Mayor makes changes at Joliet housing board
By Bob Okon email@example.com February 4, 2013 10:24PM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:28AM
Joliet Mayor Thomas Giarrante has done some fine tuning rather than overhaul the board at the Housing Authority of Joliet.
After asking in late December for letters of resignation from all seven board members, Giarrante accepted two of them.
Giarrante requested the letters after the housing authority was placed in troubled status by federal regulators who want to see higher occupancy rates, tighter personnel rules and more timely financial reporting at the agency.
Commissioner Anthony Jerisha, a former Joliet police officer, was removed from the board late last week. Kennedy Milsap had removed himself when Giarrante sought the resignations.
To replace them, Giarrante appointed Ralph Bias, a businessman who also has chaired the board at the Salvation Army of Joliet, and Roger Powell Sr., a former high school basketball star who has been active in youth programs.
The mayor appoints the board, which oversees staff and operations at the housing authority. But the agency is funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Giarrante said Monday that he decided to keep most of the board intact after meeting with members and discussing issues at the housing authority.
“I talked with them. I liked what they told me,” he said.
In addition to the bad rating by HUD, the housing authority board fired chief executive officer Henry Morris last year after an investigation into complaints by two female employees.