governing body for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara and potential repercussions if the City of San Jose decides that the Housing Authority of Santa Clara will not serve as the administrator of the City's Section 8 vouchers.

RESULT:APPROVED [3 TO 2]
MOVER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
SECONDER:Dave Cortese, President
AYES:Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager
NAYS:Mike Wasserman, S. Joseph Simitian

Transcript

Oct 3, 2017 9:30 AMVideo (Windows Media) MP4 VideoBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting

 
10:26 AMFor the mentally ill. Okay? And cindy, you know, this is abig issue with me about the san jose police departmentparticipating in that group ofbehavioral end of things. We see a picture of a san jose police car and get statementsabout this article in here fromour police chief, yet they'renever at any of those meetings. So it's kind of the same thing ibring up. Hopefully with the housing endof things you guys get together and get on the same page. You know, maybe you guys couldgo to one of those retreats italked about, you let the mayor fall down, mike catches him, youdo all the little rope things. You know, if it gets you guystogether you can taze me in the parking lot, just get somethinggoing. I think you guys need to workthose things out.

10:27 AMI went through coffee with a copthis last weekend with san josepd, and guess who showed up?the sheriff's department. Three deputies showed up there,they ran invited him over. It was really neat to see bothof those agencies together so hopefully you guys can work thisthing out.so thank you.
Supv cortese: thanks for being here.vincent rocha.
Hi, santa clara countyassociation of realtors, we would like to share some of theconcerns that, uh, werementioned by san jose housingdirector is that a lot of the vouchers are san jose'svouchers. Looking at the governancestructure hof the housing authority is actually a reallygood thing to do, but in doingso I think we should incorporateall the stakeholders as we do it. Certainly bringing in the cityhousing department wouldactually be a great idea. I would also recommend thatkeeping the body independent infull time and fully engaged onthis thing is a really - - I think that's the good part ofthe governance structure. And maybe just fixing it insteadof wholesale change might be the right approach. I'd also like to say that wedon't actually have a guaranteedseat for a voucher property owner so if you have a land lordwho takes voucher tenants,making sure that they have aseat on the housing authority would actually be a good idea. I think keeping that housingauthority sort of appointed andindependent so they can focus on they're the experts, they're theones that can focus their fulltime on those issues I thinkwould be great. Again maybe even brick bringingin the city and otherstakeholders as well to thetable to make sure we do have the best housing authority.thank you.
10:29 AMSupv cortese: okay, thankyou. that concludes public comment onitem 14. We can, um, come back to theboard of supervisors comment, questions, and deliberation ingeneral. Um, council, did you want togive an overview of what's, uh, possible here in terms ofoptions?
Sure.um, at the September 12 board meeting, the board asked us tocome back with options relatedto the possible restructurestructuring of the governance of county of santa clara. In 1976, the board createed thehousing awrgt a authority whichis authorized under provisions of state law. At that time, the boardappointed a board ofcommissioners, whose membership is made up of individualsappointed by the board ofsupervisors to be the governingbody of the housing authority. The housing authority has ofcourse its own employees,assets, liabilityies, so forth. The provisions of state law, governing the creation andestablishment of housing awghtauthorities specificallycontemplate and authorize the ability of the board ofsupervisors itself to act as thegoverning body of the housingauthority. I think the best analogy for theboard's understanding would bethe structure of the firedistricts that are dependent special districts, they'reseparate legal entities withtheir own employees,liabilities, assets and so forth. Board took action in the late70s and early 80s to disband theboard of commissioners of the fire district, and resume itsrole as the governing body ofthe central fire protectiondistrict. Um, the contrasting structureexists with other dependdependent fire districts, losaltos hills is independent, but the board of supervisors in thatcase appoints a board ofcommissioners to actually handlethe, um, the day to day governing of that district. So I think those are analogyiesthat are useful for the board'sunderstanding because the option that would be recommended if theboard's interested inrestructuring, the governingrelationship is a similar one which would be that the board ofsupervisors would designateitself as the governing body. There would be no other changes to the employee's assets,liabilities, or operations ofthe housing authority. Um, we would have to create an advisory housing commissionunder that option. Um, and that would beestablished by ordinance. Um, the advisory housingcommission would first hear allmatters before they came to theboard of supervisors and it would include the two tenantcommissioners that are requireedby federal and stateregulations. The other thing that I wouldjust add in addition we saw theletters that came in thismorning. There was a reference in oneletter from the mayor of sanjose regarding an agree betweenthe county housing authority and the city housing authorityregarding the administration ofin particular the section-8program, but administration generally of functions. Thatagree does contemplate thatthere's outreach to the city forchanges in the administration of section 23, and section 8programs. We don't believe that thatprovision is triggered by this proposeal, which does not affectany change in the operationadministration of the section 23or section 8 programs. If the board did move forward toestablish itself as thegoverning body, any subsequentactions that the board of supervisors would take as thegoverning body to affect anychange in how, for example thesection 8 program's administered, those changeswould trigger that provision ofthat agree. M. With that we're available to answer any questions the boardmay have regarding what was justsaid or anything in the report.
