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Longmont Housing Authority September 8th, 2020

For a transcript of the meeting, please read below:

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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from a video recording. Although the transcription, which was done with software, is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or [software] transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the meeting, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

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0:00
problems but thank you for joining us this morning to the special meeting of the Longmont housing authority on Tuesday September 8. Bolivia Do you mind doing a roll call for us?

0:13
Sure thing. I am seeing Chairman Cameron grant vice chairman Tim waters board members Harold Domingo says Jean Christopher, Tom to be Lauren Kelly. Eileen zortman. We also have Kathy fetlar Karen Roni and Polly Christiansen

0:32
Thank you very much. I am frantically trying to find my agenda. So Olivia, remind me what the first item on the agenda is. We’ll dive into that.

0:43
Well first things first public invited to be heard but we oh there we go. Anyone down here so we’re good to go on that.

0:49
Thank you for keeping me straight.

0:53
After that, if we want to do Arlene’s oath of office.

0:57
Yes. So Arlene joined us. several meetings ago now, thanks to our frequent special meetings. We need to start out with the oath of office. And I am my computer’s still giving me fit. So I probably apologize. Councilman waters would you if you have that oath available on your agenda? Would you be willing to step in and administer that to Arlene while my computer wakes up?

1:29
Let me see if I can.

1:32
I’ll get back to my agenda.

1:42
Wait, I’ve got it. I’ve got it.

1:45
I can do it if you’d like.

1:48
So Arlene in your packet, there’s the oath of office. It’s the second second page of the packet. What we need you to do is virtually raise your right hand and Read the oath of office begins I Arlene zortman huh?

2:06
Okay, I, Arlene zortman do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the state of Colorado. And I will faithfully perform the duties of the office of commissioner and will adhere to the governing policies for the housing authority of the city of Longmont, Colorado, which I am about to enter.

2:27
And I Cameron grant, chairman of the housing authority for the city of Longmont, Colorado, hereby certify that Arlene zortman she’ll be one of seven commissioners of the housing authority for the city of Longmont, Colorado, and appeared before me on the eighth day of September 2020 and recited this oath of office for commissioner and then Arlene, Olivia will circulate this for signature and then we will keep this with Elijah records. Okay, excellent. second item on the agenda which I is the only remaining item is our communication to the city council. And as you will recall, when we spoke at our last meeting, the mayor has sent a communication to me asking that the Housing Authority speak to council at their September 15 meeting specifically on the point of what value city staff members are bringing to the lhsaa and during our IGA process and I had hoped to get a letter out earlier so you could all have more time to digest this but I did finally put something together over the weekend that Olivia circulated and then I’m not sure if the second round went out but Jean had some comments. Yeah, see that that did Jean had some some comments as well. So that is now in front of you. So this is my attempt to address the Question, but it is nothing but an attempt. And as I mentioned last time, my hope is that this is a communication from the authority, not from, from the chair or from any individual. So I would love to get your take on the concept of the letter what we should put in it and then we can specifically try to finalize this thing. And my, since I’m working off my iPhone, I might be a little slow when you raise your hand so, so if I don’t call you just, yeah, go ahead and start talking. Because I can only see four on the screen at a time.

4:39
Why don’t I start with Jean since you had some comments Jean.

4:49
Okay, um,

4:53
Cameron, are you there? Yes. Okay. Um, let me pull up um, I just had comments about the flow of the letter.

5:06
You want me to go through all the ones I sent to you?

5:10
Well, I think we could probably

5:14
just incorporate those unless there any kind of key points you want to want to raise, you’ve got the floor. So whatever you think is the most effective.

5:23
Okay, I’m in the first sentence, I kind of want to distress what we’re saying so I rewarded it. Thank you for the opportunity to communicate this important information.

5:38
And then I

5:42
decided recently, Mayor that Begley asked that the lhsaa make a presentation to the city regarding the value that the city staff currently provides to organization. Well difficult to fully quantify this letter identity fyz three areas in which city staff supports ellijay operations, as well as our attempt to place value on each. The next change I recommended was in the first sentence and the next paragraph on it should be it is no apostrophe I and then in the last sentence, instead of these, I crossed that out and I said we realized this structure would require significant changes. If the Lh a was to avoid unpalatable, unpalatable rent increases for residents. The next change I made was the next paragraph. Instead,

6:51
let’s pause right there and see if anyone else have any general comments or comments about the the first couple of paragraphs of this letter. I think maybe we break this down into two pieces, are we setting the scene properly and outlining the right issues?

