The director of the Office of Housing and Community Development tells the County Commission he will continue seeking applicants, as the committee must deliver a report to the commission by June 30
The Sarasota County Commission this week appointed eight individuals to a committee that oversees affordable housing initiatives, but three seats remain open because of an insufficient number of applicants meeting the specific criteria for the positions.
During a Feb. 10 presentation as the board held its regular meeting in Sarasota, Don Hadsell, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development in Sarasota, pointed out that a state statute requires all local governments that receive State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) funds to create an affordable housing advisory committee every three years. A memo Hadsell provided to the board noted that the committee is responsible for submitting a report to the governing body that appointed it, offering recommendations on affordable housing plans.
The memo adds that the last such committee report the County Commission received came in 2013. A new document must be delivered to, and adopted by, the board no later than June 30 of this year, the memo points out.
The individuals will serve three-year terms on the committee, effective through February 2019, the memo says.
“Did you have problems getting applicants for these [seats]?” Commissioner Christine Robinson asked Hadsell during the meeting.
“We did,” he replied.
When she then inquired as to whether any of those who sought seats are South County residents, he told her two are: William Roche, who applied for the position reserved for a representative of a banking or mortgage lending entity; and Dee Danmeyer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County.
“We are going to continue advertising for those positions,” Hadsell told Robinson.
When she asked whether he had talked with communications staff members of municipalities in the county about advertising the seats on their websites, Hadsell said he had asked Danny Schult, the North Port assistant city manger, to put the notice on that municipality’s website.
Robinson then told Hadsell that the City of Venice has a new communications staff member; she suggested Hadsell also contact that person.
“I would be happy to do that this afternoon,” he responded.
Hadsell’s memo to the board notes that the Florida Housing Finance Corp. “has advised staff that they should appoint members to the committee and continue to advertise the remaining vacancies. As qualified applications are received, they will be brought to the [County Commission] for consideration.”
On separate motions made by Commissioner Carolyn Mason, seconded by Commissioner Charles Hines, the board appointed the following to the committee: Jon Mast, CEO of the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association, as the representative of the residential home builders; Roche, vice president of Iberiabank; Danmeyer as the not-for-profit provider representative; Dana Beecher of Coldwell Banker Commercial in Sarasota as the real estate professional; Mark Hawkins as the county Planning Commission representative; Steve Queior, president and CEO of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, as the person representing employers; and Jane Hindall, a retiree who worked for more than 19 years as the program manager in the Office of Housing and Community Development, as an at-large member.
As also required by law, the board approved a resolution formally making the appointments.