10:33 AMSupv cortese: while you have the floor here, counsel, let mejust ask, um, the advisorycommission, advisory housingcommission to be established by ordinance, um, any thoughts onwhether cities including sanjose, or not exclusive or sanjose I should probably say - a better way to put it, should orwould could be included, uh, atthat level?
The board certainly has, um, if the board chose to designateitself as the governing body ofthe housing authority, if thereis definitely an ability to look at exactly how that advisoryhousing commission would bestructureed. It does, however, need to include those tenantcommissioners, that's the oneclear legal requirement. The board would have the ability, in other words, to takeinto consideration structuresround that.
10:34 AMAs well as how, from a practical standpoint, um, theadvisory housing commissionwould report to the board? Morethan one option for how that's done. Somebody mentioned a piece ofpaper, being reduceed to a pieceof paper which I think stha valid question. Is there any reason the advisorycommission can't report directlyto this board much like our standing item with the valley,uh, valley health and homelessprogram?i'm asking - - .
That's absolutely a perfectperfectly feasible structure.>> supv cortese: thanks foranswering those questions. supervisor wasserman?
10:35 AMSupv wasserman: thank you,president cortese.very interesting topic. for me, it's the vouchers are not theproblem. The problem is lack of housing. The system that we have in place, i've always thought hasdone a great job. Um, theburden we all face as acommunity is how to create more housing. We issue vouchers, there'speople with vouchers, and noplace to use them. I don't see a need at this time,currently with what's proposedfor restructuring. I don't see a need for us to get involved, take on something elsesome May argue is not working aswell as it could. I would argue it's not the existing organization or thepolicies they have in place orthe vouchers they have to issueor the funds they distribute, it's the lack of housing and ithink our focus at this timecould be on dozens if nothundreds of other areas in the county that need restructuring,supervision, management,whatever. I think the program we have in place now that I look at aspretty much county-wide, is onethat is working to the best ofits abilities. I think the housing crisis isbeyond the solution-solving ofthe organization. I think the organization is doing the best they can with thecards they've been dealt.
10:36 AMThank you.supervisor yeager?
Supv yeager: yes, thank you.my understanding as the memo waswritten this is going to comeback to us in two weeks for final approval?i'm not sure who i'm asking thisof.
We are prepared, if the board wishes to come back October 17,we can of course come backwhenever the board desires.
Supv yeager: thank you, and I guess it seems like the city ofsan jose has any number ofquestions and concerns I wouldhope that there would be time to discus with them what our intentis, and to get their support. But I don't know if that couldall be done in that two week period of time or sort of whatthe plan is. I mean, there's so many issueswith the city of san jose, particularly with theirvouchers, and if they decide togo along with us or not, andwhat difference does that make, and the impact it would have onpeople who are living in sanjose. I just didn't know if all that was going to try to be workedout by the 17th.
10:37 AMI don't think it would befeasible to think that all that would be worked out byoctober 17.
10:38 AMLet me jump in from anadministrative perspective. um, the report back that youhave today comes when the boardasked us to look into otherorganizational structures and as was mentioned, the proposal thatis being suggested by countycouncil and administrateadministration really only changes the governing boardstructure. All of the other issues thatwere raise in the letters from housing authority, from thecity of of san jose and housingdepartment, all are relatedpolicy issues that would not directly be related to thisaction. I mean, you're not going to betaking any action today or even on the 17th if you get, if youdecide that you want to takeaction. That would actually change the voucher system, change theproposals, change any of theprograms, change any of theemployees. Change anything except thegoverning body. So, um, certainly we caninitiate discussions. I think you heard from the citytoday that for a number of yearsthey've been unhappy with theway the organization is structured at this point. The way that the, um, they wouldlike to have the governingbodies structured. All those things could bediscussed. I don't think that they will beresolved by the 17th but certainly they can be discussed.