7:09
counseling waters?

7:10
Um

7:12
First of all, I’ve learned that to listen to genius. I mean, she catches things and has a gift for this. But I’ve learned to respect and appreciate. So whatever gene is suggesting I’m pretty certain, I think is a good idea. However, here’s what I’d rather not get in try to wordsmithing this. I think it’ll take us the rest of day if we’re going to, you know, try to wordsmith I think that’s probably what Jean was wondering about in terms of

7:39
how excellent Yeah,

7:43
so I think I think what we ought to get clear on the big ideas and if there are general guidance, I, I have some thoughts about the next to the last paragraph. And I’ve got language but I but the idea for me is more important than my words, is that there are some ideas that I think one additional idea We ought to include in that next in the last paragraph, so whatever is going to be most helpful for you, Cameron and for us to communicate to the council just how much we appreciate what the city’s done the stakes if they hadn’t and, and the message that how we have valued and we’ve done a great job of that both in terms of dollars and cents and let’s be intangibles that I want to speak to after James finish. Okay.

8:29
Yeah, I’m, yeah. Camera.

8:34
I don’t see any other hands raised. So why don’t we just what let’s let’s plow on for the next couple and I tend to agree with Tim but

8:40
yes. cutter. Excellent. I, I agree to because I think you made the valuable point that we value what the city has contributed. And I and like I said what I what I’ve done is simply wordsmith just for the public

9:01
So what so why don’t we Tim hear your points and then what I do want to go back and and hear from Kathy Karen and Harold about how they think we ought to fill in some of the blanks yes actual numbers because I suspect the what the city is really looking for is dollars and cents but but we need some of this other supporting background so So Tim, do you want to fill us in on your thoughts?

9:24
Well, I when it’s really when it when you refer to intangibles, and there’s a sentence that says we are also there is also an intangible. I would like to make that a plural There are also intangibles that the city brings and then and then in the next to the last paragraph, you see you address specifically the intangible some of the intangibles on the on the positive side that the city’s brought and I won’t my words, I’m happy camera to send back to you. I was gone until late yesterday. So I didn’t have a chance to do any editing on this this morning. I’m happy to add that My edits and send it back to you. But the idea that the additional intangibles I think we ought to include in this are the personal impact that if the city had turned away from Lj, letting Lh a fail, the personal consequences for our residents, and economic or financial consequences for the city are incalculable. And you’ve done a nice job on the on the plus side, I just think we ought to make it clear to the to the whoever’s gonna listen to this. It had the city not respond to the way they did. There were real costs to people. Yeah. into the city, not just the city of not just the city’s a bit of the government, you know, a broader impact on our population. So those are the that’s the that’s kind of the dark side of not responding because you read the upside of having responded. I just think we ought to acknowledge what was at risk if the city has Have not stepped in.

11:02
That’s good if you if you want. I think that’s excellent. If you don’t mind sending in over some ideas, we can incorporate that.

11:12
Anyone else have some comments?

11:22
Okay.

11:25
Mike and

11:26
Arlene, go ahead, I’m awake. I’m just I’m scanning back and forth on my phone to see who’s waving. So Arlene, please go ahead.

11:34
Well, I guess I kind of go along with what Tim was saying a little bit I I realized is that is going to the mayor and the council and they probably know everything, and actually more than I do. But if this were to go to the paper, for some reason, I’m wondering if we need to actually put in numbers, kind of a long Tim’s thinking of how many people would actually be affected because I think At some point I read that there was like more than 1000 people that are being served now and I think that’s kind of important for people out in the public to know that you know, we’re doing a good job here and this is how many people would be affected if we didn’t have this going on. That’s just a thought.

12:21
I think that’s good. I don’t know

12:23
that the point too early and that was my note is just how many total people would be affected if if we were say to go under, and how many how many in the city we’re helping.

12:36
It’d be good to have that number that that thousand ish number. That probably started with me talking with the one of the reporters for long what leader I believe when and I just took a shot in the dark and figured if we’ve got 450 or 462 units, many of those units have more than One person in them and we have vouchers in the 400 to 450 range. We must be over 1000 people, but I don’t have an actual number. So I kind of just guessed at it. I thought it might sound powerful, but it’d be nice to have a more precise number if we can get that.

