Chairman Ward convened the July 21, 2016 HRPDC Executive Committee Meeting. The following actions were taken and items discussed:
Public Comments – Donna Sayegh and Ellis James provided public comments to the Commission.
Executive Director’s Report – Mr. Crum highlighted work by the HRPDC staff to communicate the need for Hampton Roads to be designated as an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) metropolitan region to our Congressional Delegation. He also reported that the presidents of Old Dominion University and William & Mary will present the program at the September meeting.
The following items were approved under the Consent Agenda:
HRPDC Recommended Governance Approach – HRPDC Executive Director Bob Crum brought forth a proposal from the Regional Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to restructure the governing board of the HRPDC. The proposal centered on changing the membership of the HRPDC to one elected official from each of the 17 jurisdictions yet still maintaining the proportional weighted voting for each locality. In addition, each locality would also appoint two alternates to the Commission. Reactions and feedback were mixed; however, there was support on examining the concept of lengthening the meetings to facilitate improved discussions on matters of regional importance. Mr. Crum will discuss the comments and feedback with the CAOs at their next scheduled meeting with the intent to return to the Commission in September with additional options.
HRPDC Housing Program - Ms. Shernita Bethea provided an update to the HRPDC Commission on the Hampton Roads Loan Fund Partnership Program and the newly integrated partnership with the City of Portsmouth to administer their HOME funds allocated for down payment and closing cost assistance. She also provided a short brief on information related to the de-concentration of poverty. A short video that discussed variables in how wealth is distributed among different socio-economic groups was also viewed. There was overwhelming interest in beginning a more in-depth conversation on anti-poverty and wealth-building strategies on a regional basis. The October Commission meeting will be dedicated to this conversation.