10:39 AMSupv yeager: so what you'resaying is all that reallychanges, it could be seen as a big change, is that we becomethe governing board of thehousing authority. And all the other policyies and practices and employs that arealready in place would remainthe same. Yoarn if that wouldtake an agreement on everybody's side that they want that tohappen or that they wouldn'thave things change.
Well, if you're asking my opinion, which i'm neversupposed to give, you alreadyare responsible for the way thehousing authority functions because you have the fullresponsibility of appointing allthe board of directors. Therefore, you've separated your responsibility from yourauthority which in my opinion isnot a good organizationalstructure in the sense that you have a surrogate you appointmaking decisions thattheoretically ultimately you'reresponsible for and the city's responsible for, since the cityhas contract for the housingauthority to do their vouchersystem. So some people would say that'sa trivial distinction. I think it's going to be a verybig distinction when you face the problems that we are goingto face with the trumpadministration cutting fundingfrom h-u-d, paralyzing, basically, housing authoritiesthroughout the nation. And then we're trying at thestate or at the local level, particularly in this county, toimplement a housing program withmeasure-a that would beeffective and efficient. Um, it only makes sense to havethose coordinated in a much moreeffective way.
10:41 AMSpeaking of measure-a, it seems like the reason why iwould be in support of thisbecause I certainly understandthe sentiment voiced by supervisor wasserman of maybeyou could ex explain just alittle bit more about thatconnection between measure-a and what we're trying to do as faras, um, housing for low incomeand how that fits in with thevoucher system from the housing authority.
The board has asked us todevelop policies, procedures,plans and organization that would enable the board to makedecisions about expenditures ofmeasure-a to promote housing forthe homeless, particularly the very low and low incomehomeless. As you know, measure-a isrestricted in its usage, meaning that, uh, it can only be ueedfor basically bricks and mortar. This will require lots ofpartnerships in order to actually implement new housing. We expect to have partnershipsbetween the county anddevelopers, the county and cbo's, the county and otherhousing interests in the region. So in order to coordinate thoseevents somebody's going to have to take the lead. And being prejudice, I thinkthat should be the board ofsupervisors. Uh, because in order to get aneffective housing program,there's going to have to becoordination. I don't suspect there will beany change in the housingvoucher program. I don't suspect that there will be desire to change theemployment structure of thehousing authority, but I dosuspect it will be required the board of supervisors will berequired to make somechallenging decisions aboutwhere affordable housing goes, how it is built, who builds it,what kind of organizationalstructure that housing authorityhas, lots of details in order to actually implement a program.
10:43 AMAnd with the board ofsupervisors then being thedirectors of the housing authority, it just obviouslymeans that we then have controlover those decisions ratherthan, let's say, partnering with, um, the housing authorityas it stands now?
Well, yes.right now you're sort of dealing with yourself.
Okay.>> because you appoint the boardof directors of the housing authority already. So if you change the board ofdirectors it would be the boardof supervisors as the board of directors.
And then my last question ishow will the property that thehousing authority now controls, does any of that change or doesthat just remain in place?
That all remains in the -- the housing authority remain as separate legal entity withits own ownership of its assetsand its own responsibility forits liabilities. Very similar to the firedistricts and other dependentspecial districts that havetheir own contracts and so forth.
10:44 AMOkay, so in that sense thehousing authority has a, as atotal entity still exists.
Yes.>> all of - - .>> yes.>> everything they have exists, it's just that in essence theirboard of directors have changed.
Yes.just like the board of supervisors has items on theagenda acting on behalf of thesent central fire protectiondistrict, you wear your hat as the board of directors of thecentral fire district, you wouldhave items on your agendarelating to the housing authority, you'd be wearing yourhat as the governing board ofthe housing authority.
Through the chair, can I ask just a quick follow-up question? Presumably that would mean thehousing authority would becomethe budget responsibility of the board of supervisors and wouldbe part of our annual budgetedexercise as well?
10:45 AMThat is correct.