13:20
Cameron, this is Paulie. Yeah, I believe that that’s where that came from. Because I mentioned that when we were talking about it, I said there were over 400 people. And I got that as, as you said, from what you said to john fire. So if what you said to john fire was kind of a ballpark, then maybe we should tighten that up. But, yes, you said that we had over 1000 vouchers. And I think that’s, I agree with everybody that it’s really important for people to understand how many people are at risk, we’re at risk of not having a home and it’s winter coming on at So yeah, if you have an actual number, that would be great. But certainly over 400 people is over 400 units is not a small number, I think. Yeah,

14:15
yeah. Yeah. To clarify, it’s two different components, one out of the 462 actual apartment units that we have, that are filled with people. And then separate from that are the vouchers, which house people outside of our units. So when you put those together, we’ve got a pretty significant number.

14:36
Everyone off the top of your head, or maybe Harold or one of the other staff members have the actual number of vouchers, because we’ve discovered more Well, I think we have 415 or 450. vouchers, that numbers come down as costs have gone up. But it would be good to have a better number on the actual number of vouchers in addition to the resonance and I would add one more Thought It’s one thing for this effect to affect that thousand ish people. It affects all the family members of those thousand ish people who are going to have to figure out what to do with their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, whoever, brothers and sisters, you know who are now in secure housing who wouldn’t be.

15:20
So we, Cathy may be able to help. I know that we added in a conversation with HUD, we found 40 additional vouchers. I just don’t know what the starting point was. Kathy, do you know the answer to that?

15:36
It buries so I will get a more definitive figure I’m taking notes here.

15:51
Again,

15:53
oh, again, I’m kind of going back to talking about how many people would actually be affected and I guess I’m more concerned about whether it goes to the newspaper and if it does is do we want to split it down into these people are actually housed in units that we have like Fall River and Spring Creek. But these people and you were did talk about this the vouchers are actually have found housing on their own and are getting help. I would like to see it kind of maybe possibly how many children are included in this because I think that’s kind of important that they don’t that they know it’s not just all adults.

16:36
Just a thought.

16:39
By the way, jeans twice. wondered, Arlene, Arlene has wondered twice if this is gonna go to the newspaper. Personally, I hope it goes to the newspaper. I mean, this is this is part of the story that I hope that our local media can help tell to the general public and the times caught on the one month later. You know, the to do sources. That’s why there was a kind of a deep background discussion with them. So they’d understand the context within which the statements going to be made. So I hope they pick it up and report it word for word myself. Jean.

17:13
Yeah, I want to support what Arlene said about children because as soon as narrows neighborhood, at one time with only 28 units had 99 residents. So there are a lot of children that are affected by this. There’s another aspect that’s that I’ve been thinking about it even though it isn’t current today. La che is in line to take over management of Chrisman in a couple of years. And I’m not sure how many units are involved in that too. But we have a link to even more than the thousand that we’re talking about.

17:57
We’ll collect those numbers and I’ll put together another version that tries to tell that story. And then Tim is going to get some, some more language on that intangible piece as well. So we’ll we’ll wordsmith that offline and then circulate that through Olivia. So we do that properly. And then I just let me ask this question of Harold, Kathy, Karen. And Olivia, the the section that’s on the references specific numbers of employees and dollar amounts. I guess the first question would be that information that’s relatively available on a second broader question be any any issues or concerns with presenting that information?

18:46
When I think it’s what they asked for but

18:50
and once you once you start getting the dollars, you know, people latch on to that.

18:55
So this is Cathy. There are seven positions that are vacant and The current organizational chart, not including what hybrid models are, you know what we end up moving to. And the total savings after we take out temporary folks that we have spent and that kind of thing is just under 200,700 96,000 is that we do have that information. It’s just, you know, you tell me what you want to put in there, but I can, I can fill in a lot of that information and put some parameters around it and then you all can decide what you want to include or not include or how you want to say it.

19:41
Yeah, I can work pretty

19:43
good. I can work with Kathy on the on the technical side of this and almost see it is, you know, has vacant position as the falling vacant positions. Colin, listen, listing those out with their salaries and then saying the last day It. This is how much we have available in this budget year from salary savings just to get a sense of it. Because we’re prepping the budget now for you all. It’s also good for you because we’re going to have to do some budget restructuring in order to accomplish what we need to operationally

20:25
that would be helpful. And then in that in that paragraph I, I just pulled out May through December, I wasn’t sure what the right timing was.

20:35
So think about that when you fill out the

20:38
parameters. Yeah, I would say this budget here because it’s all over the place. Yeah. Okay.

20:48
Any other thoughts on what should or shouldn’t go in this letter

20:53
and how we ought to present it

21:01
Polly

21:04
point of information. Please keep in mind that this did not come from council This came solely from the mayor acting on its own.

