ShareThis Page
Home

Fayette housing directors question regulation

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002

UNIONTOWN - Thomas Harkless, Fayette County Housing Authority executive director, recently issued a slight change of regulations that has two directors questioning their intent.

After a controversial meeting last month, Harkless issued a memo prohibiting employees from responding directly to inquiries from members of the board of directors. The employees already had been barred from giving statements to news media.

Director Angela Zimmerlink believes that this will lead to less oversight of Harkless if he is aware of every inquiry, she said.

"By the executive director specifically inserting 'a board member' to his memo, he is, in effect preventing us as board members from obtaining information when we want it, and it limits the ability of us as board members to provide oversight. "Each of us as board members should be able to walk into the administrative office or office at any site or even call and be given the information we request. ... I know from experience that asking the executive director directly does not always work," she said.

But Harkless said he isn't attempting to control information or muzzle his board of directors. Rather, he is attempting to provide the most comprehensive answer available, he said.

"I am the one who is responsible for the responses. I don't think this is any different from policies at any other corporation," he said.

Director Beverly Beal said she is initially supportive of the policy.

"I don't have a problem with it. But am I always going to abide by it• Probably not," she said.

Beal said if she feels that information is being withheld, she will simply demand it.

"When I want something, I won't be put off," she said.

Zimmerlink's term ends at the end of the month. However, she has expressed an interest in continuing on the board.

County Commissioner Sean Cavanagh nominated her for another five-year term Tuesday, but his colleagues decided to wait until all names are decided in a raft of appointments that have come due. Commissioner Ron Nehls already has said he will not renominate Zimmerlink, leaving the decision up to Commissioner Vincent Vicites. Vicites said he has not yet made up his mind. "I've been getting great input," he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me