Thank you.>> supervisor chavez?>> supv chavez: thank you, um ywanted to just say why I requested the referral and iprobably should have startedthere but I wanted to make surepeople got a chance to speak before they had to head off todo other things today. Um, when I first arrived at thecounty we were trying to figure out what we wanted to dorelative to housing. This was probably just on thecusp of you asking for the beginning the results of thestudy, supervisor wasserman,that you asked for. One of the things that I was perplexed by was that we wereessentially creating a housingdepartment where we had alreadya housing authority and we were moving our housing departmentnot within the county but overto the health trust. And what that made me concerned about was our ability to actquickly, to have a unifiedstrategy, and to be able toleverage resources. And, you know, early on when igot here, I think I wasconcerned about the efficacy thehousing authority moved, the speed, and even some decisionsthat we were asked to make tohelp with the short fall in thebudget where we were given an option, not multiple options, wewere given an option to help yesor no and one of the challengeswe had was we had a timing issue that would have required if wehad not taken the action for theaction to go back to the housingauthority advisory board. I mean aboard, and thenpotentially to come back to us,which would have put our abilityto help people further behind. From my perspective what i'mtrying to do is as much aspossible align criticalresources, um, in as many ways as we can. I just want to use one otherexample. I'll come back to the city of san jose because I think jackieraise as really important pointi want to address. I appreciate you being here and staying for the conversation. One of the things that we'vebeen really interested in wasproject-based vouchers because we knew it would be easier forpeople to develop if they hadthose. Now, h-u-d is a mass of regulations and rules. One of the benefits that we gotwhen, um, recently was catherinebecame the head of the housing authority. I wanted to say to everybody, ithink catherine is amazing, ithink she's got a really good team, sharon. From my perspective, I don'twant to invest in staffstrengths our capacityies in the county if we've already gotthose staff, strengths, andcapacity in our sisterorganization but we just can't align them because we're notgoverning both of them. Let me go back to thisproject-based voucher. When we were having the housingmeetings, supervisor corteseasked us to, um, participate oneof inquestions is how many vouchers can we get, how do wemove those forward as you knowwe need to be able to have thevouchers in place. That took, from my perspective,too much time to be able to getthat information and thetimeliness of that was important because it also encouraged us tobe able to go to the ballot withmeasure a in terms of reallyaligning those strategies. And then lastly, I do thinkthat, um, I do think the housingauthority, if it were under thepurview of the board of supervisors, has a significantlyhigher level of transparencythan it does today. Not because anybody's trying to hide, but because beatreporters, people come to thesemeetings I don't think that's abad thing. I think it will mean that thecounty, the housing authorityand all of the entities workingtogether are going to be able to and be forceed to for lack of abetter word, be more accountableto the people we're trying toserve. The last thing I wanted to makethis point about the city of sanjose. One of the reasons my concern was heightened was based on somediscussions i'd had with themayor. Catherine, this is pre-you, so i'm not - - we were havingdiscussions about we needproject-based vouchers and wewere trying to figure out a better way to move that. I believe the city of san joseshould have all the safe zone -- say so in the world over how its vouchers are useed. If that meant that the board, ifwe were to become the governingboard if the city of san jose wanted to address vouchers, theywanted to create their ownadvisory board to manage theirvouchers, even if we wanted to use the same system orirrespective of what you decidedto do, I think that's completelyappropriate because you know what's in your pipeline. I want to be respectful of that. With measure-a, we know what'sin our pipeline, I want to be respectful of that as well andto be able to leverage thoseresources. This is, my from my perspective, an attempt to create as muchflexibility and strategy for thecity of san jose and as muchflexibility and strategy for the board of supervisors. What I would be asking for isfor the support on this referralwith the recommendation and the request that the housingauthority, the city of san jose,and this is something I had achance to speak to the mayor briefly about yesterday or acouple of days ago. Um, um, and then Dr. Smith undermiguel's leadership with key lee to really have a conversationabout what the opportunitiesthere are and if we do need tochange the structure of the advisory board, which I rightnow i'm not interested in doing. I'd like to leave the advisoryboard intact and have the board of supervisors and I thinksupervisor cortese, your idea isa great one in terms of how wehandle the homeless healthcare project to use a similar method,which means we have lots ofreport outs, they're full,they're here, and they're from the people toking the work. I think would just be an addedbonus. I would be asking for my colleague's support.