21:13
So So would it be better? So it’s it’s addressed right now to the mayor and city council. Is that appropriate? Or should should i do

21:20
i have Paulie, we sat together in an executive session to talk about this. And this is exactly what we talked about doing. So to lay this off on the mayor this way in a public meeting, I can’t sit here and be quiet. That’s not accurate.

21:41
Well, that’s a matter for council to wrestle with. We are going to address this to the mayor and the council because that’s where we’ve been asked to provide the information.

21:51
I’m just telling you where it came from originally. I’m not trying to make

21:56
Okay, some other statement. Thank you.

22:06
Then I’m slowly browsing to see if I see Oh, there’s a hand Karen.

22:12
Thank you, Cameron. And I realize I am not a member of the board. Got that. So. So I am just mindful in the letter that we’re talking about the value of city staff. And I, I just would like to throw out there an opportunity to recognize the LBJ staff members who are, you know, hanging in there and who’ve been doing incredible work alongside with city staff. I just, I just wanted to not let that go unsaid that that if there is an opportunity to insert a recognition for the staff who have remained with us and are doing incredible work, I think that would be important to

22:57
to include

22:59
it That’s very important. And I do want to

23:03
commend

23:05
Harold and Karen and Kathy who, in their comments to counsel at least the past couple of times, I’ve watched and listened to Lj related discussions. That point has always been emphasized. And for Olivia and anyone else who listens to this, you know, that certainly does not go unnoticed and I don’t think we’d be where we are without those dedicated staff people. So we’ll put that in a letter. So I don’t want to rush this because sometimes really good things like that come out. We can always this this isn’t being presented to the city until the 15th. We do have a regular board meeting that morning, I believe. So what we can do is bring up what we’ve As a final draft of this back and review as part of a regular agenda, and get this to the city, that morning, there’ll be a little late getting into their packet. But it’ll be in their packet in terms of the press, because it’ll be in the packet, it’ll be public. So I’m presuming that the things we say in here will find their way into print. So think about that as we’re polishing this off. Jean.

24:29
I’m wondering if we could put a little more about the future of working with the city and have the benefits that we expect to accrue from that. I know we’ve talked about if we didn’t have the city, this exists and would happen, but I’m wondering if we can kind of flesh out how this specifically the city is a little more specifically how the city has really is going to continue to help you get my drift.

25:08
Absolutely. I like the idea of

25:11
maybe a bit on the call can throw out some thoughts on that.

25:21
Cameron, I’m happy to try to add some of that to the last part of this. I’m gonna, I’m going to provide some editorial input, you decide what you want to do with it to the end of the letter, and I’ll add something if that’s helpful, and then you can send it out for another round of review. Sounds good.

25:42
Any other discussion today on this item? Yeah, Lauren.

25:47
I and I’m sorry, I wasn’t available for the September 1 meeting. Um, so I’ve kind of just been sitting back listening, since I wasn’t really involved in how this all got started. But um, You know, hearing some of the concerns about like the newspaper picking this up and how much information should be put in. My thought was just knowing what has gone on with LBJ and in the press in the past, I think this is a great opportunity, like others have said, to really bring out all of this information be really open and transparent about what we were facing, what we hope for, and what our main goal is, and trying to do the right thing for our residents, and for the city, for the city population as a whole. And I do think it would be great to put in as much detail and information to be as transparent as humanly possible about this so that people don’t think that we’re hiding anything. And I working for the county for eight years. I know that as soon as you start being vague about things, that’s when the poor requests start rolling in because people think you’re hiding stuff. So I think this is a great opportunity for us to really put it all out there and say this is a newborn We have new members new leadership, new new mission new partnership with the city of Longmont, New Visions new goals. And we’re really holding ourselves up to a much higher standard than in the past. And I think that will help give the residents that we serve and then the larger population of city of Longmont more face in what we’re doing, just because knowing what has happened in the past to now. I think we’re in such a good direction. And I think the leadership that we have and the leadership coming from city of Longmont, this, it’s so important. And I think that that just needs to be communicated and I’m fully on board with with everything with Yes, I absolutely agree that the city employees should be compensated for the amazing and tireless work that they are doing because there’s I mean, they’re doing like three full time jobs now. So just wanted to put that out there since I wasn’t here last week. And I don’t know if I if we’re voting on anything if I need to abstain, since I wasn’t part of the conversation, but let me know. Um, but yeah, I fully support where we’re headed. And I think with the additions that we’ve discussed this morning, I think it’ll be a great a great presentation for the American Council and to the greater population.

