CATSKILL — Village trustees appointed two new members to the Catskill Housing Authority board Wednesday.
When board members Kimberly Jones-Holt and Louise Schwartz resigned in November and Patrick McCulloch stepped down on Dec. 31, the board was down three members. The village board of trustees unanimously appointed Patrick Hernandez and Erica Brantley to the housing authority board.
“I think they both will be assets to the board,” Catskill Housing Authority Chairman Sam Aldi said.
Hernandez is a business teacher at Catskill High School.
“He is very community-minded,” Aldi said.
Brantley is a tenant at the Hop-o-Nose Apartments and has served on the board before.
“She took a break from the board and is back to work with a new, progressive board to advocate for the tenants and secure their health and safety,” Aldi said.
Aldi said he is looking forward to being part of the board’s new direction.
Village President Vincent Seeley is also looking forward to the new direction the board is taking, he said.
“We are very encouraged by the new direction and leadership at the Catskill Housing Authority,” Seeley said. “It will be a tough road ahead, but through proper management and teamwork, all signs are positive.”
The new members bring unique perspectives to the board, Seeley said.
“Mr. Hernandez is a lifelong resident of Catskill and possesses a breadth of much-needed business experience,” Seeley said. “Erica has been with us on this journey through the good times and the bad, all along always ensuring that the safety and well-being of the residents came first. Erica also has a very keen working knowledge of the CHA finances. We look forward to seeing the upcoming improvements. 2020 is going to be a good year.”
Two individuals, one of whom was a Hop-O-Nose tenant, stepped forward in December to be considered for the board positions, Aldi said. At that time, Aldi declined to identify the candidates until their appointments were made official.
The village board is scheduled to vote for appointment of the candidates in January, Seeley said.
“I think we have some really good candidates,” Aldi said, adding that he expected the positions would be filled soon.
The board will continue to move forward in a positive direction, he said.
“The board is their advocate,” Aldi said of the tenants in December. “These are their homes. We want to make sure they are secure, safe and healthy. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need board members who are willing to work hard for the tenants.”
Participation from the tenants is also essential, Aldi added.
“I want them to be involved,” he said.