10:52 AMVice president samitian.>> supv simitian: thank you.um, [ pause ] I am I can't help but recall aquestion I used to ask from timeto time in the state legislaturewhen we had complex legislation in front of us and the debatewould get down into the weeds. Eventually I would just say waita minute, if I vote for the bill, what good thing willhappen? If I vote against the bill, whatbad thing will happen? And, you know, what's intriguingto me about this conversationand the referral we have is thatit's focused on a lot of different very legitimateinterests. What i'm still not convinced ofis that anyone has made the case that the people we're trying tohelp will be wetter served by achange in governance. I'm asking myself will someone who needs our help be betterserved, will they be better off,will there opportunities to besafely, securely, humanely housed be improved by a changein the governing board. For me, the answer is no. Then i'm asking myself is there a readily apparently a problemwe're trying to fix after 60years of the same structure, andagain the answer is no. I think what has changed, as anumber of folks have referenced,we now have a 950 million-dollarhousing program here at the county which requirescooperation and collaborationthat perhaps previously wasn'tnecessarily or as essential. It requires a certain level ofpartnership, I think, a wordthat supervisor yeager used. It requires that we align our interests and operations which ithink is the word thatsupervisor chavez used. But that doesn't say to me that we need to substitute ourselvesas the governing board for thehousing authority. There's a big difference between cooperating, collaborating,partnering, aligning and I thinkwhat some might view as ahostile take over. I don't see either the benefitin real human, compassionate onthe ground terms, nor do I seethat there is some readily apparent problem that would besolved by a change in thegovernance structure. I do see the need going forward to have an enhanced workingrelationship, which I think issuggested by the letter we havefrom the housing authority today. I would be supportive of that,but I would be a no vote whetherit was today or on the 17th or at some point subsequently forour taking on the responsibilityas the governing body. I think the suggestion has been made that maybe we need to be alittle bit more mindful aboutthe importance of ourappointments to the housing authority's governing board. I'm sure the general public hasno reason to know or perhaps beparticularly concerned. Our board, at least I feel likei guess I should only speak formyself. I struggle with the fact that we have 70 to 80 various boards andcommissions at this point thatrequire us to appoint people. While i'm sure they all do good and important work, some aremore critical at any given timethan others and this is an areawhere if we aunt to make sure we have the kind of partnershipnecessary going forward that'salready in our hands. We get to appoint the people who sit on the board and we can givethat due consideration and talkwith the folks that we areconsidering for appointment. I also think we have to askourselves what's our band widthas a board and a county. One of the things that I take pride in and admire about thisboard is we are willing to breaknew ground as we talked 30minutes ago on a totally different matter. I asked in my office for a copyof the agendas from the housingauthority's last half dozen board meetings and it is -- it's not simple mat matter ofadding an item or two to ouragenda. The fire district doesn't spendan awful lot of time here withus, with their dramaticallysmaller operation, but also wholly different and kind. If you look at the hair ballagenda that seems to come infront of the housing authority on a regular basis you might saygood for you, stay on it. And you might ask whether giventhe, um, the breadth and depth of understanding we as boardmembers would have to take on issomething we're well-prepared toadd to our agenda. Of course my it would bedisingenuous for me not toindicate my own view is shapedby the experience i've had over the last two and a half yearsworking with the housingauthority as more of a esnecessity to save the buena vista where I found people tobe. I not only met with thestaff leader but took the timeto meet with all six members then, and ultimately the seventhwho arrived members of the boardand, um, you know, found themnot only perfectly capable of cooperating and collaborating,but anxious to do so. On this particular project, inways that were very outside the box for, um, for a conventionalhousing authority, if you askhow many housing authorities arein the rescue of mobile home park business around the stateor the nation. I think you're going to findit's a pretty small number. It May just be one, for all I know. So i'm very supportive on onefront of having the conversationgoing forward. I am not at all supportive ofthe change in governance. I think let's not kid ourselvesto say that, um, the only thing - - the only thing thatwould change was the governingbody, um, is a little likesaying the only thing that's changed across the country inthe last 12 months, uh, is who'sin those seats at both thecongressional and presidential level. I've seen who's in charge makesa big difference and as a lot todo with what the agenda is and what's carried out. For the record y am notcomparing this board ofsupervisors to either the current administration or thecurrent congress. I think the only change beinggovernance is a little bit of an under statement. Those are my thoughts and if wehave a motion today to convene aworking group to talk about how we can talk improve cooperation,collaboration, alignment,partnership, i'll be for that. If it's a motion that is directed in any way towardschanging the governancestructure, i'm afraid i'm goingto be opposed to that. Thanks.
