Friday, January 11, 2008

Commissioner Reasons Rejecting Appointment Lack Self-Scutiny

Will wonders never cease. Maybe our post questioning the ethics of voting for yourself for an appointment to an autonomous authority hit home. Worse, the vote by the commissioner was the deciding vote. Had Zimmerlink not voted for herself on the appointment to the Housing Authority to fill the seat of the member who resigned, she would not have obtained a seat by majority vote of the board of commissioners.

It is unfortunate that Zimmerlink didn't consider the ethics angle before her vote, and it appears after her turn-around abandonment of the seat.

Even had Zimmerlink read our previous post, she didn't get it, otherwise she'd have given different reasons for letting the seat go.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Authority Appointment with Appointee Vote Questioned

Zimmerlink's reasons for rejecting the appointment she had the decisive vote on simply lack the self-scrutiny necessary to be appointed to the citizen-watch seat we were about to propose at the next commissioners' meeting.

Before this article, we were prepared to attend the next board meeting and ask the board at the agenda meeting to replace Zimmerlink in the official capacity of an Authority Board member, and create a citizen-watch non-voting seat. Zimmerlink then, along with others who were interested, could have been up for that appointment.

Such an appointment would have the benefit of reviewing Authority official business, make recommendations, but not participate in voting.

In fact, years ago there was just such a seat. It was an unofficial seat, with no voting privileges, always to be filled by a Housing Authority project resident. Unfortunately, rules and regulations were altered. In turn, that one seat remains one to be filled by a project resident.

The commissioners could still create another member category.

But Zimmerlink should not be selected given her unfortunate excuses as to why she is rejecting the official seat, now.

Just read the extracts from Zimmerlink's letter published in the Herald-Standard...

(Net the Truth Online)

Zimmerlink steps down from housing authority
By Liz Zemba
Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink has resigned from the county housing authority board, less than a week after she was reappointed.
Zimmerlink, who had served two previous five-year terms on the board, said Friday she does not want potential controversy over her participation to distract from the board's work...

Zimmerlink rejects housing authority appoinment
By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard
Updated 01/10/2008 10:00:06 PM EST
Just a few days after gaining appointment to a one-year term on the Fayette County Housing Authority, Fayette County Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink has decided not to accept the appointment, saying she believes certain people would go to great lengths this year to draw negative attention to her if she remained on the board.

Zimmerlink, who had completed her second five-year term on the FCHA on Dec. 31, 2007 received the nod for the unexpired term of William "Trip" Radcliffe during Monday's commissioner's reorganization meeting with a 2-1 vote, but since Monday she apparently had a change of heart...

...In a letter to her fellow commissioners written Wednesday, Zimmerlink wrote that her goal has always been and remains that "decisions be made for the right reasons and in the best interest of the county and this sentiment extends to the Fayette County Housing Authority."

However, Zimmerlink's letter explains that because much time and public tax dollars were spent in unsuccessful attempts to have her removed as a board member combined with the fact that her reappointment wasn't met with full commissioner support made her change her mind.

Zimmerlink points out in the letter that she was first appointed in 1998 and then reappointed in 2003 and throughout her time on the board, people have attempted to have her removed from the board. She cites payment of thousands of dollars to the Cohen & Grigsby law firm to research "Breach of fiduciary duty action against a public board member of a public authority taking into consideration the Whistleblower's Statue," and an "unfounded ethics charge," Zimmerlink wrote.

"Because the tenants, FCHA staff and taxpayers deserve the complete and undistracted attention of the board and knowing that this year certain individuals will either directly or through the shadows go to great lengths to deflect attention, waste time, resources and public dollars concentrating on their political and personal vendettas and unfounded claims toward me as a board member and county commissioner rather than doing their job at the offices of the FCHA, in the commissioners office, in the courthouse and wherever else these employees are employed or linger, I believe it is best and do withdraw my offer of service and will move to rescind the resolution appointing me to serve this unexpired one-year period," Zimmerlink wrote.

She further wrote that she is supporting the appointment to Uniontown businessman Donald Miller to the unexpired term, and asks her fellow commissioners to support her selection. Miller, like Zimmerlink is a Republican.

Zapotosky said Thursday that he stands by Zimmerlink's decision to not accept appointment to the housing authority board. When asked about whether or not he will support Miller, Zapotosky said he hasn't made a decision, saying he wants to sit down and look at the other applicants before making a final determination.

Vicites, Zapotosky and Zimmerlink separately said they saw no reason to make an appointment before the Jan. 24 regular commissioner's meeting because the next meeting of the housing authority isn't until Feb. 14...

...In addition to Zimmerlink's appointment on Monday, Ernie DeBlasio was appointed unanimously to the board, while Harry Fike was appointed with a 2-1 vote, with Zapotosky and Zimmerlink voting in favor of the appointment and Vicites voting against it.

Current board members include Beverly Beal and Nancy Sutton.

Added post

What are the legalities here? At the Commissioners' meeting on Monday, Zimmerlink's appointment to an open seat was made prior to the series of motions which were made on candidates to fill the other expired and full-term seats.

Some of those candidates didn't make it to a seat as there was no second to the motion.

Commissioner Zimmerlink, at that point in time, having just been appointed as a voting board member of the Housing Authority, voted on the "commissioner" appointments of the other Housing Authority board members.

Not only did Commissioner Zimmerlink vote on the members she would "serve" with, however, her vote was the deciding vote when Commissioner Vicites neither provided a second for the candidate, nor did he cast a vote for the candidate.

The candidate was then appointed to a Housing Authority seat by one of its own appointed board members.

How valid are those new board appointments, now?

Can someone legally challenge the appointments made with elected Commissioner Zimmerlink's second and decisive vote when Zimmerlink had just prior been appointed to the open seat?

This entire episode is what we were supposed to be rid of, particularly with the Housing Authority's past history.

(Hold them all accountable)

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