28:26
Thank you. That’s, that is a good, good reminder about

28:30
the importance of transparency, apparently in detail because it’s going to be picked up. So I appreciate that. In terms of voting or not voting, my thought unless someone has a different opinion is that this is more of a kind of study session level meeting today where we’re trying to craft this into a form that we could vote on. And then and hopefully have it in final form at our next meeting.

28:57
to polish off and get it off to the city. Thank you.

29:06
All right. So I will keep talking while I’m scanning for hands. But my thought is that the next step is for several of us to put some additional comments in here to get Dr. Waters is going to send some some language. Kathy has some some input on specific figures. You can send those to me if you’d like and I’ll craft another version and get it back to Olivia for circulation hopefully earlier than the night before our next gathering. And then we can review this as part of our next agenda. That sounds like a good plan. All right, looks like it’s the plan. there any other business that anyone would like to discuss? Guess since we’re all together. Harold.

30:06
board members, I just wanted to update you on something that happened Friday. I did call Cameron Friday evening to leave a quick message we had a just in case you all hear we had a small fire at the lodge and wanted to let you know what happened. So without getting into specifics of how it looks like a box got caught was set on the stove it was the burner and then the box has moved into different different areas of the unit. The sprinkler system did work. So there was a fair amount of smoke damage from in the unit itself and potentially in the hallway. But when the sprinkler went off, it managed to flood second floor on the left side as you’re walking in and then it went down into the first floor. So during that event, we actually called 24. Seven, his restoration company that we work with, we needed to relocate approximately, I believe it’s nine individuals, we worked to, to get them into Candlewood suites because they have small kitchenettes in there and they could move their food and actually cook their like they would in their in their unit so that we could get the drying occurring in the wall. Last night, or yesterday afternoon, I was informed that the dryer is going well. So we will know hopefully in a couple of hours based on who can move back in, we do have two units in particular that will probably be out of where they won’t be able to go back in right away the one where it occurred based on the water damage and smoke damage and then the one below it where there was a significant amount of water damage, but we’ll know that today. We were able to move through it. We were moving pretty quickly, Friday. Want to thank Dennis and his maintenance staff and Shelly, her senior service staff. And Tracy and Karen and Kathy, as everyone was making calls, trying to get people relocated, we actually did that. I think we had everyone moved to the hotel, trying to remember what time I left around six o’clock. At that point, everyone is already at the hotel. I know they’ve been working with them, but I just wanted you all to be aware of it. Things seem to move quickly and as well as can be expected and hopefully Today we will give people move back in their units, obviously with the weather so may not want to drive so I’m gonna be working with him to get transportation back and then see how we can get their cars move back to the facility.

32:54
So as if you didn’t have enough to do already, we have a pretty weekend. I drove literally,

33:01
no, it was actually for me. It was. It was really good for me to get to work with Ellie and Olivia, I mean Olivia was on the phone with me making hotel reservations and doing all of that and it was a great opportunity for me to work with them at this level. And be at the facility and see how they respond. And everyone did a phenomenal job moving pretty quickly. And it was just it was a good it was a good opportunity Friday for all for all of us to work with each other. In a stressful situation where you have to move fast. That’s the the beginnings of how you build a team and how we integrate with each other and they did a great job. I didn’t call you all because we handled it and we were moving pretty quick. But Had it been worse. You may have gotten a phone call from me if it would have been a more significant event but we are Friday afternoon. It was really water damage that we were dealing with. At the end of the day,

34:02
Kathy, Karen, do you need to add anything to that?

34:08
I would just add mentioned for Brittany

34:11
and Brittany.

34:13
Yeah, Brittany did a great job in this. And again, a good learning moment for her. obviously can’t remember everyone that was there. It’s moving so fast. But everyone that was involved did a great job. In this, these are those foundational moments in building a team that bring you together and make you stronger. So a great job move quickly. And at the end of the day, what was the most the biggest piece for me? Everyone’s focus was on the residents, and how do we make the transition easier for the residents? And how do we ensure that they’re safe throughout all of this? This is my first run at one of one of these types of situations with the Housing Authority staff and with as we work together Everybody it went. In the chaos of these events, it went as well as I could have hoped for and expected and everyone did a phenomenal job.

35:11
Well, good. Well, thank you for taking care of things. So effectively. Any other final comments before we wrap?

35:22
All right, seeing none, I will.

35:26
Thank you all for this semi semi impromptu gathering and call this meeting closed. We’ll talk to you all next week.

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