10:59 AMSupv cortese: thank you,supervisor. um, let me just tryto encapsulate my thoughts here. i'm supportive of the directionof the motion. It seems to me that status quoif you're a fan of the city of san jose's point of view, it'snot good for them, it's not goodfor anybody. I think the idea of whether or not we benefit or enhance thecircumstances of the people thatwe serve we're not, um, is agood question, um. For those who have written or indicated thatsome how it's going to be adegradation of governance forthis board to take over, I find that insulting. I find it insulting that foranyone to say that peopleelected by the public, five districts here, um, includingthe city of san jose, each oneof us has a city of san joseconstituents repping our districts. To say that some how we would beless fill in the blank thanpeople that we appoint to serve on the housing authority's boardis very difficult for me tocompute. It's exactly opposite of where my idea of the highest fiduciaryresponsibility in governmentlies. So, that said, the other reason I don't think the status quohelps the city of san jose atall, if that's the flavor of theday, is that the current model of seven appointedcommissioners, we've done that. I don't know if somebody fromthe city of san jose government bureaucracy has applied for oneof those. My appointee, adrian lawton, ishere today. Thank you very much and thankyou for all your hard work underdifficult circumstances. Another option would be five supervisors with two tenantcommissioners, excludes the cityof san jose. The third option is the only, which I think is what the motionis here, is the only option thatwould open up, I think, anopportunity for the city of san jose to be involved in thegovernance. That is five supervisors and ahousing commission. The commission could easily becomprised of the folk whose areon it, two tenants, 5 at-largeappointees and somebody appointed by the association ofsanta clara county and somebodyappointed by the mayor of sanjose. That would be a 9-membercommission that would report tous and give city and cities,let's be reminded once again that the largest majortransaction that we've done withthe housing authority directlysince i've been here was actually involved the city ofpalo alto, not the city of sanjose. I think that's the only option, the one that's on the table, aspart of this option that reallycreates an opportunity for thecity of san jose if we would want to go in that direction andformally institute theirinvolvement as part of a housingcommission. That's the only option thatprovides that. I also, I agree with thestatement that it isn't, you know, just the governance thatchanges that's true. But in terms of impact, andoutcomes, I think it's going to become increasingly importantfor this board of supervisors tobe looking closely at everyopportunity to leverage assets including our own and those ofother agencies, not necessarilycities. Time and time again, i've heard supervisor chavez talk about theopportunity to leverage, um,resources like surplus propertythat exists as affordable housing or permanent supportivehousing opportunities. I don't suggest that by changingthe governance to this model with us in the housingcommission that, um, some how wewould direct such leveraging,but it certainly creates the opportunity in a verytransparent way for us to havethe commission come before us. I think if we do that, this model if this passes, that thatshould be a standing item on theboard agenda, never on consent. Much like that's what I was referring to as we how - - howwe deal with the valley homelesseffort grant that we should havea forced discussion, so to speak, a discussion item - - astanding discussion item wherethe commission, the housingcommission, that would be part of that option, their designeesreport directly to us. I think that implementationdetail could be worked out as to in the housing authoritymanagement as to who should bepart of the panel that comes inhere and talks to us. I would love the opportunity tosay how are we leveraging, howare you leveraging that san josehospital site that we transacted some time ago. This board in the middle of adeep recession risked over30 million-dollars to try to save and hold on to so it wouldbe housing opportunities sometime. I don't feel like I get that opportunity given the structurewe have right now. I don't think the city of sanhose hey - - . San jose gets that opportunitygiven the structure we haveright now. And I think the city of san jose should. I ink that's consistent withyour comments, supervisorchavez, and I think that kind of discussion where everybody getsto come in and talk about, askthose kind of questions, um, andand let management be clear, open and transparent so us andgod and the mercury news andeveryone else can hear whatthose answers are would be a very healthy thing. That's why I will be supportingthe motion. I hope there's three votes to keep it moving so we can giveour staff and the county councilan opportunity to come back withsome final implementation options to look at. It seems to me if we don't likethose we can can kick it toanother day or go with the status quo which I think doesn'thelp the county or the city ofsan jose. I'm going to second supervisor chavez's motion.
