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[June 29, 2014]
Tenant to serve on Housing board [Tampa Tribune, Fla. :: ]
(Tampa Tribune (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 29--For the first time since a scandal rocked the Pasco County Housing Authority in 2012, a tenant will serve on the authority's board.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Silnia Nubia, a resident at Bonnie Dale Villas, to fill the commission seat she had applied for three years ago. Nubia, 68, a retired housing administrator, said she'll bring a perspective that has been lacking on the authority.
"Just living here, I can see what so many of the problems are," she said. "I don't think they're going to love me." Florida law requires that one of the five commission seats should be held by a tenant. "A lot of people think that living in public housing is a disgrace," she said. "I don't happen to think that. I live on a fixed income, and I waited for a year to get into my apartment." Nubia is one of three commissioners Scott appointed late Thursday. He reappointed Chairman David Lambert to a three-year term.
Scott also appointed David Longspaugh, broker owner of ReMax Sunset Realty in Hudson, to the authority. He replaces housing commissioner Emile Laurino, who moved out of state.
Longspaugh is on the board of directors for the West Pasco Board of Realtors. He also owns a title company and property management firm, and said he applied for the position to lend his corporate expertise to the authority.
"I have a business degree and a masters in accounting, and I wanted to give back to my community," he said. "I have knowledge and experience that could add a lot of value." Both Nubia and Longspaugh say they're excited that they'll be instrumental in hiring a new executive director to replace Dianne Morris, who resigned in March. The Housing Authority has been accepting applications all month for a new executive director; the deadline is June 30.
"That's a pretty important responsibility," Longspaugh said. "It's a three-year appointment for me -- that's enough time to make a real difference. What better opportunity than to bring in a new person and work with them from the beginning. I'm super excited and really grateful for the opportunity." Commissioners had hoped to be able to schedule interviews as soon as possible, but they had to cancel the July board meeting because they thought they wouldn't have a quorum. The next official meeting is in August.
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