11:06 AMSupv yeager: before we do, iwonder if we could get themotion restated. at this point, I think thelanguage will matter a lot interms of comments, questions,and potentially votes.
Thank you.i'm moving the staff'srecommendation with the additionof requests that the staff consider the points made bysupervisor cortese in terms ofhow the current advisory board,working with staff, would interface with the board ofsupervisors in the short run. And secondarily that seniorstaff meet with the senior staff of the housing authority and thesenior staff of the city of sanjose to further discuss anyissues or concerns they want to make sure are raised and thatcould influence the final staffrecommendation that comes back,um, to us on the 17th. If discussions aren't concludedat that time, if the staff needsto come back and ask foradditional time, then we would I would encourage that.
11:07 AMAnd through the chair againjust to clarify if the motion isthe staff recommendation that includes possible action b,which is the specific directionto return on October 17 withimplementing action to designate the board of supervisors - - .
That's correct.>> thank you.>> supv cortese: let me clarify what I was referring to just somy comments are clearirrespective of the motion. I understand that if we were to move forward with 14b today thatthe board of supervisors wouldbe convening as a separateentity and therefore my comments about consent and discussionwould be on a separate agenda. Would not be necessarily part ofthe regular board of supervisors agenda. I wanted to make sure that iunderstand the distinctionbetween having a housing authority entity agenda, and aboard of supervisors agenda.that's all.
11:08 AMJust to clarify, they could still be done as a combinedagenda, but as a specificallydesignated portion of thatagenda.
The operative word I wastrying to emphasize wasdiscussion yes, that wasunderstood.
That such an agenda wouldalways be a discussion agenda,not a consent agenda.>> got it.
If I may, and I can't quitetell from your motion,supervisor chavez, if it mightbe included anyway. certainly i'm looking for adeeper analysis of the pros andcons of the action, and alsowhat would be the repercussions if the city of san jose doespull out and if we could havethat information as part of themotion.
11:09 AMOf course.>> then i'll be supportive.>> okay, um, we'll ask, then,that the voting be concluded. vice president samitian?
I just, uh, as I indicatedearlier with that with thatexplicit direction I will be a no vote today and expect to be ano vote on any subsequentmotions which would involve thesubstitution of this board as the governing board. I do think, as I said, there aremany other ways we can cooperateand collaborate and I hope to the comments that all of mycolleagues have made will beexplored and articulated. I worry that we're sending the staff a mixed message if we'retelling them on the one hand goahead and provide us withimplementation language for a take over but while you're at itplease have a conversation abouthow we all might work together. So I do want to make sure that staff comes back with a thoroughexplanation, um, of what theother alternatives are so we canhave that intelligent discussion about whether there's a lessextended gesture we can makethat will accomplish this. I am troubled, frankly, and I want to go on the record it'snot that this issue hasn't comeup in passing in the past, butessentially on two or three business days worth of noticewith all of one page of analysiswe're talking about changing thegoverning structure that's existed for 60, uh, years andthen we're talking aboutbringing it back for action intwo weeks when I think the consequences are really verysignificant. If ever there was time when iwould there are times you should go slowly before you go fast,this is one of those times. I understand that the votes arethere for a return to the item on the 17th. I certainly hope we give thismatter the time andconsideration it deserves.
11:11 AMSupv cortese: okay, noted.anything else, supervisoryeager?we'll conclude the voting then.
Supv yeager: thank you,president cortese.>> supv cortese: i'm sorry goahead.
Supv yeager: i'm a no vote atthis time as well.i'm not sure exactly whatproblems we're trying to solve. i'm not sure - - well, theproblems we're trying to solveand what kind of effort we'vemade with the stakeholders in this.
11:12 AMSupv cortese: anything elseon the motion before wecall it a day here? um, that motion passes 3-2. As noted on the screen. That concludes all of thediscussion items on the agenda. Item 15 was added to consent andnothing was removed from theconsent calendar today. We are now adjourned. We do have a special meetingtoday at 3:00 p. M. To deal with what I believe isagendize this one item in public comment. And the usual format. Aside from that special meetingtoday, we will meet as a regular meeting of the board ofsupervisors as publicly noticed,um, in the future. Thank you.